FSF software used quite widely
Posted Oct 19, 2006 23:09 UTC (Thu) by man_ls
In reply to: FSF software used widely?
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Come on, what is used widely is BSD (and similar)-licensed stuff, i.e., sendmail, (La)TeX, X, apache, and a long list of other stuff.
Just so you broaden the spectrum of software you use every day, let me point you to some useful links: try
as your command shell. Once you have your BSD-licensed X server running, be sure to try out GNU Object Model Environment
, better known as GNOME, as your desktop: it runs on some tens of Linux distributions
apart from commercial Unices and BSD variants. Also try GIMP
(GNU's image manipulation program) to manipulate your images. Now that I think about it, just browse the
or visit your favorite mirror
, for such gems as glibc, ghostscript, gawk, wget, patch or GNU tar. They are quite useful if you ever want to put together a Linux distribution, or even a *BSD variant. You might have enough with Linux and BusyBox
though, if you don't want a graphical environment; if you do, be sure to get acquainted to GTK
. It is quite popular; used in Dia, Gnumeric, GnuCash and a thousand other programs.
Yes, you will probably need BSD-licensed software. Lots of it. I'm glad it is there too, and I'm thankful for the people who wrote it. There is no point in diminishing their good work.
I found some references saying that a Linux distro is 3% Linux, 28% GNU software. They are from 1999 though; I haven't found anything more recent. I would venture that Linux is still playing catch up in 2006, but you seem really knowledgeable and will surely be able to supply better figures. :P
What the FSF really has built is a tiny fraction of open source software
The FSF (and in particular Stallman) wrote the GPL. The estimate of 350+ million lines of code under the GPL comes from Ingo Molnar, kernel developer who is not so fond of the FSF; still he would probably bet for a billion rather. I wouldn't say that this is "a tiny fraction of open source software" unless I was trying to discredit the FSF. Of course not all of it was built by the FSF, but the authors liked the license enough that they generously put their work at your disposal under its conditions. Not that I want to confuse both things (code written by the FSF and code under the GPL), but since you speak about "the whole GPL code" later on, I take it that you noticed that it is an important contribution of the FSF.
Even if I was trying to discredit the FSF, I would choose a different field, really. Even in a discussion about the GPLv3: I would try to dispute other facts, not the influence of the FSF in libre software.
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