I think the first time I saw the Metakit database was about ten years ago. I was considering using it as a library for Visual Basic for DOS for the original Vault Commander software back in 1998.
Then SQLite came along and I always assumed that would be the database I'd use. Alas, I got the Metakit compiled under 32 bit WATCOM, tried a few experiments and was so smitten I pulled out SQLite and stuck this in as the default database for everything. You can stick binaries in like pictures and sounds as easily as freeform text or any other kind of data, including XML. Searches are lightning fast and can be described as very flexible string queries.
The runtime package should consist of three files - a 32 bit executable, a resource WAD file built with my proprietary tools and a Metakit Database that holds literally, everything. I am trying to make the OS intelligent enough to know the limitations of the system it is running on and only permitting operations that the system specifications will support, in terms of RAM and storage.
I also got the desktop screen running with an experimental interface I have been thinking about for ten years. Instead of one global GUI page where the GUI "appears" (windows, icons, buttons, etc.) instead I have always envisaged a way where you could make a basic GUI look like a high powered real-time screen manager with windows dynamically changing underneath ... but without all the abstractions required that slow the final product down ... dirty rectangles, re-entrant GUI code driven totally by events, a huge and bloated interface manager, etc. ... so I could have the first version of Vault OS running by April 2008 instead of April 2028.
I had a very straightforward idea of how to replace something like QNX with a village idiot system that consisted of two visual layers ... one for the real time monitor display and a second window layer where the GUI appears. At runtime, the first page is laid down in the visual buffer, constantly changing in real time (server window, logging, monitors, alerts and sensors) and on top of it the more conventional GUI window is laid on top of it transparently before it is flipped to the visual page. This works! Really good, in fact! So you'll be looking at a front panel window and behind it you have a scrolling status bar, log window and sensors changing underneath it while you are in that window! Sort of how it took Bill Gates ten years and 100 megabytes of code to get working properly without flickering (actually it still flickers to this day), only I did it in 200K and about 80 lines of interface manager code and it is as smooth and flickerless as a Mode X hacker demo! My test platform is a 200 mhz 486 Pentium with a 640x480 256 color display and I got it running at 94 fps with the vertical sync on! I figured I get this system running with an LCARS-looking custom GUI, I'll really be on top of this game.
So if your neighbor gets ready to chuck a portable laptop that looks like it was unearthed by an archaeologist, tell him to give it to you, you're going to need it for your multitasking, multiuser Vault OS network.