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Re: The Hurd: what is it?

From: Marcus Brinkmann
Subject: Re: The Hurd: what is it?
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 09:05:44 +0100
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At Wed, 09 Nov 2005 04:45:32 +0100,
Sergio Lopez <address@hidden> wrote:
> El mié, 09-11-2005 a las 02:00 +0100, Marcus Brinkmann escribió:
> > Of course, I don't speak for Roland or Thomas.  But as far as I know,
> > the direction of the Hurd has not changed at all.  The Hurd-on-L4
> > efforts are an evaluation of a new design.  Until such a design
> > emerges as a viable alternative, there is nothing to decide.
> That's the point. Until that evaluation reaches something concrete and
> _feasible_, I don't see the need to stop Mach/Hurd development, IMHO
> both projects can work and follow its own way.

I fully agree with that.

> In fact, I would like to
> encourage all people to restart working ("working" means coding, but
> also testing and discussing about design issues) again on GNU Mach/GNU
> Hurd to make the final effort that it needs to become a production
> system (the GNU System).

I have a problem with such a strong statement.  The implicit promise
you make is that there is some certain amount of work that needs to be
done, the "final effort", to make the GNU Hurd on Mach a production
system.  I have a lot of elaborative technical arguments why I think
that the story is not so simple.  This is however not the place to
present them.  Instead, it should suffice for me to say the following:
I have promised to people before that there is just a relatively small
effort necessary to make the GNU/Hurd on Mach become a production
system.  I have broken this promise by failing to show how this can be
done, and likely disappointed a lot of people.  This past experience
of mine may or may not make you careful about what can be achieved
with how much effort.

Of course, if you have a good road map how to bring GNU Hurd on Mach
to production, I hope you are successful!

Alternatively, it may be useful to set the goal a bit lower.  There
are various ways to improve the GNU Hurd on Mach gradually, by fixing
some bugs, or optimizing some paths.  Even some architectural changes
are possible without too much effort.  Such smaller changes would be
very interesting, because they give an immediate benefit to the
community, and also can some guidance to any redesign effort.


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