Re: Linux isn't an operating system
Ben Wing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 15:19:03 -0800
In article <199603061844.NAA15000@mole.gnu.ai.mit.edu> you write:
|We also added to the GNU system some programs like X Windows and parts
|of BSD which were written by other projects. These programs are not
|GNU software, but they are parts of the GNU system (and parts of other
|systems as well). When Linux was written, the GNU system was almost
|complete, but lacking a kernel. Putting the incomplete GNU system
|together with Linux realized my dream of a free operating system.
|In principle, there's no reason why a system based on Linux has to be
|a variant GNU system, and perhaps some of them are not. But as far as
|I know, most of them currently are.
|To speak of "Linux Based MIT X Windows/GNU/BSD/MIT systems" would be
|correct. But people may find it impractical. The term "Linux-based
|GNU system" is also correct, and it is practical.
|By using this term, we can help encourage people to work together
|instead of dividing themselves artificially into "Linux users" and
|"GNU users". This solves an important practical problem.
Therefore it's correct for the FSF to refer to Linux as a "Linux-based
GNU system". What you are failing to realize, however, is that
there is nothing unique about your usage of "GNU system". What if
I write a technical paper and define "Wing system" to mean the same as
"GNU system", then start calling Linux a "Linux-based Wing system"?
This usage is equally as correct; but you can hardly expect *everyone*
to use this term.
"Linux" is the commonly used term. Why are you arguing with this?
Your time is much better spent on other issues. If you really want
to foster the free software community, you should evangelize it to
the outside world rather than arguing within the community.
Arguing like this only creates divisiveness, such as the current
*BSD debacle and the XEmacs/GNU Emacs division.
"... then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was
more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -- Anais Nin