Will Google OS Do This?

With all the recent hype about the Google OS news, I got to thinking about what a current OS is and does and what a Google OS might be able to do. There is a whole lot of talk about the competitive landscape this new OS will compete against. There are also discussions about its predicted efficiency and small footprint, and lots of comparisons against Windows.

My angle on this is a bit different than most. I am concerned about the ramifications of a completely new OS built from the ground-up and potentially being web-based. What would this mean to developers? What new types of applications might we see? What new OS features would this implement?

I recall a few years ago about a new directory structure Microsoft was working on (for their Longhorn project) that was based not on today’s flat file structure but rather on a relational database model. This got me thinking about how Google OS might implement the directory structure. I assume a directory structure will still be needed for downloading files and saving them somewhere. The OS of course would need to manage this directory structure, but does Google OS be able to resurrect and implement a relational database model? What does it mean to download and “save”?  Would “saving” be to the “cloud” or to the local client?

Let’s assume Google OS will indeed manage files but will do so in a “cloud”. So anytime a file is saved or retrieved the OS would be doing so from and to the cloud. On the backend, how could Google manage all this information? I think that would mean Google would need to allocate a relational database to this massive effort. In so doing the new Google OS, on any client machine, would in effect manage a directory structure based on relational database technology. The end user could therefore be able to transparently perform all sorts of queries against his data using a new interface, a super cousin of today’s windows explorer.

I haven’t revisited all the discussions that occurred when Microsoft first proposed this approach years ago, and I imagine there could be some incredible things that were mentioned and that can now be more easily implemented by the Google OS. Whenever I get a chance I will review some of these and add some more to the discussion.

[At this time I don’t have time to carry this discussion into the ramifications to developers and applications but I hope to return to this soon.]

I am no expert in OS technology, never having even enrolled in an OS course, so I invite someone out there to continue this discussion. Perhaps there is already a discussion about this somewhere, so please put a link in a comment here.

Ecommerce for Crowdsourced Products

I recently posted a comment on the article The 3 Stages of Ecommerce Tools that made me start thinking about this particular need I have. I am reposting that comment here and expanding it a bit. It will probably help you to read mentioned article prior to reading the rest of this post to give you the context of what I am talking about.

The above article mentions Etsy, which is a website of crowdsourced products for sale by micro-retailers (individuals). In my estimation, we should be seeing many more of these types of websites. Some may sell digital goods like music and graphics, while others may sell clothing designed and produced by individuals, like t-shirts, dresses, etc.

My question is, could Magento or another ecommerce solution be used to create an Etsy-like website? I’ve played around with Magento and I’ve realized that all the product details, like pics and attributes, must be entered by an admin(s). It does not lend itself to allowing its members to self-maintain their own set of products. “Members” in the Magento sense, are just shoppers and they can contribute reviews, ratings, etc. However, Magento “members” cannot upload their own products, not even as provisional products which would later be approved (moderated) by the admin.

Which ecommerce players do you think are leaning towards providing the solution for making these types of websites? I foresee, entrepreneurs like myself, wanting to build their own Etsy-like websites, but presently I do not find the solutions for these types of websites.

For now all they can do is to try to mesh social network software with ecommerce solutions in order to provide the ability for members to upload and sell their own products. Keep in mind a product’s details can include text, pics, audio and video, in addition to tags, reviews, ratings, etc. Social network solutions, like Dolphin, provide some of these features, while ecommerce solutions like Magento provide the other half of the puzzle, which includes such things as inventory management, shipping estimates, cross-selling etc.

I know there is a Drupal extension for Magento, but I don’t know enough about Drupal to know for sure if this is what I need. It would be interesting to hear from anyone with any thoughts on using this Drupal extension for Magento.

As I write this posting, I just realized I should google “Etsy clone” or something of that nature (such as Zazzle) to location software I can try. I hope I find something soon because I urgently need to get my project going soon. By the way, Rob from Foodzie.com has kindly offered to give me some leads. Thank you! Please check out their wonderful site Foodzie.com. It looks like they may have explored this same need and implemented a solution.

I just found the blog post The elusive Opensource E-Commerce Holy Grail: Multi-Site, Multi-Store with many comments that could be useful to uncover the mystery.