that old GNU/Linux argument

Joe Klemmer klemmerj at
Wed Jul 16 14:48:10 UTC 2008

On Wed, 16 Jul 2008, Björn Persson wrote:

>> 	While it's a fact that the kernel is the only part of any distro 
>> that's actually named Linux, The name has become attached to the entire 
>> OS.
> Based on your answers I draw the conclusion that you use "Linux" as a 
> collective name for all software that can run in a Unix-like 
> environment, regardless of who wrote it or whether it's free or not. You 
> probably think of Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu et cetera as different subsets 
> of Linux, as none of them contains Kylix for example. You also don't 
> seem to make any distinction between operating systems and applications, 
> but consider all software part of the operating system.

 	The truth is that I have given up on this whole debate.  I've been 
hearing both sides since forever.  When I started using this OS/System 
"$PICK_YOUR_FAVORITE_TERM" nearly 18 years ago it wasn't about 
philosophical debates.  It was about cool tech and finding a way to get 
things done.  Today the single biggest reason for its existence to Just 

 	There is no belief system that is absolutely flawless.  I freely 
admit that the FSF and GPL are good and serve an important purpose.  But 
they have their drawbacks and, at times, failures.  Sometimes the GPL is 
counter productive and does more harm than good.  While the majority of 
time it is greatly beneficial, to deny the negatives completely in favor 
of the positives is a disservice to the world.

"I do not fear computers.  I fear the lack of them."
                 -- Isaac Asimov

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