Re: Bug#139945: ITP: prokyon3 -- a multithreaded MP3 manager and tag editor for Linux.
On Tue, 2002-03-26 at 15:43, Michael Banck wrote:
> I really like the hurd and admire the old time Debian Developers working
> on it, but I think that pointing out stuff like this on -devel every
> time is just annoying people. In this case, Jereon apparently only
> annoyed me, but he might eventually annoy those blokes who will have to
> commit the changes to the Debian infrastructure in order for the hurd
> port to be released.
No, you're not the only one annoyed by it.
> I'm cool with Marcus' technical comments either pointing out the hurd's
> superiority or warning about linuxisms, but I read Jeroens' post as a
> superflous attempt to steamline the political correctness and formal
> expressions towards the hurd. In that case, a minor bugreport against
> the uploaded package would be more effective than posting to -devel.
I've seen far too many of those cheerleading type of posts about the
Hurd, both here and on a couple of websites. They are even more
annoying than the slashdot Linux cheerleaders; at least the official
website for the Hurd is considerably more realistic about what the Hurd
is and is not.
I know why the Hurd is cool; I've read through the website, glanced
through the design documents, read a bunch of the technical comments
posted here, and it looks good. The Hurd is a cutting edge research
That's the theory.
In practice, RMS recently made some public pronouncement about the Hurd
approaching a 1.0, and "likely to be available at the end of this year";
(See http://www.idg.net/ic_829012_4394_1-3921.html ). I think he's on
crack. Not only that, but the poor reporter said something about
"production version" - that is clearly a mistake, because the Hurd is
not intended to be the functional equivalent of MS-DOS 2.0 or
I think it is clear that one major job (perhaps *the* major job) of an
operating system kernel is to manage access to hardware resources; this
is precisely why MS-DOS is so bad, because it left much of that
management up to end-user applications. The Hurd is not yet ready to
fulfill this job (and if, in the past two months, it magically has,
someone needs to get up off their butt and fix the hardware
compatibility list on the web). My principal objection to calling
anything related to the Hurd "production ready" is that THERE IS NO
SUPPORT FOR BACKUP HARDWARE OF ANY KIND. WTF? No tape, no CD or DVD
burners, no USB, no Firewire; the best we get is "maybe Zip or Jaz" -
and neither of those is particularly reliable or capacious. However, the
"hardware compatibility" list for the Hurd right now is as much a list
of excuses as anything else, and that's not a good sign for something
that's supposed to be "approaching 1.0".
Maybe it's just me, but backup goes right up there, along with food and
shelter. Lack of sound card drivers is one thing; lack of
infrastructure to put sound card drivers into is another (my personal
pet peeve, since I like my music). Lack of support for my digital
camera is annoying, but not fatal. But lack of support for backup
devices is just plain ridiculous, because that means that you need
another system to do backups, whether another OS on the same machine or
whether backed up over a network to another machine running an OS that
does support backup devices (well, provided that you have the kind of
network that the Hurd supports).
The Hurd faces an uphill battle, in that there is already a fairly good
kernel available under the GPL, and it is improving at a very rapid
rate. The Hurd will have to be better than what I have now in order to
persuade me to switch. OS/2 offered a substantial improvement over
Windows - it didn't crash and offered superior multitasking. Linux
offered a substantial improvement over OS/2 - it also doesn't crash,
also offers robust multitasking, it is Free, it has LaTeX installed
(either as an easy add-on, or by default), allows remote use and
interoperation with other UN*X like systems (which was more important
when I had a 486 and an account on an Alpha) and it supports multiple
processors. Those are just the reasons I switched to Linux; since I've
started using Linux, I now have additional reasons, such as MP3 audio, a
USB digital camera and CD burning. The bar has been raised, and it
isn't going back down.
It seems to me that making comments about the majority of Debian users
just abandoning working systems in favor of something that has yet to
see the light of day is both premature and immature, at best.
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