Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
Linux is a great Kernel, but Hurd has some very interesting and useful features (foremost the translators) which make handling things hard to do with Linux _very_ easy.
It has taken so long to get a working system, because the Hurd-developers are focusing on constructing a well-designed system, and not focusing on rapid development. Even though the Linux kernel may work good, it is in many ways a fragmented system mainly due to the fact it has undergone heavy development in the last 20 years, which is not easy to keep together well.
Also the mean number of developers working on the Hurd each year is about 6 - in their free time. That 6 people can make the kernel work quite well says something about the design and the strength of free software. Keep in mind that Linux has about 700 paid developers (employed by various companies).