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Re: debug performance problem

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: debug performance problem
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 12:43:21 -0500 (EST)

   P.S.: What is exactly GNU/Linux?  Is it related to a particular distribution?

GNU/Linux is the name of a GNU operating system and associated
applications that uses a kernel written initially by Linus Torvalds.
The majority of the work was done by other people before Linus
Torvalds started his kernel project in 1991.

GNU/Linux is distributed by a variety of organizations such as Red
Hat, Mandrake, IBM, HP, SuSe, and Debian, as well as by other people
and organizations.

You spoke of having installed `Linux RH 7.1'.  That means you
installed a GNU system with a Linux kernel: a GNU/Linux system.

In addition to GNU/Linux, there are GNU operating systems using other
kernels, but those that use the Linux kernel are the most common.

Sometimes the name GNU/Linux is shortened to Linux.  There are three
reasons for this, the first of which is benign.

The word `Linux' is one syllable shorter than `GNU/Linux'.  People
often shorten a frequently used longer word into a shorter word, such
as auto from automobile or, in the UK, `tely' from television.

The second reason to shorten the name is that some people wish to hide
from you the purpose for creating GNU/Linux.  The purpose is to create
more freedom for you and others.  That is the goal of the GNU Project.
You have the freedom to run, copy, study, modify, and redistribute GNU
software, such as the GPL'd software in the Linux kernel, and other
software in the operating system.

Some of the people who shorten the name to `Linux' want you to think
they have a moral right to rob you, to take from you your work and
your wealth without any sort of recompense.  They want you to think
that you have no freedom, and no rights.  They want you to think that
you are a loser who should be robbed.

Usually, people who want you to be robbed avoid using such explicit
language.  Instead, they say that you should not `be concerned with
the paperwork and legalities of licenses or their enforcement.'  They
say that you should not `nit-pick'.  The implication is that they want
you to permit a pick-pocket to pick your pockets.

The third reason to shorten the name is that some people dislike
Richard Stallman.  He is the man who started what is now GNU/Linux.
He has a famously difficult and stubborn character.  This dislike
leads these people to attempt to rewrite history, to take away credit
from RMS and the GNU Project, which he started in 1984.

One side effect, in addition to reducing your chance to learn about
your freedom and rights, is that other people besides RMS are not
given credit either.  No credit is given to the people who wrote more
than 7/8 of the operating system.

Ask yourself:  when you think of a Red Hat or Mandrake distribution,
do you think of people such as David MacKenzie or Roland McGrath?
These are people who wrote code that that is as important to a
distribution as Linus' kernel: they wrote this code before Linus
started, code that he used.  And they wrote more than he.

When someone refers to `Linux' and means more than a kernel, you
cannot be sure whether the speaker is simply ignorant, or is crooked,
or whether the speaker dislikes RMS and the other people who created
the larger part of the Red Hat and other operating sytem

However, when you hear `GNU/Linux' you can almost always be sure that
the person who makes that reference is concerned about his and your
freedom; and that that person is not trying to create a society in
which you or he is robbed.

    Robert J. Chassell                  address@hidden
    Rattlesnake Enterprises             http://www.rattlesnake.com

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