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Re: [Ghm-discuss] Main Topic for 2012

From: Patrice Dumas
Subject: Re: [Ghm-discuss] Main Topic for 2012
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 11:21:28 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-12-10)

On Sat, Jun 02, 2012 at 03:16:47PM -0400, Rick C. Hodgin wrote:
> True.  Yet every speech RMS gives on GNU and free software he brings
> up the kernel history, and explains that it's still not working yet.
> To me, I would suggest the following be discussed in their entirety
> as primary topics:
> 1)  Is it worth completing the HURD?  If not, do we abandon it and
> go monolithic?

I cannot speak for the whole GNU project, and I know next to nothing
about kernels.  But what I have understood is that there is already 
a free kernel (Linux as GNU Linux-libre) that works fine.  Still, the 
HURD is based on a very different design (likely superior), and, even 
though it is not crucial by now to advance the freedom of users, it 
may still be worth hacking on it and it may be nice to have it later.

> 2)  Once our kernel is complete (or abandoned), what will our GNU
> Distribution be called?
> 3)  What is our time frame for completion?
> If I could attend, I'd be happy to present on all of these.  They
> are the overall state of GNU in everybody's eyes.

That should not, the GNU operating system (the GNU distribution you are
referring to, if I am not wrong) is not only about on GNU software.  It
is completed, as the GNU/Linux variant:

> I can't tell you how many people I've discussed the GNU project, its
> inception, RMS's goals, etc., and I get to the point where the
> kernel was begun in 1991 and it still isn't finished.  Most
> everybody immediately turns their head or averts their eyes as if to
> say "Does not sound like a good project.  It's how many years later
> and their core-most feature still isn't working?  Scary."

When a lot of the work is done by volunteers, you cannot have hard time
frames.  The issue of attracting devellopers is quite complex too.  It
is partly determined by political and technical differences between 
projects. But project numbers, overlap, and maturity matter and interact.

Fortunately, free software components, even when not underlined by the
same political visions, may be mixed and matched and profit the GNU
vision.  Maybe without some kind of 'purity' both in the technical
and the political sense, but still with something that allows to
achieve, at least partly, the political goals of GNU.


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