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Re: Improving Hurd

From: Jan Atle Ramsli
Subject: Re: Improving Hurd
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 18:46:17 +0200

Ognyan Kulev wrote:
> Marcin Wyszomierski wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 20, 2002 at 01:48:10PM +0200, Jan Atle Ramsli wrote:
> >> The Hurd v1.0 BETA (C) 1989-2009
> >    The Hurd v1.0 unstable (C) 1989-2005
> >    The Hurd v1.9 testing  (C) 1989-2021
> >    The Hurd v2.0 stable   (C) 1989-2053
> I wonder why so many people talk that Hurd will not be able to do
> anything sensible soon instead of improving it.

I think you may find that this will improve with the change from Mach to
But imagine if the first year had been used to analyze and specify it.

I don't think anyone really doubts that the Hurd sooner (?) or later
(??) will produce superior functionality.
It is just such a shame to see so many be put off by the lack of
justification behind design decisions.

That, and an attitude that someone who hasn't plowed through the entire
source tree isn't worth talking too, creates a circle that scares off
potential recruits.

I have read this list for several years now, the first two weeks I tried
to find the way through the code, and asked a question about a flag or
variable that I couldn't find any reference to.

It seems it was something that was part of the system, but nobody dared
touch it or try it, for fear of what might happen.

What I wanted to do, was remove this 1Gb limit, that would be a simple
thing to do if I would know which tools were available to me, what I
could do in the strategy section, and what I could no in the interrupt

I spoke to Neal about it, and he is one of the few who is really
knowledgeable about the Hurd.
He told me I would not be able to do it: 'It is non-trivial'.

So, after 10 years, the system is still being built.
If it was a car, it would start to rust at the back where the tailfins
are while you were replacing the V8 with a more powerful and economic
If it were a house, it would be in need of repair in the areas that
didn't have a roof yet.

If today it was decided to throw away every line of code, delete it all
and use the gained experience to specify a new Hurd, write down
everything, and when finished, spend 6 months building a specification
documents, oulining the system as a whole, what modules it consisted of,
what the pupose of each module was to be, and specify each modules'
functionality as an ADT, the Hurd would probably be in beta one year
after the ducument was published.
The next year if would probably push Linux back, then Solaris, and who
knows, we might all conquer the Kingdom of Redmond, dethrone the Evil
reign and see the dawn of a new Era.

The i386 is getting old, too.
Me? I'm having fun with 64 bits at 600GBP ...

Wasn't I on about this a couple of years back, too?


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