Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 12th Sep 2007 04:14 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Here is an interview with Richard Stallman about a range of free software topics including GPLv3 and comment on the Microsoft patent issue. Stallman has a go at Linus Torvalds even suggesting that if people want to keep their freedom they better not follow Torvalds. From the interview: "The fact that Torvalds says "open source" instead of "free software" shows where he is coming from. I wrote the GNU GPL to defend freedom for all users of all versions of a program. I developed version 3 to do that job better and protect against new threats. Torvalds says he rejects this goal; that's probably why he doesn't appreciate GPL version 3. I respect his right to express his views, even though I think they are foolish. However, if you don't want to lose your freedom, you had better not follow him."
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I wonder...
by steampoweredlawn on Wed 12th Sep 2007 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Crazy religion"
steampoweredlawn
Member since:
2006-09-27

If Mr. Stallman goes out of his way to call ordinary household objects by their true names, e.g. facial tissues instead of Kleenex, cotton-tipped sanitary swabs instead of Q-tips, etc.

I understand, and to a degree can sympathize with his cause, but he must realize that people are not deliberately throwing his philosophy in his face when they call GNU/Linux "Linux" - it's simply easier to say, and everyone knows what you're talking about, to the degree they understand or care. As much as it apparently makes his blood boil, there *are* people out there, myself included, that consider functionality paramount, with philosophical ramifications secondary. Plus, he should have picked a less awkward-sounding name than GaNoo if he wanted people to use it in their daily language. Linux just rolls off the tongue nicer than GaNooLinux. Linux may be just a kernel, but its name has become synonymous with everything that sits atop it as well.

Edited 2007-09-12 08:06

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: I wonder...
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Sep 2007 08:16 in reply to "I wonder..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Linux may be just a kernel, but its name has become synonymous with everything that sits atop it as well.


Apparently, in a typical distribution, Linux itself (the kernel) accounts for approximately 3% of the total source code. The "GNU system" accounts for approximately 28% of the source code.

Can you name anything else where the major, obvious, largest part is ignored, and the item is commonly named after a tiny piece one tenth the size?

As much as it apparently makes his blood boil, there *are* people out there, myself included, that consider functionality paramount, with philosophical ramifications secondary.


Since you consider functionality paramount, then I take it that you call it a "GNU system" then, and ignore the word "Linux"?

Edited 2007-09-12 08:17

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: I wonder...
by steampoweredlawn on Wed 12th Sep 2007 08:40 in reply to "RE: I wonder..."
steampoweredlawn Member since:
2006-09-27

You totally missed the point of my post. Either that or you're deliberately being stubborn.

Linux has become the de facto name for the sum of the parts that make up a GNU/Linux OS.

To answer your question, no. I do not call it GNU. I called it GNU/Linux for a period, but I grew tired of explaining GNU to people that in reality didn't care what I was saying anyway. Those that care enough already know what GNU is, and assume you're talking about GNU/Linux.

Peoples' brains don't function like computers. You don't typically have to explicitly say every single word to convey a meaning. To use a previous example, how often do you go to the store to buy, say, Safeway brand cotton-tipped sanitary swabs? Oh? You look for Q-tips, even if it's Safeway (or Albertsons or Winn-Dixie or Shurfine or Fred Meyer or Kroger or what have you) brand? Wouldn't you be irritated if someone corrected you every time you said Q-tips, when they obviously know exactly what you're talking about?

Linux is in a similar situation. Nearly everyone (except people like you), "know" that Linux, when used in general conversation, refers to the Kernel as well as the userland software piled atop it (or just an OS as an inclusive entity, if they don't have that deep an understanding of the topic). It's not correct, but it's simpler and (most) people know what you mean.

Had Hurd taken off, People would likely be calling the OS they run Hurd right now, not GNU/Hurd.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I wonder...
by Almafeta on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:55 in reply to "RE: I wonder..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Apparently, in a typical distribution, Linux itself (the kernel) accounts for approximately 3% of the total source code. The "GNU system" accounts for approximately 28% of the source code.


That's largely due to the bloat of GNU as compared to Linux. GCC, itself, takes up more lines of code than all of the Linux kernel.

Comparing projects by source line counts leads to misleading statistics.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I wonder...
by Coral Snake on Fri 14th Sep 2007 05:16 in reply to "RE: I wonder..."
Coral Snake Member since:
2005-07-07

I would say that most of the source code in a distribution these days is tied up with the GUI desktop environments X-11, KDE, GNOME and perhapse a few others like Xfce, WindowMaker, Enlightment and ICeWM. Therefore does anyone think we should call it X-11/KDE/GNOME/Xfce/WindowMaker/Enlightment/IceWM/GNU/Linux!!!!?????
This is REALLY what RMS is asking for if you base the OS's name soully each project's contribution to the source code base.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I wonder...
by cyclops on Wed 12th Sep 2007 08:26 in reply to "I wonder..."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Before you slam me with another history lesson. I pronounce GNU as "New". I won't even tell you how I pronounce Linux, but was somewhat shocked when I heard radio shows pronouncing it a different way.

I refer to "Desktop Linux" as GNU simply because that the main license all this is under. Linux is simply the wrong term. In reality GNU is the wrong term, as my "Desktop Linux" has as much to do with the X11 license; a browser under the Mozilla License and a certain Office suite from SUN. In fact I have very little interest in the kernel.

Its surprising how much Microsoft got right with both the naming and logo of their OS offering. Linux and Tux are both, poor. I prefer GNU, but think both show little respect for what has become an OS which includes things like IM and a browser and a Media Center, which is greater than both Linux or the FSF. Although I personally cannot think of *anything* that is either appropriate to todays "Linux Desktop" or a logo to suit it, or that would last 20 years like that of Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: I wonder...
by BluenoseJake on Wed 12th Sep 2007 14:26 in reply to "RE: I wonder..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I agree, the Windows brand is powerful because the name is easy to remember, logical and apt, and the logo is simple enough that it can evolve with the times, without too much modification.

I tend to use "Linux" myself, because even though the kernel only makes up 3% of the code, it really is the most important part, especially since the hurd is nowhere to be seen. All the other parts of the OS come from so many different sources that to refer to it by the kernel's name is consistent, if nothing else

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I wonder...
by marafaka on Wed 12th Sep 2007 08:58 in reply to "I wonder..."
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

I agree, people do not intentionally call it that way. But some even call all the non-MS operating systems Linux, and that is a problem. And it can be corrected by educating people like you, who will then hopefully spread the word.

Reply Parent Score: 1