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Re: Improving Hurd

From: Jan Atle Ramsli
Subject: Re: Improving Hurd
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 19:46:10 +0200

"Alfred M. Szmidt" wrote:
> * Jan Atle Ramsli writes:
> > I think you may find that this will improve with the change from
> > Mach to L4.  But imagine if the first year had been used to analyze
> > and specify it.
> Why? The Hurd is not Mach, or L4, it is just a bunch of translators and is
> quite independent of Mach. Yes, we do use drivers and such from it, but I
> don't see why it would change anything if we change to L4.  Sure, we might
> get some speed, but until I see some numbers that the Hurd runs faster
> on L4 I won't believe it. :)

Well, now you are at center of the what I think is the problem.
Who says either of Mach or L4 is even suitable for this purpose?
There was a possibility of a total 'Faridization' of the whole thing 
(sorry, Farid, 
        (you can imagine how many dinner parties I get invited to) 
  I don't even know if you remember it, 
 but we did talk about implementing a kernel with a minimal API)
and it was concluded that nobody would agree to it.

> The Hurd is already superior. I haven't seen any questions lately about
> why something was designed the way it was lately..
No, I've been busy :-)

> And Neal is correct that it is a non-trivial thing, I believe that Roland
> or Thomas are working on this right now.  If this had been a trivial fix
> it would have been fixed a long time ago.
To me the word 'trivial' covers more than a 'fix', it includes
implementing a driver, but
_only_ if the device is well documented.
One of my very first programming tasks was building a driver for a
graphics device, in 1986!

> Why should we throw away every line of code because _one_ translator doesn't
> work according to silly 1GB limit?  All other parts of the Hurd are quite
> robust, and documented, if you read the code. 
I will unpack & read.

> that right now, and the only place to point to is the source code.  Would
> you like to work on this?
I will u&r.

> Personally, I couldn't care if we dethrone "the Evil reign", push Linux and
> Solaris back or whatever.  The goal is and was to bring the missing piece
> to the GNU project.  And I think that we have done a great job.
After u&r-ing, I may or may not come back to you on that.
> PS,
> I hope that I didn't sound to flame-ish. =)
That is really not so important. Not now. What is imprtant now, is what
is being said, not so much how it is said.
Had I not let my evil tounge get the better of me, I would not have been
incited to .. well, u&r.
Right now, the Hurd is finally starting to move away from the
water-hole, I don't hear the thunder of 1.84467e+19 hoofs yet, but I
hear whips cracking.

I will unpack and read!


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