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Re: "Linux" or "GNU/Linux"?

  • Subject: Re: "Linux" or "GNU/Linux"?
  • From: "Mathew P." <Mathew@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 08 May 2006 10:07:37 GMT
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: March of the Penguins
  • References: <3719805.RQtl3xrL7A@schestowitz.com> <wKw7g.4102$k%2.877@trnddc03> <1147055369.649233.11030@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1107353
Hash: SHA1

On 2006-05-08, George Ellison (undercover) spake thusly:
> Mathew P. wrote:


>> "But the problem is that much of what people have come to associate with "Linux"
>> is in reality rather "GNU" or third-party associations. All this needs maintenance,
>> work, funds, and a lot of work in that area is done, organized and paid for by the
>> FSF. It's not easy for the FSF to raise funds for that kind of work, since public
>> perception is that they are just leeches on Linux fame and have never been able to
>> come up with a system of their own even though they are, in fact, responsible for
>> keeping much of the services running that people call "Linux."
>> Not to sound too sour-grapeish, but what wasn't mentioned is the continual upkeep
>> and upgrades of lowlevel OS services including, but not limited to, the Kernel.
>> As far as I have been able to tell, Linus has never been too attention seeking
>> about this.
> He didn't even name the system in question; one of his hosters did. He
> has made known his dislike of the term "GNU/Linux," considering that
> the FSF insists on the name, but hasn't endorsed or promoted a free
> software Linux-based system since RMS shitcanned the Debian team.

I didn't know about this. Could you tell me more about the Debian

>> OTOH, The Linux community, and businesses that benefit from Linux, Owe a great
>> deal to Mr. Stallman and the FSF. He has basically been the driving force behind
>> Linux becoming as utilitarian and flexible as it is today via the many
>> interfaces, system loaders, and unix work-alike utilities that make up Linux
>> today.
> A little overboard, but mostly correct. RMS and buddies did most of the
> legwork that eventually led to Linux, but if the Linux kernel is just
> an insignificant collection of files that just happen to complete the
> GNU system, then what does that say about the FSF's own efforts to
> create a kernel. If it's so trivial as RMS implies, it should be out
> already, right?

Ok, here's what I know about that; RMS's own work on an operating system
was occuring about the same time as Linus was writing Linux based on
the functionality of Minix. RMS's work didn't lead to Linux, it developed
in paralell. The two works came together naturally, as RMS didn't have a
kernel, and Linus's kernel didn't have a full, upper level interface. Feel
free to correct me where my knowledge is incomplete.

I don't know what RMS thinks of the Kernel and associated low level OS
framework (although it's not hard to guess), I personally would never
think of characterizing it as being in any way trivial or secondary to
the FSF's contributions.

>> But I must call a spade a spade. I think he is being petty and
>> counterproductive in his continued persuit of recognition. If he believes in
>> his values and reasons for starting and maintaining the FSF as much as he
>> maintains, then IMHO, it would be a priority for him to focus his attentions
>> on the increased public awareness of the goals and philosophy of FOSS, rather
>> than seeking kudos for himself and his organization. It is especially
>> destructive to try and set the terms of interviews with journalists. This
>> shows an amazing lack of understanding of the power of the press, or amazing
>> arrogance, take your pick.
> RMS really doesn't care about the 'goals or philosophy of FOSS;' he
> just wants his own hands clean. If he had it his way, the users of free
> software would be in the tens of thousands, and all of their systems
> would be ideologically simon-pure.

Perhaps. I don't know, I hate speculation, but I guess you have to
if you are going to have opinions ;-)

> As far as the interviews, they're all sounding the same. Why it's
> "GNU/Linux", why Tivo sucks, why ATI and nVidia suck, why DRM sucks (is
> it the Free Software Foundation or the Free Music Foundation?)

DRM does suck ;-)

>, why
> GPLv3 is going to rule the world when the flagship GPL product plans to
> avoid it like the plague, so on and so forth. The FSF party-liners put
> them forth like the event of the century, but the interviewers just
> seem to be going through the motions in exchange for a few more quotes
> to placate the Kool-Aid drinkers.


>> I have often thought that it would have been interesting and valuable to have
>> seen Hurd become a reality. It could have been yet another alternative OS.
>> OTOH, it could have rewritten history and Linux might never have been.
>> Interesting to ponder ......
> Somehow, I doubt it.  IMHO, the only way Hurd could have stayed clear
> of its current perpetual vaporware state is if RMS had gone with his
> original idea of using the 4.4-lite BSD kernel. Going with Mach cost
> him precious time with licensing issues and left his team open for the
> next shiny object to come along (ie L4). Even if he had, though, he
> would have been sucked into the USL lawsuit and been unable to release
> anything until the settlement, at which time Linux was already driving
> the BSD's into the interesting minority status. In addition, RMS has a
> bad track record as a project manager, with numerous forks, defections,
> and walkouts. Linux may have succeeded anyways simply because people
> wanted to work with Linus.
> Not to dis RMS or anything, but I am getting fucking sick of the
> personality cult.

I hear you. I get a bit tired of it myself, even though I respect
the bearded one. He really does need to lose the zztop.



Version: GnuPG v1.2.7 (GNU/Linux)


"Always do the right thing: It will delight
some and astound the rest" - Mark Twain

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