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Maintenance of the Hurd

From: Thomas Schwinge
Subject: Maintenance of the Hurd
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 02:47:32 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11


On Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 12:44:37PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     For getting invasive (read: interface changes and the like) changes into
>     the Hurd we'd need (a) people to come up with such changes (!) and (b)
>     have them attract Thomas Bushnell's or Roland McGrath's or Marcus
>     Brinkmann's attention (which often enough is not trivial).
>     But I deem it's very difficult to find someone to judge on such issues
>     and have that person be a judge with Thomas Bushnell's or Roland
>     McGrath's or Marcus Brinkmann's qualities.
>     I can't be that person, and neither can -- in my opinion -- be the other
>     people who took part in this discussion so far, as everyone of us lacks
>     the experience to judge on such things.
> I appreciate your modesty.  However, the expertise of those old Hurd
> developers does us no good if they don't actually use it.  It would be
> better for you to install these changes than for us to wait forever.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but I have already been approved a
co-maintainer of the GNU Hurd and directly related projects.  This -- in
my understanding -- as to yet meant that I was working on (a)
organizational things (see my other email) like improving accessibility
to the available documentation, managing infrastructure, helping
integrate new developers, such things, (b) directly commit bug-fixing
patches to the code base and (c) discuss interface-changing and
feature-enhancing patches with the other maintainers.

So far -- due to time constraints -- I mostly worked on (a) and parts of

Working on (a) seemed to me the most essential issue to be able to
attract and integrate new people.  (Fruits of that work are beginning to
grow, which is nice!)  Working on (b) is what happens during the use of
the system.  Working on (c) is what I'd like to do, but which I
explicitly (mostly) decided not to do so far, until the system is in a
shape again where we can say, ``yes, we take the latest versions of the
GNU Mach, Hurd and libc source code, compile that with recent versions of
GCC and binutils, install that into the system and the system software
will still work''.  We're getting close to this goal (with the help of a
number of people, most notable Samuel Thibault!), but are not yet there.

> Would you be willing to do it?

I always hoped that the project's seniors, Thomas Bushnell and Roland
McGrath, would get more active again and make some decision about
existing interface-changing (category (c)) issues, but this hasn't really
happened yet.

I can't make hard promises, but I'll try to get -- for example with the
help Marcus Brinkmann offered to me -- to these category (c) issues.  I
will especially consider the patches that have been in use (and proved
usable and stable) in the Debian hurd package for a long time now.


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