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Points scored based on who can hold who to ransom, anybody?
Remove the GNU C library and then report how much of that software runs.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 5:04 UTC (Wed) by pranith (subscriber, #53092)
wait clang actually compiles the linux kernel http://lwn.net/Articles/411654/
It's not the point...
Posted Jun 1, 2011 6:54 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Of course there are alternatives! There are different version of libc, too. And we had operation systems before GNU and Linux come on the scene. But the fact still remains that Linux and GNU shape the rest of the OS.
In fact recent developments (android, clang, etc) make the point more acute, not less. 10 years ago name "GNU/Linux" was pointless nitpicking, today it's a way to distinguish numberous non-GNU Linuxes from GNU/Linux descendants.
Posted Jun 3, 2011 16:08 UTC (Fri) by dmag (subscriber, #17775)
Posted Jun 1, 2011 5:20 UTC (Wed) by mikankun (guest, #74785)
Posted Jun 1, 2011 6:40 UTC (Wed) by berto (guest, #58604)
Quite a lot, apparently: http://www.debian.org/ports/kfreebsd-gnu/
Anyway, Stallman's point is not that the GNU project wrote most of the software, but that all of it was written (and selected) with the sole purpose of creating a free operating system:
"Many other people and projects have contributed code to the system, and some of this code is just as vital as anything the GNU Project wrote. But the GNU Project did one other crucial thing which no one else did: we made a complete free operating system our explicit goal."
Posted Jun 1, 2011 7:04 UTC (Wed) by blaa (guest, #75321)
Posted Jun 1, 2011 7:31 UTC (Wed) by berto (guest, #58604)
And neither Magellan completed any trip around the globe, yet that didn't prevent him from getting credit as the leader of the expedition.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 9:50 UTC (Wed) by fandom (subscriber, #4028)
*The first one who surrounded me
Posted Jun 1, 2011 11:00 UTC (Wed) by berto (guest, #58604)
But no one denies Magellan's legacy just because he didn't complete the expedition.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 13:00 UTC (Wed) by Zack (guest, #37335)
Bar some extreme application of the NIH symdrome, they actually did. I should know, I'm using it right now.
GNU is about producing an operating system comprised of free software. If someone else writes a piece of that, even if they care not about producing a fully free operating system themselves, if the license is right, GNU can use it.
For me, the most important thing about my operating system is that it's free software, so I call it GNU; it's important to me to emphasize that aspect. The linux kernel is certainly an impressive and well engineered piece of software, but the values it emphasises are not of primary importance to me. Fortunately the license makes it free software, so I can use with my GNU system.
You can call the system whatever you like, whereas I will refer to it as GNU or GNU/Linux, even if the amount of software that was specifically produced for GNU would be reduced to nil.
If some day all distributors/contributors would decide that the primary value of the "linux operating system" was freedom, I would call it linux too. Because it would be all that the GNU name tries to establish but more popular. But until that day, GNU will have to do.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 14:45 UTC (Wed) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
I guess the BSD folks will be thilled to hear that they did build the GNU system too (all free, license is right, so it's GNU, right?)...
Posted Jun 1, 2011 15:23 UTC (Wed) by Zack (guest, #37335)
They should be! If they managed to build a completely free operating system succesfully they would have no reason not to be thrilled at the completion or success of such a monumental task.
I don't think they will call it GNU though. The BSD folks also go a long way back when they set out to write a free operating system. But the set of values they wanted to achieve are different than those of the GNU project.
There is no reason, historically or otherwise, to call their operating systems "GNU", although I think most of the various forks do retain the name "BSD" in their project name.
That said, I'm sure I run various bits and pieces of BSD software on my GNU/Linux system, since, as you write, "[the] license is right."
Posted Jun 3, 2011 14:35 UTC (Fri) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
Exactly. The BSD folks won't be thrilled because they don't agree with the FSF stance.
I for one would like it better if people just agreed on thanking for (software) gifts, wherever they come from (be it public domain, TeX, X, BSD, GNU, ...), and take their political views elsewhere. In particular, please don't insist on slapping your campaign flyer on everything that comes your way.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 13:34 UTC (Wed) by Trelane (guest, #56877)
Posted Jun 2, 2011 7:06 UTC (Thu) by freddyh (subscriber, #21133)
The point is - 'freedom'
Posted Jun 1, 2011 12:06 UTC (Wed) by candtalan (guest, #75332)
In addition to a lack of an up front recognition of the Freedom ethic, the use of the word 'Linux' *only* when referring to an operating system creates an uncertainty. This is because Linux is formally the name of the kernel, not an OS. I note that we do not really have a generic name for a Linux based Operating System in its own right except perhaps 'GNU/Linux', or a brand name such as Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.
Opposition to Linux based OS use comes in many forms, including well funded 'FUD'. Fear Uncertainly and Doubt. By unwittingly underwriting Uncertainty in the Linux using culture we do ourselves a dis service.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 12:59 UTC (Wed) by daniels (subscriber, #16193)
Maybe because people are discussing an operating system rather than an ethic which some hold to be the most important thing, and others less so?
> when referring to an operating system creates an uncertainty.
It's not an uncertainty that really has any practical effect. For example, I'm unsure whether GNU/Linux refers to a system running sysvinit, upstart, or systemd? Does it run X or not? What about GNOME, KDE, other (GNUstep)?
If people are referring to Android, they're pretty good at calling it Android. The people running uclibc and other exotic userlands are such a niche that it is not in any way a useful distinction to go out of your way to make.
Note here when I say 'useful distinction', I mean in purely technical terms; it's apparently a useful distinction for an organisation seeking to hang on to their relevance by piggybacking on the work of others who do not necessarily share their goals.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 6:53 UTC (Wed) by mti (subscriber, #5390)
Not sure what I'm trying to say.
Posted Jun 1, 2011 8:18 UTC (Wed) by jengelh (subscriber, #33263)
Posted Jun 1, 2011 12:37 UTC (Wed) by dneary (subscriber, #55185)
Most of the software is perfectly portable to alternative libcs.
And if it's not, it should be.
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