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YotH 2010 -- a Year of the Hurd 2010

From: Thomas Schwinge
Subject: YotH 2010 -- a Year of the Hurd 2010
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2011 23:37:09 +0100
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Prompted by Karl Berry who is currently preparing a general GNU status
report, I just contributed the following text -- a Year of the Hurd 2010!

If you'd like something changed / added / removed, please tell so

GNU Hurd (<http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/>)

Yeah, that's right!  The GNU Hurd, the GNU project's replacement for the
UNIX kernel, implemented as a collection of servers that run on the Mach
microkernel.  Contrary to popular belief, this project is not yet dead.
Of course, it's not the world's most active project either, but a small
group of volunteers (a handful, mostly) are still plowing their way
through the terrain of a steadily changing (and improving) Free Software
world, striving to keep this advanced research prototype system going.
They are accompanied by another handful of Debian GNU/Hurd, and (new:)
Arch Hurd packagers.  So, what happened in the last year?

  * Apart from having done a lot of other work, Samuel Thibault, our Jack
    of all trades, merged his development branch that brought us Xen domU
    support.  Development had started in 2007 already, and since it has
    been heavily tested by using it for the Debian GNU/Hurd build servers
    as well as our public Hurd boxen,

  * We had Zheng Da work on user-space device drivers, based on L4's DDE
    project.  This is a project we've long been wanting to implement, so
    this was good progress.  Unfortunately, due to accepting a PhD
    position, he didn't have much time anymore to bring this to
    completion.  But due to modern revision control systems, all his
    development and code are publically available, and waiting for the
    next developer to pick up again.

  * Carl Fredrik Hammar finished and presented his thesis, ``Generalizing
    mobility for the Hurd'',
    and passed with distinction.

  * As in the previous years, we again participated in the Google Summer
    of Code.  Olaf Buddenhagen is our main guy for organizing this, as
    well as he's spending considerable time with software design
    discussions, and helping others to get their ideas sorted.  As GSoC
    projects, Jérémie Koenig ported the Debian Installer to GNU/Hurd, and
    Emilio Pozuelo Monfort was working on a task that may be perceived as
    less exciting from the outside, but yet is extremely valuable: fixing
    compatibility problems exposed by projects' testsuites.  During that,
    he uncovered a bunch of programming errors in the Hurd code, and
    fixed a lot of these.  Jérémie's work resulted in a modern Debian
    GNU/Hurd installation image:

  * Right in time with Jérémie's Debian Installer success, Philip
    Charles, our 72 years old provider of Debian GNU/Hurd installation
    CDs has now resigned from that position -- a job he had been doing
    for nearly ten years.

That's of course only a very short digest of what happened in the last
year.  You can read our ``Month of the Hurd'' on
<http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/news.html> or by subscribing to our RSS
feed, <http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/index.rss>.

If you're, for example, interested in doing a university project on a
multi-server microkernel-based operating system, or if you're generally
interested in contributing, please see
<http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/contributing.html>.  Or simply talk to
us on <bug-hurd@gnu.org> or the #hurd IRC channel on freenode's network.


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