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July 2010: RMS about the Hurd

From: Thomas Schwinge
Subject: July 2010: RMS about the Hurd
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010 16:15:47 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)


Neither will I give any judgement about RMS' interpretation of Linux'
technical shortcomings, or anything else, nor will this stop me (and
should this stop you) from continuing to work on the Hurd (the little I'm
able to at the moment...), neither is this position surprising or totally
breaking news, nor do I want to induce a discussion about this -- it's
simply for your information.

From <http://blog.reddit.com/2010/07/rms-ama.html>:

| 13. Joeboy: Are you still at all optimistic about HURD, or would you
|   agree that that ship has sailed?
| RMS: I am not very optimistic about the GNU HURD. It makes some
|   progress, but to be really superior it would require solving a lot of
|   deep problems. However, mainly what I think about the HURD is that
|   finishing it is not crucial.
| When we started the HURD, it was for a simple reason. The GNU system
|   needed a kernel, and no usable free kernel existed. We set out to
|   write one.
|  That problem does not exist today. Linux works ok as a kernel.
| The main shortcoming of Linux is at the level of device support. The
|   obstacle there isn't a lack of ability among Linux developers, but
|   rather the use of devices whose specs are secret.
| Finishing the HURD would not advance us at all in supporting these
|   devices. The work that is needed is at the driver and firmware level.
|   That's why our high priority task list includes items relating to
|   free drivers, but not the HURD.
| That's also why fsf.org has hardware resource pages. Your help in
|   updating them would strengthen us in this important battle.
| Sure, it would be nice to see a GNU kernel succeed -- but there are
|   many successful GNU packages, so having one more is not crucial.


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