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Re: Hurd-related research help requested

From: Niels Möller
Subject: Re: Hurd-related research help requested
Date: 12 Feb 2003 14:09:58 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

Alexander Ward KULUNGOWSKI <> writes:

> The Hurd's translators seem like an interesting topic, but I'm at a
> loss as to how to make a research paper out of them.

Well, I don't really know what's expected of a "research paper", but
some aspects one could focus on

 * Translator mechanism in general, and how it allows users to extend
   the system.

 * Particular translators, like shadow-fs. As I understand it, it's
   interactino with the rest of the system is not entirely trivial,
   and it might be a good example for really understanding translators
   and the dir_lookup mechanism.

 * Networked filesystems. The only one that's implemented right now is
   NFS, I'm afraid. Hmm, there was some talk a while back about an
   sftp translator. If you have time for coding, implementing a
   network server and client using the sftp protocol could be
   illustrating. (The sftp protocol itself is quite small and clean.
   You can run it over a plain tcp connection or an ssh tunnel, which
   means that the code implementing sftp doesn't need to know anything
   about encryption stuff).

 * Security, the auth protocol, and the mechanisms that allow
   untrusted users to run their own file system servers.

> Is there anything that I can do with the interface between
> Mach and Hurd?

My guess is no, it doesn't seem terribly interesting.

> What about the efforts to port Hurd to L4?

That's more fuzzy, or perhaps I should say closer to research. Finding
the right questions to ask may well be harder than actually answering
them ;-)

> I've got a network of machines I can use to run experiments and
> about a month's worth of time left to produce something.

You could look into the pfinet redesign. It was discussed a while
back, probably on the bug-hurd list. I don't think there's any code
written. This is perhaps not the right project for a "complete
newbie"; you'll definitely not be a newbie anymore if you manage that


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