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authorThomas Schwinge <>2013-04-13 10:36:54 +0200
committerThomas Schwinge <>2013-04-13 11:11:01 +0200
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tree45822eb14eb11bdf7e96f0b8f3c5c7f0b9f81b88 /faq/how_many_developers.mdwn
parentd8ba0864d2cc74397960060b79a8c9154bb16d34 (diff)
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+[[!meta copyright="Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2013 Free Software Foundation,
+[[!meta license="""[[!toggle id="license" text="GFDL 1.2+"]][[!toggleable
+id="license" text="Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this
+document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
+any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant
+Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license
+is included in the section entitled [[GNU Free Documentation
+[[!tag faq/general faq/_important]]
+[[!meta title="How many developers are working on the GNU Hurd, and why so
+# How Many Developers?
+One handful works on the core of the system in their free time, and another
+handful helps with [[Debian GNU/Hurd|hurd/running/debian]] and
+[[hurd/running/Arch_Hurd]] packaging. Also, an additional handful of former
+developers are still available for answering technical questions, but are not
+participating in the current development anymore.
+In the past (that is, a lot of years ago), the FSF did pay a few developers for
+working full time on the GNU Hurd. But that was for a limited amount of time
+only, and evidently, it was too little for getting the system into a
+competitive state. Nowadays, it's only unpaid (apart from some
+[[bounties|tag/bounty]]) and free-time volunteers' work.
+In contrast to the Linux kernel, there is no industry involvement in
+development. For one, this is a good thing: independency; no conflicts of
+interests. For another, it is also a bad thing: no dedicated full-time
+manpower -- which matters a lot.
+# Why So Few?
+We can only speculate. One major problem might be that the [[architectural
+benefits|advantages]] are generally perceived as very abstract, with little
+practical benefit. We currently don't have many tools that are actually making
+use of all the possibilities.
+Another reason is that it's been taking too long. Today, most people don't
+believe it will ever be ready for production use, and thus would consider
+involvement a waste of time. This latter point is invalid, of course, as
+learning can never be a waste of time. The same holds for the [[challenges]]
+raised by the GNU Hurd -- we can only learn and improve upon working on them.
+For likely the same reasons there is no industry interest in the GNU Hurd: its
+advantages are too abstract and incomplete for being of interest there.
+As for the scientific sector, the GNU Hurd projects was rather about *using* a
+[[microkernel]] intead of doing research on them, for example. But, there have
+been some projects and theses done, and some scientific papers published on GNU
+Hurd topics, and we're generally very interested in further such projects.
+# Attracting New Faces
+We're an open project: any interested party (*you*!) are very welcome to start
+[[contributing]]. Mentoring is possible, too, to help you get started.
+Likewise, for reaching out to new developers, we're participating in [[Google's
+Summer of Code program|community/gsoc]].