path: root/community/weblogs/antrik/hurd-mission-statement.mdwn
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authorArne Babenhauserheide <>2009-06-05 08:48:08 +0200
committerArne Babenhauserheide <>2009-06-05 08:48:08 +0200
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+For a while I have been thinking about the lack of a roadmap for the
+Hurd; but now I realized that we lack something even more fundamental: a
+simple mission statement -- i.e. saying where we want to go, rather
+than how we want to get there. I think many of the problems we have are
+directly or indirectly related to that.
+As we didn't have such a mission statement so far, the people currently
+involved have vastly different ideas about the mission, which of course
+makes it a bit hard to come up with a suitable one now. However, I
+managed to come up with something that I believe is generic enough so
+all contributors can subscribe to it:
+> *The mission of the Hurd project is: to create a general-purpose
+> kernel suitable for the GNU operating system, which is viable for
+> everyday use, and gives users and programs as much control over their
+> computing environment as possible.*
+"Suitable for GNU" in the first part implies a number of things. I
+explicitely mentioned "general-purpose", because this an important
+feature that sets the Hurd apart from many other microkernel projects,
+but isn't immediately obvious.
+I didn't mention that it must be entirely free software, as this should
+be obvious to anyone familiar with GNU.
+Another thing I did not mention, because it's too controversial: how
+much UNIX do we need? I think that being suitable for GNU requires a
+pretty high degree of UNIX compatibility, and also that the default
+environment looks to the user more or less like UNIX. However, some
+people claimed in the past that GNU could do without UNIX -- the wording
+used here doesn't totally preclude such views.
+The second part also leaves a lot of slack: I for my part still believe
+that a Mach-based Hurd can be viable for everyday use; but those who
+think that a microkernel change is required, should be happy with this
+wording as well.
+The third part tries to express the major idea behind the Hurd design in
+the most compact and generic way possible.
+What do you think? Is this a good mission statement? If so, it should go
+on the Hurd web front page.