Sometimes, things just happen spontaneously and develop their own dynamics. About a week ago, Roland McGrath promptly committed a contributed fix for two trivial typos in ext2fs to the Hurd CVS, after months of inactivity on GNU Hurd. Some days later, some newbie asked how to compile GNUMach-1.3 on #hurd. It turned out that nobody had yet tried to compile it with gcc-3.3. Alfred M. Szmidt fixed the compile errors and volunteered to maintain the GNUMach-1.x branch, which got abandoned by its maintainers in favor of GNUMach-2.0 (which has stability issues though, and does not get used much). Again, Roland promptly committed the fixes, this time even considering a possible GNUMach-1.4 release. From there, things took off, and Marco Gerards fixed a couple of long-standing and annoying bugs in GNUMach in the last couple of days.
In related news, Gürkan Sengün has made available a public Debian GNU/Hurd box. If you want to explore the Hurd a bit or port some Debian packages, mail him for an account.