Linked by Michael L. Love on Mon 3rd Nov 2003 19:19 UTC
BSD and Darwin derivatives The GNU-Darwin Distribution is a free operating system and a popular source of free software for Mac OS X and Darwin-x86 users, but it is also a platform for digital activism. Founded in November of 2000, the Distribution has the stated goal of bringing software freedom to computer users of every stripe, and vigilantly defending digital liberties.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Re: GNU
by ThanatosNL on Mon 3rd Nov 2003 21:23 UTC

I always have found FSF/GNU a bit hypocritical. They say that the old-style BSD license is bad, because it requires the software to print a certain message, yet they start yelling when I say Linux instead of GNU/Linux. Requiring a name-change seems allot worse to me than requiring your software to display a message. When I use Free Software, I expect a Free Name to go with it, which I can change if I want to.

The problem with old-school BSD licenses was that the license required that derivative works pay heed to UC Berkely. Other software developers who adopted this license then replaced that line with their own organization, which resulted in a number of incompatible licenses. Large systems that used a lot of BSD licesnes had numerous text messages thrown at the end user telling them where all of the software comes from. NetBSD had (perhaps still has) 75 such obnoxious messages saying, to the effect, "This software makes use of code written by this organization."

That is not the same as software credit. GNU asks that people respectfully address the fact that they put as much time and effort in to your "Linux" system as the kernel hackers have.

Whether you agree with them or not, there is no hipocrasy.

Besides, saying Linux instead of GNU/Linux is lingually correct anyway. It is a pars-pro-toto-metaphore. Kind of like saying "look, the police", even if you only see 2 cops. You don't see a bearded police guy running around, yelling that a police department consists of more than just cops.

That's a brilliantly incorrect analogy. You're saying that the cops which the average person will actually interact with can be referred to as the police force in general. However, end users actually interact with GNU's portion of the operating system much more often than the kernel itself. Indeed, it is even a stretch to consider building one's own kernel interacting, since you're not doing the work, GNU's toolchain is. If anything, my operating system should be called "Gnome" by your argument, since that is what I interact with. Perhaps it should be called Gnome/Evolution/xchat/Gaim/etc.

The GNU FAQ says that a pars-pro-toto metaphore is never used in the operating-system world. I'm sorry, but that's just a retarded reason to not do something. Besides, "Windows" is a pars-pro-toto-metaphore for the entire operating system, that consists of allot more than just windows.

Microsoft chose a naming system that makes sense from a marketing standpoint. Besides, developers have a financial incentive. They don't need credit, just a paycheck. The GNU project, whether you'd like to admit it or not, represents a lot of work which goes largely ignored. By asking that people call operating systems which combine the Linux kernel with GNU's software, RMS hopes that people will acknowledge the work that he, and others, have done so that we can have a free operating system. While many argue that the same can be said for other software, such as X, or desktop environments, that argument fails to address RMS's political reasons for credit: without GNU software, having a 100% free operating system would be impossible.

You may disagree with his politics (I am neither for or against them personally), but you appear to be bashing his work and ideas without even understanding them. It is my hope that whatever stance you take, you take it for the right reasons, and not out of ignorance.

And "Linux" is allot easier to pronounce than "GNU/Linux", so I don't think I'll ever say GNU/Linux..

That's why I say "Linux" as well. Though I have made it a point to understand GNU's reasons for the stance that they have taken, as well as properly appreciate the work that they have done for all of us "Linux" users.