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Re: Anyone has read the FSF Usenix speech ?

On Mon, Jul 09, 2001 at 04:17:36PM +0200, Thierry Laronde wrote:
> Hello,
> After coming back from the Debian Conference --- where we heard Marcus about
> the HURD ---, I was surfing on the gnu website in order to see the news. And
> I have read the speech from somebody of the FSF thanking the USENIX for the
> award... and the paragraph about the kernels... Well...

You mean this one? From http://www.gnu.org/press/2001-06-28-USENIX.txt

 The GNU Project was started in 1984 by Richard M. Stallman, taking up the
 challenge of developing a UNIX-like operating system that is completely
 Free Software -- freely redistributable, and modifiable by all of its
 users.  Today, the GNU system is widely used as part of the GNU/Linux
 system.  GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating
 system with the kernel, Linux, written by Linus Torvalds in 1991.  Now
 that the core operating system is completed, the GNU Project continues to
 develop user-space software for GNU/Linux users.

> I have felt a bit puzzled about whether it was good to give the info or not.
> Altogether, it's better not to hide.
> I would like now to have the official position of the FSF.
> I still think that there is a place for an extended Unix child kernel. 

Of course there is.  Don't be disappointed.  The Hurd is there, and it will
rock on.  At the LSM in Bordeaux, I had the chance to talk with Bradley Kuhn
(the vice president of the FSF) and to show him where we are right now and
where we are going.  I received a great deal of support from him and many
other people.

I think the person who wrote the article meant that a complete and
functional free operating system is available right now, and that is
GNU/Linux.  This does not mean that the Hurd is not a GNU project anymore,
or not needed any longer.  Note how it is careful to differentiate between
"the GNU operating system and it's GNU/Linux variants" (at the end of the
article).  The paragraph above is not so clear.  You are probably taking
grief at "now that the core operating system is completed", which seems to
imply that Linux is a part of the GNU system, which it isn't.  But please
keep in mind that this is a press release, and there is only so and so much
you can include in a press release if you don't want to be confusing or
unclear for people from the press.  Maybe it was just something that slipped
through all reviews.

True, most people in GNU are focussing on GNU/Linux rather than the Hurd
right now.  This makes perfectly sense, as Linux receives a lot of attention
from everywhere.  It certainly will stay this way for the near future.
One reason why we don't get the attention we feel we deserve is certainly
that we don't do a good job at marketing the Hurd.  But then, we also need more
documentation and more people trained at the Hurd's design before inviting people
to try out the Hurd and write applications for it at a large scale.

In the meantime, let's do the right thing and bring the Hurd to the next
release.  It will be worth it!  And then we might even get our own press
release ;)


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

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