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Re: Hurd advocacy?

[Mark Wilkinson]
> Anyway, back to topic.  Profile raising is important, the corporate
> world is unlikely to be interested until they have something they
> can use, that presents a clear advantage over whatever they're using
> now.  My line of attack would be the lecturers on undergraduate
> Systems Design/Software Engineering courses at Universities
> worldwide.  I regret that my friends don't generally come from such
> exalted circles, but I can try and find out who talk to at the
> Universities in my local area.  I confess that I don't currently
> feel technically competent to give an accurate account of the
> Hurd/L4 to an audience, so it would be great if a Hurd 'marketing'
> site could be formed that talked about:

The corporate world is not the right target for marketing right now.
OTOH, CS courses and interested hackers (and people who are willing
to learn from scratch by discovering a faszinating new architecture)
are certainly the people we want to reach.

IMHO, the best way to do this is by writing documentation, papers,
presentations etc... They don't all need to be technical, but
technical docs are also very important.

It's great that you want to contribute. Here are some ideas about
what should go in the "marketing" web pages:

1. General intro about OS design (monolithic vs. kernelized)
   and why kernelized systems are so interesting.
   No long ramblings, just itemized facts [as if you were
   preparing slides for a presentation].
2. The Hurd is a working OS that you can download and
   install on your box.
   Where to download, how to install (install guide), how
   to use?
3. A newbie's users' guide to the Hurd, especially showing
   what's different from Unix (translators, etc, etc,...)
4. Some reports written by newbies about their experiences
   with the Hurd (both good and bad).
5. Links to related resources.

I'd also like to see nice graphics showing the architecture
of the Hurd (you know: mach at the bottom, glibc, and all
the servers that are sitting in the middle, communicating
with each other, then user apps on top...), alongside the
Hurd's logo. Heck, we could even print some T-shirts, Cups
and Caps with our logo to get more exposure, but that is
a different matter. A nice: "Powered by GNU/Hurd" image
would be a good idea as well :-)

For potential developers, a guide to reading the Hurd sources
would be absolutely great: Where do you start? Which libraries
are there, how can I write a simple hello-world translator?
How do I interface to Mach and other Hurd servers? Future
directions (like Hurd/L4).

To sum up: We need more technical documentation, newbie guides,
developer's guides and intros, etc... Marketing is always nice,
but since we need to attract developers, let's provide them
with a high-quality structured set of docs which they can
build upon. This documentation can _then_ be used to promote
the Hurd further. But we've got to do our homework first :)

Farid Hajji. http://www.farid-hajji.net/address.html

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