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Niche for Hurd - discussion - the power of translators


From: Arne Babenhauserheide
Subject: Niche for Hurd - discussion - the power of translators
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 17:35:16 +0100
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Am Mittwoch 29 Oktober 2008 12:16:58 schrieb address@hidden:
> > Another example of features which would be easily possible with the
> > Hurd:
> >
> > * media-player translator: 
> >             - settrans play /hurd/mediaplayer_play 
> >             - cp song1.ogg song2.ogg play - # -> files get buffered and 
> > played.
> >
> > or even:
> >
> > * cp ftp://foo/bar/ogg play

> Well, regarding the specific examples, such things aren't very
> interesting anymore: With FUSE, this can all be done on Linux as well
> nowadays... It's much harder to find examples for unique possibilities
> now.

That can be done with FUSE, if your kernel supports it. 
With much hassle. 

But with the Hurd _everyone_ can do it. 

Even the "Hello World!" translator gets peoples attention. 

And damn, who does really like to recompile the kernel just for activating a 
fancy media player? Setting up a translator is something far simpler. 

Replace media player with anything similarly cool to avoid depending on a 
sound system :-)  

We need a sound system - I don't know many people who can even imagine using 
the computer without music :-) 

Transparent ftp out of the box would be a cool feature, too. 

> Note that translators are actually much more powerful than FUSE: While
> the Hurd filesystem is completely decentralized, with FUSE all
> filesystem access still passes through the kernel's VFS layer. This
> means that FUSE can only be used with trusted modules, as already
> pointed out above. It also means that FUSE is limited to standard
> filesystem semantics, while Hurd translators can implement whatever they
> want.

It might be hard to think about usages right now, but now we have the chance 
to do so together. 

- A shared MMORPG game world consisting simply of files for levels and person 
descriptions with access rights. All synchronizing is done on the translator 
level. Programs only have to display the given files and quickly update the 
state of their own files, so the programs stay very easy. The translator could 
notify the program when something changes. 

... my time's up :) 

Best wishes, 
Arne

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