Linked by the_randymon on Mon 7th Jan 2013 18:56 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The mostly-morubund Hurd project is well known for what it's not: the kernel at the heart of the GNU/Linux system. But there's a long and interesting story about what it could have been, too. From Linux User magazine: "The design of the Hurd was an attempt to embody the spirit and promise of the free software movement in code." Those are mighty ambitions, and this story is as much about competing visions as competing kernels. Says Thomas Bushnell: "My first choice was to take the BSD 4.4-Lite release and make a kernel. I knew the code, I knew how to do it. It is now perfectly obvious to me that this would have succeeded splendidly and the world would be a very different place today." This is a well-written and fascinating read.
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RE[2]: Comment by Sodki
by ssokolow on Tue 8th Jan 2013 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sodki"
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If the FOSS coders were at least a bit more competent into kernel development and not wasting their time forking for the 1000s time another port of a Windows software that Linux always lacked, it would ease things to evolve a bit. Just my two euro cents...


That's sort of like saying that, if all these fanfiction authors weren't so obsessed with their Twilight and Harry Potter shipping, maybe we'd have the next great American novel by now.

Kernel-mode development requires quite a few competencies over and above user-mode development even if they're done in the same language... not to mention, as a programmer myself, I can say that some developers just have no interest in low-level stuff.

Yes, I've written low-level stuff like a partial GIF parser to separate static and animated GIFs at high speed but I wouldn't care enough to write a whole application in C, let alone a kernel. If I couldn't use higher-level refcounted or garbage-collected languages like Vala and Python alongside ready-made libraries and frameworks like GTK+ and Django, I'd probably have never graduated from writing DOS batch files in Windows 9x and instead learned to do something like 3D modelling using a warez copy of 3DS Max.

Edited 2013-01-08 23:43 UTC

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