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Re: Gentoo GNU/Hurd thread in Gentoo Forums

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: Gentoo GNU/Hurd thread in Gentoo Forums
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 03:20:03 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


On Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 08:43:43PM +0200, Sergiu Ivanov wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 10:25 AM, <olafBuddenhagen@gmx.net> wrote:

> > I think Marek's work is interesting on several levels. For one, Mach
> > was originally created by taking a BSD kernel, throwing out the UNIX
> > stuff, and implementing some generic primitives (IPC, external pager
> > interface) instead. Doing the same with a modern BSD kernel actually
> > seems the most pragmatic approach to getting a modern Mach...
> Hm, interesting. Do you think this can be adopted as a basis for a
> full-blown strategy of modernizing the Hurd and making it more
> interesting to ordinary users?

Not sure what you mean...

> I don't want to look stubborn, but the following question comes to my
> mind: can it be guaranteed that the Hurd running on top of another
> system will be exactly the Hurd running on top of Mach?

This is hard to tell, and depends on the exact approach taken. I would
hope though that it can be close enough to serve the purpose. In any
case, I think it's worth a try :-)

> The second question is that the emulation of Hurd on a different
> platform may once prove to be less error-prone that the Hurd itself
> (correct me if I am wrong, please), so can we consider the possibility
> that at a definite moment more attention will belong to the emulation
> layer and it will become the *main* thing, instead of the Hurd?

As I said, I do hope that seeing a partial Hurd environment do
interesting stuff, would make people get an appetite for the full-blown

But if it doesn't -- if it turns out people are entirely happy running a
partial Hurd -- I wouldn't consider this a problem. It would just show
that perhaps a native Hurd is not really necessary...

Keep in mind that I don't consider the Hurd an end to itself, but rather
the means to achieve certain goals. If it turns out that these goals can
be achieved while running on top of a traditional system, that's fine
with me.

Note that a third variant is possible: If people indeed begin using a
Hurd layer on top of some other system on a wider scale, they will be
interested in enhancing that underlying system more and more to make the
Hurd layer run as well as possible; eventually resulting in something
that can be considered native as well -- only that it is created in an
evolutionary process starting from something existing, rather than
written from scratch. Perhaps this is indeed the smarter approach, in
view of today's free software world...

In any case, if people see the benefits of a partial Hurd environment,
we are in a much better position to argue the advantages of a system
following the Hurd design throughout -- there is nothing to loose here


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