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Re: Hurd-related research help requested

From: James Morrison
Subject: Re: Hurd-related research help requested
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 16:09:22 -0800 (PST)

--- Alexander Ward KULUNGOWSKI <> wrote:
> Hurd experts,
> This is a long shot, but nothing ventured...
> I'm a graduate student at UCSD and for my systems class I've been charged
> with the formidable task of coming up with an OS-related research topic
> for a paper due in mid-March.  The topic I came up with is GNU's Mach/Hurd
> system.  I've managed to get it installed on a variety of Intel machines,
> but I'm not really sure where to go from there.  Rather than provide a
> general overview, the professor wants us to focus on and test a specific
> aspect of the system, which explains my earlier use of the word
> "formidable": while I'm very interested in systems programming, I've had a
> negligible amount of experience with it.  Is there anything in Mach/Hurd
> amenable to a complete newbie?

 Wolfgang has written some nice documentation for a new Hurd programmer.
You could start with the HHG[1] or the auth server[2].

>  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.

 The Hurd is just a bunch of translators, so there isn't really any
research there.

>  Is there anything that I can do with the interface between
> Mach and Hurd?  What about the efforts to port Hurd to L4?  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.  I'm willing to put in a great deal of
> effort and money to make this project a success, but I'm seriously
> lacking direction.

 What you could do is try _fixing_ an application so that it uses a hurdish
feature and then compare whether the _fixed_ application is faster/more
secure/more maintainable than just using standard posix interfaces.
 Another cool idea would be to start on a test suite.  This one is probably
harder to write a paper about, but would show off the Hurd quite well in that
the system could actually be tested without rebooting.

 Now that I mention this I want to do it myself, except I don't have the
time right now.

> Thanks,
> Alex


James Morrison
   University of Waterloo
   Computer Science - Digital Hardware
   2B co-op

Anyone referring to this as 'Open Source' shall be eaten by a GNU

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