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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: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 05:13:07 +0100
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Am Donnerstag 20 November 2008 23:24:42 schrieb Michal Suchanek:
> As I see it the problem with Coyotos is more political than technical.
> Technically it might be possible to just not use additional feature
> present in the kernel but politically it is a problem if a DRM-capable
> design is popularized by being used in the Hurd.

Here "political" means thinking further than only the scope of your current 
project, so this is in my view a very good thing. 

Would you want your coding to benefit a locked down society in the long run - 
especially when you code on something as user-enabling as the Hurd? 

> I personally want as few and as simple concepts as possible to make up
> the foundation of the system and the current Hurd does not provide
> that for me. The direct integration of user tools with the capability
> concept which would supposedly be part of Coyotos would greatly
> simplify the system compared to the Hurd.

This would mean having to rewrite all user tools to using capabilities, while 
the Hurd can works with the existing tools. 

Remember please, that the Hurd doesn't have a 100 people experimentor team, 
and that the same set of tools will be used on other platforms which have the 
user concept. 

And it might be that my understanding of capabilities just is flawed, but in 
the long run I don't see where 

$ addauth write_coresystem

really differs from a pure capabilities system in actual use. 

In real life situations you will have capability classes (since developers 
don't want to reinvent the wheel all the time), and these can be expressed as 
UIDs and GIDs. 

And the Hurd offers the additional advantage of being compatible with most 
existing user tools, so these capabilities can really be used in a general 
purpose desktop (instead of being tied to a user group with arcane lore for a 
very long time). 

Via GNU/Linux many people already know the GNU tools (and those who don't 
aren't in a possible target group), so a new system should better use these 
tools, so people don't have to learn new stuff again. 

Best wishes, 
Arne
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