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Re: Hurd Mission Statement

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: Hurd Mission Statement
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 07:43:51 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 10:37:19PM +0200, Alessandro Mosca wrote:

> >   The mission of the Hurd project is: to create a general-purpose
> >   kernel ..
> i guess there's something missing in it_
> i would say: "a modern general-purpose multiserver microkernel os.."

I intentionally left the technical bits (multiserver microkernel) open,
as it's not an end to itself, but rather a means to a certain goal,
which is stated in the last part: "[...] gives users and applications as
much control over their computing environment as possible." The
multiserver architecture is what we use to achieve this.

(Historically this is not really correct, but that's a different story
:-) )

You are absolutely right that the multiserver architecture is a very
distinctive feature: but I'm not sure whether and how it should be
incorporated into the mission statement... I guess I need to think more
about this.

> the 'modern' part of it means the will to create the sound system, usb
> / wifi stacks, >128Gb disk I/O errors, device drivers/ DDE kit and all
> the other things missing that a gp os should have nowadays_

This is implied by the "viable for everyday use" bit :-)

> the word 'kernel' is rather reductive_

Well, strictly speaking the Hurd is not a kernel, but rather a set of
userspace servers running on top of a microkernel, implementing the
functionality traditionally provided by monolithic kernels. However,
most people do not know or care about this; and there is no good
established term to describe it... In fact, it seems pretty common to
use "multiserver microkernel" or even just "microkernel" to refer to the
servers as well as the actual microkernel.

But I guess that's not what you mean anyways...

> i guess you want to have an os, not just a kernel, but the kernel
> itself is (ranging from mach, to l4, to coyotos, viengoos or whatever
> will possibly be) built with a microkernel+multiserver architecture_

Of course we want a complete operating system: it's called GNU. The Hurd
is only the kernel(-replacement) component for it, while all the other
stuff is already provided by a lot of other GNU (and non-GNU)


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