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Re: Reviewing Hurd-on-L4 (and considering its future?)

From: Rick C. Hodgin
Subject: Re: Reviewing Hurd-on-L4 (and considering its future?)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2018 08:21:24 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.8.0

I agree.  I think any project needs its own full and complete suite of software, from the lowest level, up through user apps.

Rick C. Hodgin

On 5/23/2018 5:53 PM, Arne Babenhauserheide wrote:
Betreff: Re: Reviewing Hurd-on-L4 (and considering its future?)

  Forwarding my two replies sent directly to Paul and RMS to the list.
When reading the reply by RMS, keep in mind that he is argumenting about 
utility for the goal of ridding the world of the requirement to run proprietary 
software - for any task.

While I see the Hurd as great progress towards improving the Free Software 
solutions by making it much easier to hack low-level components, this does not 
replace existing proprietary lock-in. So in this, judging from existing 
information without taking unproven assumptions, RMS is right, because we did 
not demonstrate yet that it is easier to develop drivers on the Hurd than on 

Widespread use of the Hurd might bring growth to low-level free software 
development similar to how LLVM pushed language development (to name a pain 
point) and how FUSE pushed filesystem development, but it also might not.

I personally think that the Hurd provides a much stronger foundation for a free 
software desktop than Linux. I already described that in detail on

     Some technical advantages of the Hurd

Best wishes,
Arne Babenhauserheide

-----[ Begin original email ]------------- Original Message --------
From: Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
Sent: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 06:21 PM
To: Rick C. Hodgin <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: Replacement for the HURD

     With either Linux or the HURD (as the HURD stands today) we cannot ever
     get there.  We cannot ever get to where we have a truly free operating
     system (kernel and up), even if we have the outward appearance and
     illusion of it.

I don't think that follows.  Both Linux and Hurd _are_ free kernels.
The problem is that we lack free drivers and firmware for many peripherals.

Replacing the free code of Linux with some other free code won't get
us the drivers or the firmware.  That requires writing drivers and firmware.

I simply don't see how replacing the free code of Linux with other free code
would make progress along that dimension.

     I realized at that time how easily I could write a competitor to
     Blender, or a 3D CAD system.  I even looked into it a little bit, but
     saw how many CAD programs there were out there and thought I could not
     write one sufficiently better than what's available to make it worth the
     amount of time it would require.

The existing free CAD programs have a license incompatibility with GPLv3,
so it would be very useful to write a replacement.  However, one of them
is trying to eliminate its license incompatibility, and that helping
that project do so would be very useful.

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