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Re: September Month of the Hurd

From: Thomas Schwinge
Subject: Re: September Month of the Hurd
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:03:19 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)


On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 08:18:55PM +0100, Mathew Roberts wrote:
> I asked on #hurd at freenode about september month of the hurd and got some
> suggestions to put in it: [...]

Here we go; Arne, this one's for you!


| A month of the Hurd: *new translators* / *bug fixing*.
| [[!if test="included()" then="""[[!toggle id=full_news
| text="Details."]][[!toggleable id=full_news text="[[!paste 
| else="
| [[!paste id=full_news]]"]]
| [[!cut id="full_news" text="""
| Yes, we're a bit late this month.  Arne Babenhauserheide, the guy who has
| started and has been drafting the *Month of the Hurd* ever since June 2010
| (yes, that one and a half years already!), moves on to other duties -- his 
| has given birth to our first Hurd developer offspring (as far as I know):
| > Last friday my son Leandro entered our cold and too bright but friendly
| > world, [...]
| We wish them good luck for their new parental duty!
| The other guy, Thomas Schwinge, who has been editing and publishing the *Month
| of the Hurd* will take over -- at least temporarily (mind you, Arne).
| But, we got some Hurd news, too.
| Olaf Buddenhagen posted a patch that allows to [obtain number of ports in proc
| and libps](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00036.html) 
| means of adding a new [[RPC]] -- and subsequently held a discussion with 
| Thibault who proposed that instead of adding such functionality on an [ad hoc
| basis](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00044.html), a
| more generic solution could be found, too.  In the end, they agreed that this
| functionality was useful enough, and the patch was
| It is important to spend time on designing proper interfaces (RPCs in this
| case), but on the other hand what we're doing now need not be set in stone
| forever, as Olaf
| [explains](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00045.html):
| > Well, we already have a mechanism for making communication protocols in
| > the Hurd extensible: it's called the RPC mechanism... :-) Let's not try
| > to invent another generic mechanism on top of RPCs.
| > 
| > *If* ten year down the road we indeed end up with half a dozen
| > miscallaneous info queries, we can *still* replace them by a new RPC
| > covering all of it...
| Thomas Schwinge [moved some
| packages](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00031.html)
| ([[hurd/translator/gopherfs]], [[hurd/translator/netio]],
| [[hurd/translator/tarfs]]) from hurdextras to the Hurd's
| [[source_repositories/incubator]] repository; these are now available as
| [[Debian GNU/Hurd packages|hurd/running/debian]].  Manuel Menal also spent 
| on actually making tarfs and good ol' gopherfs usable.
| Similar treatment [has been
| applied](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00055.html) to
| Jérémie Koenig's new [[procfs|hurd/translator/procfs/jkoenig]] implementation;
| this one is now [used in Debian
| Jérémie found some [problems with signal
| delivery](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00006.html) --
| signals apparently are not delivered as expected.  Roland McGrath, this *hairy
| code*'s original author, [provided some
| insight](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00008.html):
| > It's not that it's a bug, it's that the Hurd has never had POSIX-1996
| > multithreaded signal semantics.  The Hurd implementation predates those
| > specifications.
| He [continued to
| explain](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00010.html):
| > The Hurd signal semantics are well-defined
| > today.  They are not the POSIX-1996 semantics in the presence of multiple
| > threads per process.
| This explains for differences comparing to other recent Unixy systems, for
| example Linux.  Neal Walfield, our [[libpthread]]'s main author,
| [states](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00017.html) 
| he sees *no convincing reason to not adopt POSIX/Linux signal semantics and
| abandon Hurd signal semantics*.  Jérémie went on to [send a first
| patch](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00011.html).
| While already working in that area, Samuel Thibault applied some further fixes
| to our two threading libraries, and among others, he also sent a related glibc
| patch to [fix signal-catching
| functions](http://sourceware.org/ml/libc-alpha/2010-09/msg00015.html).  And
| then, there is still the project about [[converting the Hurd's libraries and
| servers to using libpthread instead of Mach's cthreads
| (libthreads)|community/gsoc/project_ideas/pthreads]]; likely such signalling
| system moderizations could be done [alongside of
| that](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00021.html).
| Manuel Menal [fixed a
| bug](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00061.html) that
| occurred when sending file descriptors with `SCM_RIGHTS` over `PF_LOCAL`
| sockets.  He also determined this bug to be the reason that the SSH daemon's
| privilege separation was not working on GNU/Hurd -- now [this is
| fixed](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/commit-hurd/2010-09/msg00036.html) 
| you can use the default of `UsePrivilegeSeparation yes`.
| Michael Banck has, based on user feedback, applied some changes to the
| [[!debpkg crosshurd]] package, and [uploaded a new
| version](http://lists.debian.org/debian-hurd/2010/09/msg00037.html).
| In other news, the [[hurd/running/Arch_Hurd]] guys rightfully concluded that
| now that they're having a package available for almighty GNU Emacs, [no 
| user-land packages need to be
| ported](http://blogs.archhurd.org/hayashi/2010/09/04/emacs-emacs/).  If only
| everyone was using Emacs...
| Last, and least, [there are
| rumors](http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-hurd/2010-09/msg00026.html) 
| our colleagues over at the Duke Nukem Forever department getting serious 
| We shall see.  :-)
| """]]


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