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Re: Hurd translators on BSD

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: Hurd translators on BSD
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 01:55:39 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.19 (2009-01-05)


On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 08:30:29PM +0300, Sergiu Ivanov wrote:

> I wonder whether it is reasonable to try FUSE to implement
> translators.

I mentioned this as one possibility in my original HELL blog post:


However, I was a bit sceptical about that from the beginning; and with
the greater understanding I have now, I'm pretty sure that implementing
translators on top of FUSE isn't realistic.

While offering a FUSE interface might be useful for interaction with
non-Hurd programs, the communication among the Hurdish components
requires a different interface I believe, that can directly map generic
Hurd RPCs and the distributed VFS concept.

> I've never been much into FUSE, but the Wikipedia article says that
> ``FUSE is particularly useful for writing virtual file systems'',
> which, AIUI, is precisely the matter of interest for most translators.
> (At least FUSE filesystems like GmailFS, WikipediaFS, archivemount
> sound a lot like actual translator names.)

What surprises me is that although FUSE has been around for a couple of
years now, and many many Hurd-style FUSE modules are available by now
for all kinds of things, the idea of such virtual filesystems still
doesn't seem to have arrived in most people's minds...

At a PostgreSQL presentation I saw earlier this year, one of the things
shown was a FUSE module giving access to the database objects. For me as
a Hurd developer this was the most normal thing in the world; but the
rest of the audience was completely amazed -- it seems the idea that
filesystems can be used like that never appeared to them before...

Well, at least it's no wonder we were never able to sell the idea of
virtual filesystems in the Hurd -- considering that apparently the
concept is still not sellable now, although it's widely available in
Linux, including countless useful examples... :-(


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