Note: Updated to include a link to the new CodePlex project below.
I had an interesting chat with Thomas Holtq
uist of Skewworks (http://skewworks.com/) this morning. Thomas is a .NET programmer who works in financial software during the day and builds interesting extensions to embedded devices in the evenings and weekends that he publishes at the Skewworks site. He started with a game platform and Pyxis OS which is an OS for the Arduino platform. More recently, he has been working on Pyxis 2.0 (http://www.skewworks.com/products/Pyxis%20OS%202.0) which is an operating environment for .NET Micro Framework devices (albeit relatively large ones).
Early v2.0 Overview
Thomas refers to this as an ‘Operating Environment’ as it is not a complete OS (missing for example any User Access Control) but supports executing applications in a separate App Domain and Thread which makes it very robust. He started this project in June at the suggestion of someone interested in building a Chumby (http://www.chumby.com/) on NETMF. This led to first moving the V 1.0 Pyxis functionality over from the Arduino and then to extending the environment with new functionality. Much of this work is done in conjunction with the TinyCLR community which to this point has primarily contributed to the testing and prioritization of features.
The point of this is to support faster application development and the ability to run and manage multiple applications on the device. It is about 1.2 meg so it needs a larger system – Thomas has been using the GHI Fez Cobra and Chipworks platforms. He has done some tuning for his platform - for example reducing the renderings in the interface to get pretty snappy performance. He has a whole list of features lined up to add to the platform. He is thinking about moving the project to CodePlex which could be an opportunity to you to help him out with that feature set.
(UPDATE: Thomas has created a CodePlex project where you can follow and participate. Check out : http://pyxis2.codeplex.com/
If you want to learn more immediately, check out the video above and the Pyxis 2.0 link included above or go out to the TinyCLR forums (http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/1/) and search for Pyxis.