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Re: configure script

From: Sami Sihvonen
Subject: Re: configure script
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 17:57:01 +0300

In article <address@hidden>,
address@hidden (Richard Stallman) wrote:

> Whether GNU had any effect on the development of Linux does not 
> seem to be a major issue.

The truth be told here for everybody:

Free Software Foundation has funded the rewriting of GNU/Linux 
extensions to the GNU C library so it can be used out-of-the-box
with GNU/Linux. And also Free Software Foundation has funded
development of popular GNU/Linux distribution, Debian GNU/Linux.

> As for the operating system in which Linux became popular and is
> mainly used, to say that we "had a major influence on it" is a gross
> understatement.  It was never right to call this operating system
> "Linux", and we ask people not to do that.

Agreed, GNU Project is so important part of GNU/Linux that it just
can't be ignored. Linux kernel is just another platform to run GNU
tools, just like any commercial Unix(tm) or even Microsoft Windows.

The difference here is that GNU/Linux uses so much GNU tools, it
can't even boot without few dozen of GNU tools. It is just wrong
to ignore GNU Project when talking about GNU/Linux systems.

> I call the system "GNU/Linux" specifically to give a share of the
> credit for the system to Linus Torvalds.

Agreed, Linux kernel is under 3% source code of GNU/Linux systems.
Some GNU/Linux distributions contain 28% of software from GNU 
Project, this has been counted by distribution vendor. And I
guess distributions with a lot of CD's have even higher numbers.

In article <address@hidden>,
address@hidden (David Kastrup) wrote:

> Linus Torvalds has always acknowledged the major influence
> GNU has had on Linux development. He did not choose the GPL for
> Linux accidentally.

Linux kernel does not wan't to be official kernel for GNU 
Operating System. This is a decision made by Linus Torvalds. 
No friendly operating towards GNU Project or Free Software
Foundation. GNU/Linux uses a lot of efforts from GNU Project 
but it does not give anything back to it. FSF has even funded
development of GNU/Linux,but got nothing back for it.

> Nobody would deny that all available Linux systems _are_ GNU systems.

Everybody who ignores GNU Project contribution to GNU/Linux 
systems keep saying that there are distributions that don't
you any GNU Project material. 

Yes, it is possible to run Linux kernel without any GNU Project
software. But those that I have seen or heard about are few 
floppies distributions that can be used only to do few things. 
Nothing like real OS, like GNU/Linux distributions.

If you keep saying "Dell sells pre-installed Linux systems"
or "IBM does consulting for Linux systems", guess what kind
of Linux systems they are? Anwser: They are all those 
distributions with huge amount of GNU Project software. 

> But that is no reason to adulterate the name. It is the one 
> putting together a system that gets to name it. A painting is 
> named by painter, not by the paint manufacturer.

Check out www.gnu.org for good comments from RMS about this.
Argue them, if you can. I don't think it is possible.

> That RMS quite shamelessly tries to hijack _all_ credit he can think
> of and feels comfortable with ignoring everybody else's contribution
> to Free systems as long as he gets his in, is quite hypocritical.

RMS shamelessly hijacking credit? What a joke... When I was
talking about this same issue in finnish-language GNU/Linux
newsgroup (sfnet.atk.linux) one guy even said "RMS is boosting
his own ego".

RMS is a living legend in world of computers. Anybody who 
tries to say anything else must be having mental problems. 
Gods don't needing hijack any credit or boost their
own egos. Give me a good laugh, try explaining how RMS is
doing a bad work and how he is hurting computer industry?

RMS might use all available means to make his dream code true,
GNU Project and GNU Operating System. All of us benefit from
this, any GPL source code helps us all. Since this is a Good
Thing(tm), I can't blame RMS for attacking GNU/Linux naming 
the way he does. He has got a point and facts to back it up.

Sami Sihvonen,
Chief Executive Officer,
Janiika Networks Corporation.

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