Date of Award

6-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)

Department

Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

Lorie Loeb

Abstract

Web technologies have advanced considerably in the last decade. With the introduction of HTML5 and CSS3 web standards, websites are no longer static documents, but rich applications that are capable of rivaling those written in native code. Similarly, internet infrastructure and adoption has reached a point where "always connected" and cross-platform applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive, Spotify, Dropbox, and Youtube are becoming dominant. While these web applications have acclimated users to cross-platform and cross-device experiences, operating systems have lagged behind, offering subpar experiences across devices. We present the design, prototype implementation, and evaluation of Nimbus, an operating system shell built on web technologies that aims to provide a compelling cross-platform and cross-device OS experience. We demonstrate how Nimbus can be used to create a seamless user experiences across platforms through realtime synchronization of application data and UI interactions. We also examine the advantages and disadvantages of implementing Nimbus as an OS shell, rather than a standalone cloud operating system, such as Jolicloud or Google Chrome. Nimbus is a disruptive approach to designing an operating system shell that allows developers to easily create multi-device applications that provide seamless experiences for users across all of their devices.

Comments

Originally posted in the Dartmouth College Computer Science Technical Report Series, number TR2013-736.

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