Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Posted Jan 23, 2004 2:01 UTC (Fri) by rknop
In reply to: Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Parent article: Shrinking the kernel with gcc
The reactions to the proposed patch sickens me slightly too, I see that some people still have trouble accepting that Linux is indeed used commercially and in environments where diehard open source fundamentalism does not go down well.
You say that as if there was something wrong with it.
As the person you seem to deride as a diehard open source fundamentalist, let me put it this way. I have absolutely nothing against Linux being used commercially and being used easily. However, I was be MUCH happier if Linux could remain free while so doing. If it gets to the point that us Linux geeks can't use Linux any more without resorting to binary-only drivers, well, then, in a sense Linux will have been "taken away" by the commercial interests who don't give a rats ass about free software.
And, I think that a commercial interest that says "we just want it to work, we don't care about free vs. binary-only drivers" is very short sighted. Corporate America is waking up to the many advantages of free software right now-- among them, avoiding vendor lock-in. But if in their adpotion they overmuch water down the philosophy that keeps free software free, many of those advantages may go away.
It is no accident that the first operating system that has created credible competition for Microsoft is free. The fact that it is free is probably Linux's greatest strength, more so than its technical strengths. If that goes away, although it may take time for everybody to realize it much of the advantage and attractiveness of Linux will go away.
So go on feeling all grouchy that you're in a community of hippie commies and wishing that you weren't stuck making money from Linux so that you could find a closed-source community more to your tastes. In the mean time, those of us who really want to keep open source free will by and large recognize that it is for practical reasons that we want to do so.
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