Thanks, Chris! That was a lot more detailed than I had thought into it.

> You just mount search engine, route planning tool, or even shopping site
and echo commands into the ctl file.

I hadn't thought of this - was more thinking on the user union mounting,
say, into their bin directory and running a google
operation. The concept of just echoing into a ctl file is really
interesting from a security perspective.

> Multimedia documents with both pictures and text are compiled into self
contained files kind of like PDF without hyperlinks and arbitrary code
expectation... This rich format is for longer and more focused reading
sessions: studying a topic, leisure reading.

I had originally been thinking along these lines, but the more I think
about it, the more I think there would have been a lot of demand for flashy
displays, and so I think something like a library for a flash-like language
that users would execute would've popped up. While I think users could've
gotten used to normal text (and it actually may have been more intuitive,
especially for older, non-technical people who are distracted by flashy
things), I think the people paying for development would've wanted more,
including graphics and animations.

>Also, services are designed to be focused enough and standard enough that
they can be easily interact with other services using pipes, redirects,
etc. so that the user can combine them to suit their needs.

This would've been amazing.

> Single signon is achieved using symmetric encryption. If the service
recognizes your public key and you are able to sign a message using your
private key you can proceed. Not sure how much overlap there is here with
what is in tls and factotum. Something like factotum could be useful to
allow you to specify different keys (identities) for different services.

This would be interesting, as well, when combined with network+union
filesystems, for being able to do something like run a website like reddit
with pointers to files hosted by users themselves. The possible advantage I
was thinking about is that a user could post comments as files stored on
their local accounts with group permissions they can specify, allowing them
to only have their friends see those files; the 'reddit' site would only
host the file pointers, and people would only be able to see those comments
on the reddit reader-app if they had the correct permissions. Usrers could
then delete their comments at will without worrying about the site holding
onto them in old DB backups or the like.

Thanks, also, Hiro!

> There is nothing wrong with the web having a limited scope of features.

Well, since everyone is trying to make the web the OS - see the chrome
boxes, for example - why not cut out the middleman and just have the OS
doing things? It seems like it's going to happen no matter what.

> If they are on par, then why waste time with the web part?

Well, that's the point, isn't it? You can access applications from
anywhere, and you don't need a browser to act as a platform to do it. You
also don't need to install them using some wizard and registry and all the
other BS.

> security and privacy in the web is hopeless. it plainly was never a real

Would plan9 have made it reasonable to become one?

> popular things tend to drive people. doesn't say anything about the
technical or even educational qualities though.

I think this is a good point. I was also thinking that ease-of-entry would
likely have developed more on the application side if more people had been
using it.

> Plan 9 technically is just one small collection of more consistent
alternative building blocks, but the web has ignored, reinvented or
misunderstood most others, too.

Yeah, this is sort of why I've been thinking about this. I've almost begun
getting frustrated when I see all the redundant design in the browser that,
at least it seems, could've just been done with the OS. Every time a friend
or intern pings me with a web problem, it seems more and more like the web
is just a series of kludges from trying to make the newspaper man be a
song-and-dance man who gives you live television.

Thanks for the thoughts!


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