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Some Hurdy pointers needed.

From: Michael Han
Subject: Some Hurdy pointers needed.
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 11:19:43 -0600

It looks like Debian/Hurd team is working actively to port Linux-like
OS to Mach, but I was just wondering if there's a good documentation
with a list of programs that are fully utilizing the new features of
microkernel. It looks like there are clearer advantages in the area of
security, encapsulation, portability and flexibility through use of
ports/translators. But I'm now wondering the following:

1. Is there anything that is closer to the user-level that would
clearly separate microkernel based OS (i.e. Hurd) from monolithic ones
(i.e. Linux)? From user p.o.v., it's rather hard to come up with clear
advantages of switching to it at this point--that is putting aside the
fact that it's still under development stage. If translators are fully
exploited (i.e. use of XSLT, implementation of DocBook standards,
etc.) that may be a different story. And I may be talking over my head
if I'm overestimating the scope of translators.

2. Intuitively, one can tell that having an extra layer below an OS
creates an overhead to the performance. (I know last sentence may
charge some people with emotions, but I'm only speaking generically
with the general theoretical difference between monolithic kernel and
microkernel in mind.) Is there a work under way to create
microkernel-based processor at the hardware level? Or has the
processors evolved in such way it already gives monolithic ones the
type of performance advantage that microkernel may seem to enjoy?

4. Continuing from my question #1, is there any active development
under way to implement XSLT-type of programs as translators?

Good day,

The loneliest person on earth is the person
who doesn't acknowledge that he's made out of clay.
  - Sang-eon Shin

Michael (

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