that old GNU/Linux argument

Ric Moore wayward4now at
Tue Jul 22 07:23:53 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-07-21 at 15:23 +0800, Ed Greshko wrote:
> This is more or less a yes or no type of question.  And I picked Ric's 
> position in the thread since, I feel, he is least likely to take offense.
> Is this the semi-annual Fedora diarrhea thread where folks pretend to be 
> lawyers, intellectuals, philosophers, and the like and then talk at each 
> other while hurling thinly disguised insults at those who disagree with 
> their "truth" and nothing gets done and nobody is swayed to "see the light"?
> Just wondering.  I think it is...but I was hoping someone could confirm it 
> so I wouldn't be tempted to read the whole thread.  BTW, how many pages is 
> "War and Peace"?  :-)

No offense taken whatsoever, Ed. I'm honored! I would not be surprised
if this thread and the other one combined hasn't surpassed "War and
Peace" in word count. 

Here's the real history, according to this webpage: quoted from below:

Linus is the son of the journalists Anna and Nils Torvalds, He was
attracted to computers from an early age and attended the University of
Helsinki from 1988 to study Computer Science. In 1991, he purchased a
PC. As the computers at the university were Unix-based, he bought a copy
of Andrew Tanenbaum’s MINIX operating system. He was dissatisfied with
it, and set about writing his own Unix clone from scratch, unaware of
the enormity of the task.. After four months work, in his bedroom in his
mother’s apartment, he announced, in the MINIX newsgroup comp.os.minix  

        “I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big
        and professional like gnu) for 386 (486) AT clones. This has
        been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready.”
        Torvalds called it Linux (short for Linus' MINIX). He took a
        break from his studies to work full-time on the project. By the
        end of October he was able to announce, ‘It has finally reached
        the stage where it's even usable’, and released Linux under the
        GPL (GNU General Public License). It soon became the focus of
        the largest collaborative ‘open source’ project ever undertaken,
        including geek superstars Fred van Kempen  and Alan Cox.. Linus
        led the development work, not just by his technical brilliance,
        but by his engaging and genial personality.

So, he took Minux, an operating system, (presumably with it's GNU
packages), inserted his kernel (which took only 10 months to have it
working enough to distribute), named and released a package named
"Linux", under the GPL. He referred to it as "an operating system". Now,
either Linus understood what an operating system meant, or he was just
ignorant and misguided as hell. 

Can FSF CHANGE the name of a GPL'd package?? Is Minix now GNU/Minix as
well? If FSF focuses solely on Linux, isn't that kinda pitifully obvious
that's something similar to the Mao Chinese Communist strategy of
enforcing correct thinking is being effected, sorta like from an FSF
Redbook? Freedom? As in being led to the public square and shot in the
temple? That's the path that "correct think" eventually goes. <BLAM!>
Re-writing history also happens during the eventual purges. Linus called
"Linux" an -operating system-. And GPL'd it. Now what?  

He used GNU packages in his project, just as anyone else can, under the
protections of the GPL. I hope to reach about 2.7 million clients with
my own project, which we've renamed NuOAR, so we can wear Fedoras, lean
against lamp posts in the dark, smoking unfiltered cigarettes and talk
out the sides of our mouths. Tough crowd we're dealing with. If some
some reason it really took off, can someone else demand I change the
name to GNU/NuOAR, cause I use some GNU bits? I might turn some of my
clientele on 'em. Linus is a sweet guy, I'm not, at times. <toothy grin,
with a couple of teeth missing>    

Please also note that the official icon of "Linux" has been and is
"Tux", a penguin, not some scruffy looking GNU/cow. I would think the
fact that there is no GNU-racer cinches the deal. I embrace the Penguin.

My father, Victor Moore (Vic) used to say:
"There are two Great Sins in the world...
..the Sin of Ignorance, and the Sin of Stupidity.
Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
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