a long rebuttal to the Linux-is-the-engine fallacy

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Sun Jul 27 14:54:51 UTC 2008

On Jul 27, 2008, Antonio Olivares <olivares14031 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Nobody is claiming that they do not deserve credit, but many do not
> want the pushing on of their agenda :(

Exactly.  And that's why they invent all these excuses.  And they even
fail to understand that the principles that led to the creation of all
this software is the reason why all this software is available and
functional, and that the alleged pragmatism pushed in its stead is
just a short-sighted corrupted version of the underlying principles
and goals.  Several of the leaders of this separate movement have
already come to that conclusion, but the effects of that nonsense
still percollate society, unfortunately.

> What would be excellent, is if someone can run David Wheelers SLOC, 

> http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/

> and/or get the code

> http://www.dwheeler.com/sloccount/

> Run it on Fedora build system and then and there, if GNU is found to be the greater of all, then and only then it should get its proper credit.  Are there any volunteers?  
Given that I and others have already provided enough evidence that GNU
is at least an order of magnitude larger than Linux in any distro out
there, so I'd say the burden of pursuing this would be on those who
believe it might lead to different conclusions.  Meanwhile, GNU should
get its proper credit.

> Those same GNU packages were born of BSD/SunOS/Solaris code

Err, no.  GNU packages didn't use any SunOS or Solaris code
whatsoever, and BSD was still under the 4-clause license back then, so
its use was severely limited because it couldn't be combined with
GPLed code.

> I just know that it has many wonderful people(yourself included),
> that Brazilians are penta-campeon(five time world cup champions in
> soccer(futbol),

Heh, Don't count me in as a great soccer player :-)  I'd embarrass my
country :-)

> I actually consider it strange that most of the western world got
> independence from Spain, and only one country from Portugal, which
> is your country :)

That's mainly because Brazil got its indepedence in a
mostly-uneventful discussion internal to the Royal family, whereas the
rest of Latin American, under Spain's crown, actually had to fight for
its independence, and AFAIK Simón Bolívar and others managed to gain 
independence for smaller pieces, one at a time.

> They just want you to push on their agenda.  What do you get out of it?  

Err...  I happen to work for the goals I myself believe in.  That's
why I co-founded FSFLA, a completely autonomous organization.  It just
so happens to pursue the same goals of other FSFes all over the world.
Good for them.  What I get out of it is the feeling of correcting
social injustice, of working to make the world a better place.  That's
why I do it.  I don't expect to get rich or famous or powerful out of
it, but I do hope to be able to look back at my life, or even at the
end of the day, and realize I did something other than surviving,
making money, and thinking of how to make more money.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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