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Re: All caps .TH page title

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: All caps .TH page title
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2022 10:44:47 -0500

At 2022-07-24T16:57:19+0200, Ingo Schwarze wrote:
> But dismissing decade-old *BSD standards like the use of /usr/ for the
> base system and /usr/local/ for packages as a standard violation, and
> promoting /opt/ which is firmly a Linux-only invention,

Oh, no it's not.  I remember that thing from Solaris 2.3 or 2.4.  Here's
a slightly later source.

Your complaints about the Linux-centricity of the FHS can be explained
largely by QuaNGO corporate politics.[1]  The first Linux file system
organization standard was called FSSTND and dates back to about 1994.
But it had little or no organizational support or funding behind it.
(It is hard to overstate how much Linux seemed like an underdog in those

You can read some further history at the usual reliable(?) source.

Since the FHS is fully under the purview of the Linux Foundation (LF), I
don't think it's reasonable to expect any responses much different than
what you describe.  The LF exists to "promote Linux", which, as with any
NGO with an open-ended mission, in practice means to sustain itself
indefinitely via membership fees.  (In the parlance of journalism, one
can reliably correlate the "seriousness" of any NGO with the level of
compensation enjoyed by its officers.)  The benefits of membership are
significant; you can utterly disregard the terms of the GNU GPL.  If you
are not a member and have transgressed, the Foundation will happily sell
you an indulgence in the form of membership.

Under this umbrella, the Linux kernel is effectively under the BSD
license.  Don't be shocked if even the disclosure of relevant copyright
and license notices is a negotiable point.  This is business.  Under
litigation you'd end up in much the same place, potentially with much
more bad press.  Monetary damages are the fuel that sustains the engine
of civil procedure.  Compliance and specific performance are distant

Litigation to enforce the terms of the GPL is stridently characterized
as discouraging and unproductive--we never ask "to whom?" or "of
what?"--except insofar as it drives firms to the reassuring shelter of
Foundation membership.  You can see how it is helpful to characterize
independent GPL plaintiffs as cranks and lunatics--moreover, you do LF a
huge favor if, as such a plaintiff, you actually are a lunatic.

This model is widely regarded as successful; indeed, when limiting your
interviews to members of a cartel, reported levels of satisfaction with
the organization are characteristically high.  It dissolves otherwise.

So guess what?  The BSD camp did ultimately win the copyleft argument
after all.


[1] Some would doubtless argue with the "qua" here.  I remind the reader
    that copyrights are legal monopolies dispensed by the state.
    Copyright enforcement in the United States, for instance, was a
    _wholly_ civil matter until 1897, having spent over a century as a
    government-created tort.

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