Posted Mar 26, 2007 11:32 UTC (Mon) by greve
In reply to: GNU/Busybox ?!?
Parent article: The road to freedom in the embedded world
Oh, come on.. You are the president of the FSF Europe. If you talk about the achievement of the GNU project like this, you are singing your own praises.
Yes, I am the president of FSFE and I have my own roots in the GNU Project through some software and the monthly Brave GNU World column that I wrote for many years. So I openly concede a positive emotional attachment of myself to the GNU Project.
At the same time it is our sister organisation in the United States, the original FSF, that is taking care of most of the legal and administrative issues of the GNU Project, which is a project that otherwise spans individuals, companies, and countries.
So if you try to see this as an issue of praise, I'd see this as singing the praises of all the individuals and companies involved in the GNU Project, the praises of our sister organisation, and that of RMS. But I don't see this as an issue of praise primarily, and am fairly sure this view is shared by most in FSFE, possibly most people outside the US.
Only speaking for those that I have discussed this with now: We like the "GNU/" because it reminds us of the principles, thoughts and plan behind starting the GNU Project, and using it will help to not forget that background.
At the same time we don't seem to take using it half as seriously as some people in this discussion are about not using it. We regularly use it tongue-in-cheek, some people even prefixed their own name.
Yesterday it was GNU/Linux, today it is GNU/Busybox, what are you going to GNU/ next?
Based on the above, I'd have two answers for you.
The one that should be understood with my tongue in my cheek would be: "GNU/ your life!"
The more serious one would be to not take this so seriously, and have some patience with those of us who like the GNU Project and what it stands for. This is why people are using the "GNU/" prefix for things that they see as based on or growing out of that original declaration of software freedom.
To most of these people this would be a badge of honor. If the recipient of that badge and affection finds it objectionable, I'd hope for some patience, tolerance and possibly humor in the reception of that badge.
There's a lesson here: This minor detail is drowning out some of the effect of your good article. Think about it the next time you GNU/ a program.
First of all: Thank you for the feedback. I am glad you found the article useful.
Secondly: Yes. The rather strong reaction to four specific characters out of 10k of article seems to have created a disproportionate and distracting discussion. So yes, I'll keep this in mind as a learning experience.
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