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Re: cURL author receives rude LogJ4 security inquiry

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: cURL author receives rude LogJ4 security inquiry
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2022 11:00:37 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.2.0 (2022-02-12)

* Jacob Bachmeyer <> [2022-02-23 04:09]:
> Jean Louis wrote:
> > * Akira Urushibata <> [2022-02-22 02:23]:
> > [...]
> > So I can see that Linus is giving credits to GNU, GCC, Richard
> > Stallman, and that he did not know nothing about free software before
> > he heard Stallman's speech in Helsinki.
> > 
> > Linux kernel was at that time proprietary.
> > 
> > He liberated kernel due to Stallman's talk.
> > 
> > I can also read a sentence where Linus says on page X: "Richard
> > Stallman wants to make everything open source" -- this shows clear
> > misunderstanding on side of Linus on what "open source" means and what
> > is "free software."
> > 
> > Linus also said: "Richard Stallman deserves monument in his honor for
> > giving birth to GPL"
> > 
> > There is quote that he acknowledges that his new system won't be big
> > and professional as GNU.
> > 
> > To me I see clear misunderstandings of Linus in his youth when he was
> > thinking that by making the kernel he is making "operating system".
> > 
> > It is misunderstanding.
> My understanding of the history here is that Linus *was* more-or-less making
> a homebrew operating system at the time.  I remember a quote describing
> Linux:  "My terminal emulator grew legs."

OK, though I don't see in that book that he was making "operating
system", though I can see that he was intending to make it, though
never made it in the sense how we understand operating systems today.

Is the operating system the kernel only that helps software operate
with hardware?

Or is it the full system software that helps computer user operate
with hardware?

In other words can we say that operating system is the WHOLE including
the application programs, or just a kernel without application

I cannot hold Wikipedia authoritative on that subject, and myself I
have not studied it well enough.

I know and learned about SPECTRUM and how to operate computer by using
BASIC, and I have learned about TRS computers, Atari, Commodre and
Amiga. All of those operating systems had application programs
built-in, those basic programs to deal with the computer, files,
executing files, sort things, save stuff and so on. 

Some times I have entered MS-DOS diskettes in the flat keyboard-like
PC I could "operate" as user, list files, execute programs, and MS-DOS
was described not only as a kernel, rather there was a book of how to
operate the computer by using MS-DOS commands. And I went through that
book and learned it all.

My understanding is that basic application programs are necessary to
call it "operating system". Thus in that sense I agree that Linus did
not create "operating system", he created kernel, one part of it.

Operating System Components and Their Services

At that page it is referenced that GUI or User Interface is the part
of the OS. I agree to that statement.

As I am very sure, that just no practical computer user would go to
buy operating system that does nothing but provides its kernel to

When Wikipedia article about operating system discards the important
factor of basic applications and user interface, that is where I do
not take it for granted. It is not written by professionals. 

Thus Linus' book shows clear misunderstandings on Linus side on what
is "operating system". One can read it in the chapter V: Beauty of
Programming where he relates to "operating system", that it is "basis
for everything else that will happen in the machine"; thus IMHO he
referred to kernel, not the whole operating system.

The basis for everything else is the operating system that MUST
include applications, not only the kernel. As for example, the basis
for user to decide which keyboard to use is run after the load of the
kernel, after PID 1, by user's settings and by command line
programs. Fonts, terminal, date and time, networking operations, all
that is run after the kernel has already loaded.

Users here agree that kernel is part of operating system:

What is the difference between the operating system and the kernel? - Stack 

Then in chapter VI Linus wrote about making a scheduler in kernel and
talking, that it will become "operating system", so his intentions
were verbally and on the first sight towards "operating system", and
practically it was just kernel.

