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.
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Re: GNU
by ThanatosNL on Mon 3rd Nov 2003 22:07 UTC

It's not at all true that the most "interacted with" component of a "GNU/Linux" system is the "GNU" part of it.

My claim was that if we call the operating system by the most commonly used component, then "Linux" certainly doesn't qualify, NOT that because we use the GNU tools more often than any other programs, we should call the operating system "GNU."

If a person boots directly into KDE, for example, there might be no interaction with GNU at all. RMS and his followers want credit for themselves without giving credit to the many, many other parts of most Linux systems such as X.

You didn't read what I wrote. RMS wants GNU to get credit for bulding the tools that are required for a 100% free system. X can be thrown atop a not free system. Take X/Cygwin, for example. Without GNU's tools, no one would be able to have a 100% free operating system according to the GNU definition of "freedom." Since RMS places more value in the freedom of software than the functionality or usage, it is only logical that he considers GNU to deserve most of the credit.

I'm not saying he is right or wrong, merely that the person that I was replying to didn't understand GNU's reasoning whatsoever.

The only GNU part of Linux that everyone uses is libc. People might give GNU more credit if RMS didn't constantly harp on his own role in the success of Linux. You see, most people don't want to give a guy like him what he wants because he is obnoxious.

First of all, it is possible to substitute glibc with an alternative. It is theoretically possible to build a system on top of Linux without any of GNU's tools. However, that isn't the point at all. If the goal is to have a 100% free system, then we have GNU, more than anyone else, to thank for it.

I'm not saying that is your goal, or my goal; for many it is not. But that is, from what I understand, at least some of the logic to why GNU deserves credit here. Also, it is entirely incorrect to dismiss an idea with what's called an ad hominem attack, where you call someone names to refute their ideas, instead of thinking of reasons why they're wrong.