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Re: A niche for the Hurd - next step: reality check


From: Arne Babenhauserheide
Subject: Re: A niche for the Hurd - next step: reality check
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 16:46:14 +0100
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Am Mittwoch 29 Oktober 2008 12:16:58 schrieb olafBuddenhagen@gmx.net:
> I mentioned the desktop thing as one possible showcase. The problem here
> is that it is a task for many years... Would be nice to have some
> hurdish applications for showing around, in a closer timeframe.

And I think we're close to a general issue here: 

We need stuff which gets people to say "hey that's cool!"

And it must be readily available. 
If I have to search for arcane command line parameters before I can use it, 
it's too hard. 

From what I see, each direct cool application must be about as simple as 

$ qemu hurd-is-cool.img
$ login root
$ settrans cool /hurd/cool
$ ls cool

One main focus in this example is: No command line parameters but the ones we 
really need. No "-a", if the example is also cool without it. 
No "--console" if it works otherwise. 

Especially no "qemu --cd livecd --hda hurd.img ..." - that one is great for 
specialists, but the goal here is not to teach people better usage of qemu, 
but to show them that the Hurd is cool, and only that. 

All that interesting advanced stuff just gets newcomers confused. 

The translator concept in itself is enough news to faze a mind - anything else 
can easily be too much. 

If the application isn't as simple as the example above, then the best step 
would be to see if we can make it as simple - if that involves writing trivial 
scripts than be it so. They are trivial only to those who already understand 
the underlying concepts. 

And now enough with rambling :) 

The Hurd is cool, and the complex to use applications are cool, too. 
But they are hard to present in a way newcomers easily understand. 

Best wishes, 
Arne

PS: If you think that I say "cool" a bit too often, then just pass me an 
alternative word ;-) 

-- My stuff: http://draketo.de - stories, songs, poems, programs and stuff :)
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