Letter to Hurd Community

March 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sometime back I wrote my ideas on the lack of a modern systems programming language. This thought keeps on coming back to my mind and I never think I can be the guy who can write a programming language because I lack the knack for it, I am not intelligent or gifted with any skills from God. Whatever I have earned in my life is pure hard work and I keep on trying although I lack intelligence. This is a letter I wrote (actually posted this on bug-hurd mailing list) to Hurd community. It wil be interesting to see what they reply.

I am very much intersted in writing a microkernel for HurdNG. Anyway, I see Debian is set to release GNU/Hurd by this year end or early 2013 and this is still on “old baby” Mach. I think many must have recognized my name already (may be the as the guys who talks and talks but does nothing *practically*). I don’t do anything because I don’t want to use C or C++ to write microkernel. I have my reasons for this:

After 40 years we are still using a language that was designed on some ancient piece of equipment to take benefit of the instruction set of that hardware. We have machines which are 1000 times powerful than those equipments but we still use the same language, earlier we didn’t have any higher level language that competes with the efficiency of C but today we have choices. Hardware has grown and technically blasted beyond the levels of imagination but system programming languages have remained there. I always keep on searching for options. I came across 3 choices: ATS, BitC and decac.

  • ATS: ATS is a statically typed programming language that unifies implementation with formal specification. It is equipped with a highly expressive type system rooted in the framework Applied Type System, which gives the language its name. Performance comparable to C (but not equal) at language shootout.
  • decac (ak.a Deca): Deca is a language designed to provide the advanced features of sophisticated, high-level programming languages while still programming as close as possible to the bare metal. It brings in the functional, object-oriented, and generic programming paradigms without requiring a garbage collector or a threading system, so programmers really only pay in performance for the features they use. Project hosted at code.google.com , still in development.
  • BitC: Lanmguage written for Coyotos. Went through many changes, looked very promising to me till the idea of using Coyotos as microkernel for Hurd was dropped for some technical reasons. As of now development of BitC has stopped and soon Shapiro is gonna come out with the post-mortem report of why it is stopped.

I have these questions:

  1. What do you guys think of this ? agreement, disagreement, hate this crazy idea, ? or look at this guy named arnuld, he is completely insane, thinking of rewriting 20 years of work into some new language in next 2 years.
  2. Is there any other modern systems programming language out there that I missed ?
  3. Any other advice, ideas to make Hurd as general purpose usable OS ? (its not usable as of now and I don’t think it will comete with Windows/Linux/MacOSX even in 2013).

If I go crazy then I may even rewrite entired Hurd as HurdNG in new language.

NOT RELATED: I was surprised to see Intel Fortran was above gcc in performance everytime. I thought C is the fastest language on Earth: http://bit.ly/GHSFZO


Copyright © 2012 Arnuld Uttre, Village – Patti, P.O – Manakpur, Tehsil – Nangal, Distt. – Ropar, Punjab (INDIA)

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.


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