that old GNU/Linux argument

Antonio Olivares olivares14031 at
Sat Jul 26 02:15:18 UTC 2008

> >  That's what enables GNU libc to offer the same
> API and,
> > at times, even the same ABI, while targeting very
> different kernels.
> > 
> >> Who did that port?? Linus and his team?
> > 
> > Most certainly.  I can't quite picture the GNU
> project putting
> > resources into the early development of GNU+Linux to
> make the
> > combination usable.  Linux was not perceived as a
> relevant kernel for
> > the GNU operating system back then.
> More significantly, Linus didn't seem interested in
> their cult politics 
> at the time.  But the point regarding naming is that people
> have always 
> had the choice to use the non-Linux version of GNU.  They
> still do.  But 
> no one wants that.  So why change the name of something
> people do want 
> to include something they never have wanted?  It's
> clearly just a ploy 
> to drag out the cult politics the name conveys.
> -- 

I have some sites that shed some light in the matter :

Quoting directy from the page above 
GNU/Linux is awkward to read, say, and write.

GNU/Linux leaves out at least 40% of the other authors, and is therefore just as inaccurate as just saying "Linux."

The suggestion that a project be named after the largest contributer is absurd, considering that GNU was around long before Linux, and didn't catch on nearly as wildly. The project should be named after what most contributed to its success--the Linux kernel. That's why it's called Vespucciland and not Vikingland.

I think it is safe to say that close to 100% of the linux source code (kernel or not) is GNU influenced. We may not have been as successful without Linus Torvalds, but without GNU, we wouldn't be here.

RMS wishes he had completed a project as cool as Linux. Maybe some day he will, and then the tables will be reversed. Meanwhile, he's just got sour grapes that he isn't getting credit for the success he inspired but was unable to create.

I acknowledge RMS and the work of the FSF. I appreciate the implications of the GPL. They didn't write Linux. They didn't put together a distribution that can be clearly labeled GNU--they even offended Debian. Yes, their work was used. I thank them. Out of convenience, I don't include their name (or any other of the many contributors) when naming a Linux Distribution. Calling it GNU/Linux is pretentious and wrong, because it makes it look like RMS/FSF deserves all the rest of the credit. It'd be silly to call it the GNU/BSD/MIT/Redhat/Debian/Slackware/Linux distribution. People would be confused and not know what you mean. Calling it Linux is much clearer. Calling it Linux Distribution or Linux Kernel is less ambiguous.

RMS has a page on what's in a name

Also from a page in the fsf

I found the following:

Doesn't the GNU project support an individual's free speech rights to call the system by any name that individual chooses?
 Yes, indeed, we believe you have a free speech right to call the operating system by any name you wish. We ask that people call it GNU/Linux as a matter of doing justice to the GNU project, to promote the values of freedom that GNU stands for, and to inform others that those values of freedom brought the system into existence.

We have a right to call it Linux because that is our choice.  We also appreciate what GNU has done for us as well. 




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