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Re: [Savannah-hackers] Re: Help wanted (sysadmin work)

From: Elfyn McBratney
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers] Re: Help wanted (sysadmin work)
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 13:12:52 +0100 (BST)
User-agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.2

Yaroslav Klyukin said:
> Rudy Gevaert wrote:
>>>This way everything is easy:
>>>- Count all software packages on CD.
>>>- Get the percentage of GNU software.
>>>- If GNU software constitutes over 50% of the OS, then it has all rights
>>>to be mentioned in the name of the OS.
>>>Does it make sense?
>> I don't think so.  The primary reason of calling the system GNU/Linux
> Well, frankly I don't think so either.
>> is that people have to know about the ethical reasons why the system
>> exists.  We are trying to make a completely free (as in freedom)
>> operating system.  Calling the system "Linux" does not reflect the
>> ideas of the Free Software movement.  Calling our movement something
>> else, has even worse effect.
> I agree. What I am saying is that it's not "the system", it a number of
> different systems. Each time someone decides he wants to create a linux
> OS - he creates _his_own_ OS.
> Therefore why care about somebody calling his own product (which is a
> compilation of any kind of software) any name he wants?
> Nowadays anybody can create his own OS using any software and call it
> whatever for his own profit, as long as he does not break any license
> agreements of the software used.
> My point is that a complete OS is something, that you have on a media,
> which you can boot from and install. Take whatever as an example: BeOS,
> OS/2, Windows, etc.

Let's say Joe hacker creates his own distribution and names it Joe
Hacker's Linux.  In his distro he uses glibc as the standard C library,
gcc as the compiler, gdb as the debugger, bash as the shell, coreutils
({sh,file,text}-utils) as the shell utilities and Linux for the kernel
(plus many other things required in the process such as autotools,
gettext, m4, make, etc).  Already that distro comprises more that 80-90%
of GNU software.  Not to mention that without the compiler Joe hacker
might not have a distro to make.

Now, Joe hacker can decide to give the GNU project and it's many hackers
some credit for the ~20 years of hard work they have done by calling his
distro instead Joe Hacker's GNU/Linux, though Joe hacker is not required

Not every distribution that uses the kernel Linux and GNU software is
called GNU/Linux, and the [L]GPL does not have an ancient-BSD style clause
requiring credit, either.  But by doing so you are not only thanking the
GNU project for it's valuable software but you are also helping spread the
word about the GNU project and the Free Software movement as well.

>> Also, calling the system only GNU/Linux if it has over 50% GNU
>> software would not work. Because the amount of non-GNU software
>> increases faster than the amount of GNU software.
> Agreed.
>> Please note that when helping Savannah, you act as a spokesmen for the
>> Free Software foundation, thus it must be clear that you will have to
>> use the language that the FSF uses and must educate other users about
>> the goals of the FS movement.
> I need to figure out for myself first.
> I understnad the importance of the movement, and it's value, but I don't
> get why asking others to call something in your name, instead of having
> your own stuff.
> Technicly, I think that calling an OS GNU/Linux is as wrong as calling
> it Linux. In both cases it does not convey the true meaning of what
> appears to be somebody's compilation of an existing software.
> I think that the word "distribution" is the right word for it, but maybe
> there are better words.
> Removing the word "Linux" will have the same effect, as adding "GNU",
> but the first option is the only right way to resolve the problem in my
> opinion.

See my reply above.  The same can of course be said for Open Source vs
Free Software, support of only non-free OS's, non-free licenses, ... 
Everyone has a choice and we cannot take that away from them.

GNU Savannah is part of (or encompasses) the GNU project, "a place where
GNU live", to coin a phrase.  As Rudy said, by working at Savannah you are
representing the FSF and thus need to be atuned to it's views.


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