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Re: Status of project?

From: B. Douglas Hilton
Subject: Re: Status of project?
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 01:12:44 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8 (Windows/20040913)

Dawid Gajownik wrote:

Dnia 01/31/2005 08:21 PM, Użytkownik B. Douglas Hilton napisał:

I set up that page quite a while ago, and you guys can edit it to keep it up to date. Its a Wiki page so just make an account on Gnufans and you can edit it whenever you feel like it.

I'll try to update it -- just give me two weeks more. Right now I have
to pass my exams :/

Actually, that's the only way I can help Hurd (except testing), because
I'm only a normal user :)

Exams first, of course. We want to minimize karma-losses, and you can
help us better as a graduate rather than a flunkie :-)

Seriously though, I'm in a similar situation. I'm a decent programmer, and
I have some grasp of assembler, computer architecture, and low-level
computer basics, but honestly, most of the current L4-Hurd development
is way over my head. My degree is in mechanical engineering, not computer
science, so while I can follow recipes to compile and run things, I am more
of a hobbyist than a professional here.

I have been following Hurd development for more than a few years, though,
and I continue be interested in L4-Hurd from an engineering standpoint.
As an engineer, I desire to have a "kernel in my pocket" as it were, such that I could concievably hack in support to control industrial equipment and write
a simplified userland tailored to the process. The Linux kernel would appear
a good choice for this, and it probably is the best choice right now, but its
sheer bulk of code is highly unwieldy. Microkernel seems to imply small, and
hopefully understandable source code. The divide and conquor approach of
microkernels is appealing because while the overall codebase may be in fact
much larger, each programmatic entity is much smaller and more atomic, thus
easier to understand in its entirety for the layman (such as myself).

The GPL license is incredibly relevent to industrial projects, because if the modified software is never intended to be re-published "for profit" or otherwise,
then one is pretty much free to do what one wants with it. You can apply the
most hideous of hacks, install it on your industrial equipment, sit back, and watch the works bang out widgets. The kernel level understanding allows you to write simple
device drivers for the equipment, and the GNU tools allow you to run the
userland however you want on whaterver hardware you want to use. This is the
ultimate: fast (to implement), cheap (non-proprietary), and good (does what you want).

I'm probably due to pitch in again some more myself on this project. I switched
my workstation over to Gentoo a while back so thats my new development
platform, although I just installed Debian on an old P-100 for the kids last week,
and I will probably run Debian on my Netwinder forever more. My wife has
Gentoo now on her workstation also, although it turns out that Debian would have been a better choice (its a PII-333). My Athlon-XP runs Gentoo like a champion, and it has a wonderful toolchain. I'm sure I will figure out how to build L4-Hurd
on Gentoo easily enough the next time I try it.

Speaking of which... that sounds like a great idea. I admit, I'm bored. I have no exams coming up. I haven't been active here for a while. All you students hit those
books, and meanwhile I'll recompile it all and update the Wiki if I can.

So, how much longer before Python will build on L4-Hurd?    :-)

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