Stateless Computing – Application Hibernation

Traditional operating systems have application that are ‘running.’ Applications use system resources, memory and CPU time. When you minimize the application it’s still running. If you have to reboot you have to stop all running applications.

What if the OS could save any running application to a file. Re-open the file and the application continues to run. When an application is stored as a file it’s not taking any CPU resources, it’s hibernating but only for a single application. There are a lot of potential uses for something like this.

– Reboot whenever you need to, no need to close your applications, just pause them.
– The system doesn’t slow down as you open more applications. You simply put them away until you need them again.
– You could move an application between computers without loosing your settings. You could even make a copy of the application and see what would happen under two scenarios.
– If an application is having problems you could send it to the developer to investigate or send it to tech support.

It’s an interesting concept but there are potential problems. Epecially if the program grabs unique system resources (files, ports, connections, full screen) but the concept of hibernating at the application level not just the OS level could be useful in many scenarios.

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2 thoughts on “Stateless Computing – Application Hibernation”

  1. Have you heard anything with regard to this topic since 2007? I love the idea as well, particularly with regard to application startup times. Sometimes it takes longer for iTunes to load than it does for my whole machine to come out of hibernation.

  2. I’m not aware of this being done on desktops but I do believe that mobile operating systems preserve the state of an application then wake it back up when needed.

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