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What would it take....

From: Tim Kack
Subject: What would it take....
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:31:46 +0100


First disclaimer - the content of this email might have been discussed
before so please bear with me. 
Second disclaimer - I do not argue whether GNU/Hurd should use a
different kernel or not (L4 derivate or not, Viengoos or Coyotos etc) in
the future.

I have been following the Hurd project for a while and find it a pretty
exciting project, but sometimes I have a bit of a problem seeing where I
can fit in it and where I can contribute.
I would really appreciate if someone who knows Hurd and Mach intimately
can comment on this.

My questions are, given that we need to stick with gnumach 1.3.99 for a

1. What would it take to bring the device driver layer (which is from
Linux 2.0 via glue code?) up to either a modern BSD or Linux 2.6 level?
2. What would it take to enable Hurd to use >1 Gb of memory
3. What would it take to enable SMP and/or NORMA-RPC?
4. What would it take to integrate a sound subsystem architecture on top
of Mach? (Say OSS and then PulseAudio as a Hurd server)
5. What would it take to implement task #7050? (process-shared
semaphores and mutexes)

What I am looking for is a) how complex these topics are, 2) Blockers
(cannot be implemented without new kernel design)
I realize that all these things would perform pretty badly on the
current kernel - but perhaps they will run good enough?
Perhaps with a refresh of the current platform some more developer would
find it interesting to participate?

My motivation is very simple - I am trying to keep GNUstep compiling on
GNU/Hurd. I am also interested in one day compile Etoile (GNUstep based
desktop env) for Hurd. I believe that it would be really good platform.

Best regards,

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