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Re: [PATCH v3 4/6] hurd: Add expected abilist files for x86_64

From: Sergey Bugaev
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3 4/6] hurd: Add expected abilist files for x86_64
Date: Tue, 2 May 2023 22:58:24 +0300

On Tue, May 2, 2023 at 10:06 PM Samuel Thibault <samuel.thibault@gnu.org> wrote:
> Sergey Bugaev, le mar. 02 mai 2023 21:59:40 +0300, a ecrit:
> > I don't see how network/disk/USB are relevant
> What I mean is that we don't have much workforce. If we keep
> reimplementing things that already work fine enough, we'll not be making
> useful progress.

That's true; but I might offer a different perspective here. In
SerenityOS, we have this principle (quoting from FAQ):

> # Will SerenityOS support `$THING`?
> Maybe. Maybe not. There is no plan.
> # When will you implement `$THING`?
> Maybe someday. Maybe never. If you want to see something happen, you can do 
> it yourself!

There's no plan; everyone just hacks on whatever they feel like! The
end result is not that important, what's important is that we all have

Same here: I haven't seen any roadmap for what the Hurd must achieve.
Today I might feel like hacking on x86_64, and hey, we got somewhere,
didn't we? Tomorrow (well not literally tomorrow) I may go back to
9pfs, or finally finish the epoll server rewrite and ensure that
Wayland still works. Is that useful progress? Maybe, but what matters
is that I have fun while doing it.

As you must be aware by now, I... know very little about systems
development, actually. (In the words of Socrates: "I know that I know
nothing"). I know nothing about hardware. I can't write drivers. I
barely know what an IRQ is! So you can't really expect me to work on
writing USB drivers, if that's what you mean.

Yes, I can learn. Look at me, who could have thought, a few years ago,
that I would be contributing to the Hurd -- and now to glibc! But I
have tried approaching driver development several times now and it
never went anywhere. (On the other hand, it also took me three
attempts to get into Rust, before it became my favorite language; so
maybe there is still some hope for me and drivers.)

The point being, if you consider USB drivers a priority -- I can't
really help with that, someone else will have to work on it. And among
the things I *can* hack on, redoing bootstrap sounds rather
interesting and challenging. It's not the most interesting thing right
now though, which is why I haven't started really doing it yet.

On another note: maybe it would be beneficial to get more people
interested / involved in the Hurd? Again, look at how Serenity has
grown from someone's personal project (just a few years ago) to the
large community that it is now. We have written a whole Unix desktop
system, from absolute scratch -- not only the Kernel, but our own
LibC, Lib everything else, all the command line utils, our own little
Valgrind (UserspaceEmulator), our own IPC system, our own display
server, our own GUI toolkit, our own set of apps, our own Browser with
our own browser engine, our own media player... I could go on and on.
We could be making this same kind of progress on the Hurd side!

There's not enough publicity that the Hurd still exists, is developed,
and actually works quite well. People think that it is an abandoned,
failed project.

Even just starting a video blogging channel showing off the Hurd would
go a long way towards getting others more interested. (Maybe this is
something Joshua would be interested in doing?) I was thinking I could
live-stream some of my own hacking, seeing how this format is popular,
and how some people have expressed interest; but I cannot do that
currently for various reasons.


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