Linus later wrote some tools or parts that became part of the
GNU/Linux operating systems, he never wrote himself an operating

That Linus Torvalds had serious misunderstandings on what "operating
system" is shows the paragraph in the same VI chapter of the book
where he says "So, I shifted my thinking of it as a terminal emulator
to thinking of it as an operating system"; and I find such cognitions
nice and exciting, changes that happened in the mind of young excited
and ambitious Linus Torvalds. Youth is often like that, we have high
desires, potential, we want to reach very high, we may say we will be
best in the world in some subject. I don't find it wrong by any
means. Just that what Linus wrote at the time never was an "operating
system". It was kernel. Book is about the kernel.

His misunderstandings between kernel and operating system are clear
from the chapter VII, where says:

"The way you create operating system is to find out what the system
calls are supposed to do, and then write your own program to implement
those system calls in your own way." -- this shows that he clearly
refers to kernel, not to operating system.

He also writes that he used Bourne Again shell, thus GNU shell, so
that he becomes able to compile other programs. It is clear that Linus
has put together his kernel and GNU programs together in the attempt
to create operating system. But he was not alone writing it.

Linus has mentioned many times both terms "kernel" and "operating
system", and by reading the book one can clearly see that he uses the
word "operating system" wrongly while he refers to kernel in reality.

I could even assume that the whole misunderstandings on the subject
come straight from Linus.

His book did not give enough credit to plethora of authors of GNU
software and other software.

Linus Torvalds wrote it himself in the book "Just for Fun" in the
chapter XII where he said:

"Much of Linux's success can be attributed to my own personality
flaws: 1) I'm lazy; and 2) I like to get credit for the work of

And he admitted that kernel relies on GNU Software Project

The book, in other words, says it all and clear. It confirms
Stallman's statement that Linux is kernel and GNU is operating

> There is also some confusion here from the "open source" advocates.
> When I last checked, the Open Source Definition was, in all
> practical respects, essentially equivalent to the Free Software
> Definition.  As I understand, this was intentional because "open
> source" was intended as "free software for moral retards" as an
> effort to advance the cause of software freedom among groups that
> are allergic to RMS's moral arguments.

Corporations make polls to understand public opinion, and using the
term "free software" cannot and could not be sold on the software
shells at the time. Even though the word free in every dictionary
refers to freedom in the first definition, not necessarily price.

There is nothing wrong with the language and using "free".

For corporations they may avoid using "open source" and "free
software" or minimize that, or hide licenses so that software is sold
in hideous manner to computer users.

That is exactly how I bought it. I was not under impression that I am
buying "free software" in sense of freedom; I was under impression
that I am buying licensed software. In fact I was ready to accept the
license, whatever it is. That is how product on the shelf was
presented to me at the time. Many people were purchasing various
GNU/Linux distributions from shelves and still do. They may not be
aware of licensing freedom or issues related to freedom, they purchase
it because software is marketed or needed by user.

Only after reading the licensing text I could understand the
freedom. I was actually surprised that I was free to duplicate the
CD-ROM I purchased, and distribute software how I wish and want.

The term "open source" is made for the reason of marketing. RedHat
will tell you that, as they have corporate strategy of promoting "open
source" and of course not "free software":

What is open source?

| Peterson proposed the idea of replacing "free software" with the term
| "open source" to a working group that was dedicated, in part, to
| shepherding open source software practices into the broader
| marketplace.

How I coined the term 'open source' |

| The introduction of the term "open source software" was a deliberate
| effort to make this field of endeavor more understandable to newcomers
| and to business, which was viewed as necessary to its spread to a
| broader community of users. The problem with the main earlier label,
| "free software," was not its political connotations, but that—to
| newcomers—its seeming focus on price is distracting. A term was needed
| that focuses on the key issue of source code and that does not
| immediately confuse those new to the concept. The first term that came
| along at the right time and fulfilled these requirements was rapidly
| adopted: open source.

Thus the term "Open Source" is there to help the market sell more of
the software. This is because "Free" impairs the ability to sell
according to their viewpint. I just think they are not good enough
marketers, rather opportunists who will chose whatever way they need
to get to the money.


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