In addition to many other interesting events, this year's FOSDEM featured a GNU Hurd mini-symposium. On Saturday afternoon, a series of talks (most notably by Neal Walfield [interview] (audio) and Marcus Brinkmann (audio)) were delivered in the Hurd developers' room. During the weekend, more than a dozen Hurd hackers met to discuss further development, work on specific issues, and just have a good time together. OGG/Vorbis audio recordings are available for 5 of the 7 talks, along with their corresponding slides. In his summary, Neal writes: "the weekend was filled with rich exchange which I think has helped bring the community closer together and foster new ideas".
People attending included Marcus Brinkmann, Neal Walfield, Marco Gerards, Ognyan Kulev, Peter De Schrijver, Jeroen Dekkers, Bas Wijnen, Guillem Jover, Michael Banck, Barry deFreese, Robert Millan, Sören Schulze, Olaf Buddenhagen, Gaël Le Mignot, Manuel Menal, Marc Dequenes and Arnaud Fontaine. Most of the people stayed at a big appartment organized (as was the whole event) by Neal and Barry near the university where FOSDEM takes place. Most arrived Thursday or Friday for the pre-conference hacking party lasting from Thursday afternoon until 7am Saturday morning. Although a few people had already met each other in real life, this was probably the biggest gathering of Hurd hackers since Libre Software Meeting 2002.
Saturday afternoon five talks took place in the Hurd developers' room. Ognyan kicked off the devroom with his talk (slides) about extending ext2fs beyond the legendary 2 GB limit [story]. He explained the limitations of the old approach and in which way he has modified ext2fs. He also mentioned his work on ext3fs.
Neal then gave a charismatic and enthusiastic presentation (slides) about the problems of Hurd/Mach, namely resource management and accounting, and how Hurd/L4 is going to address them. He spoke about how applications should be given the possibility to page themselves [story] and how it is impossible for the kernel to guess the right eviction scheme.
Marcus was next, he talked (slides) about inter-process communication (IPC) in the Hurd/L4 multi-server context, what different kinds of IPC there will be and what security implications have been considered for the interaction between untrusted servers. He also compared Mach's RPC (overly featureful, but slow) to L4's (very basic, but extremely fast) and had some nice pictures to get his points across.
Peter de Schrijver continued by talking (slides) about the proposed device driver framework for Hurd/L4. He explained the differences between different bridges like PCI or USB, how the bridge drivers would interact with the device drivers and what the interrupt handler would look like.
Marco's talk was the last of the day and presented (slides) GRUB2, the next generation all-purpose boot loader. They seem to have come a long way and it looks like GRUB2 will be easy to hack on, he cited a couple of code snippets and interfaces to prove this.
On Saturday evening, a group dinner together with members of the french HurdFr organization took place in a belgian restaurant, sponsored (like the rest of the meals) by an anonymous donor. Sunday morning, two more Hurd-related
talks were presented in the Debian Developers' room, I, Michael Banck, talked about Debian GNU/Hurd (slides) and Guillem Jover talked about porting applications to non-Linux architectures and writing portable code.
All in all, the Hurd gathering at FOSDEM was a big success and strengthened the social ties and friendships between the present Hurd hackers, as well as yielding some important productivity in development like the beginning of SysV shared memory written by Marcus Brinkmann.
From: Neal H. Walfield Subject: FOSDEM: Hurd Developers' Mini-Symposium Roundup Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2005 15:21:44 +0000 Hello, For those of you who were unable to make it to FOSDEM last week, you missed a great time. Not only did we have seven presentation about people's work pertaining to the Hurd, but the weekend was filled with rich exchange which I think has helped bring the community closer together and foster new ideas. Although it is difficult to relate the latter, you can see the slides and hear (!) most of the presentations at http://people.debian.org/~neal/FOSDEM-2005/ The presentations available are: - Supporting Larger ext2 File Systems in the Hurd Ognyan Kulev - Hurd on L4: Towards Extensibility Neal H. Walfield - Interactions in a Multiserver Operating System: The Importance of a good RPC Framework Marcus Brinkmann - L4/Hurd driver model Peter 'p2' De Schrijver - GRUB 2 Marco Gerards - Debian GNU/Hurd Michael Banck Thanks, Neal