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Re: GNU/Linux Naming

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU/Linux Naming
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 18:15:27 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Dec 5, 5:12 pm, David Kastrup <> wrote:
> "Noah Slater" <> writes:
> > On 05/12/2007, mike3 <> wrote:
> >> But you seemed to imply the more "technically correct"
> >> name should be used.
> > Nope. If you want to call it Ubuntu, fine. If you want to describe the
> > operating system type or give it a full name you should use the
> > technically correct version.
> >> "When we ask people to say "GNU/Linux", we are not dividing people.
> >> ***We are asking them to give the GNU Project credit for the GNU
> >> operating system.*** This does not criticize anyone or push anyone
> >> away. "
> >> (emphasis mine)
> > I stand corrected. I actually think this is the wrong approach.
> I used to think so at one time.  It is hard to argue against success,
> though.  

But what someone _calls_ the system does not take away
from it's success.

> Before Stallman started the agenda on the naming issue, people
> frequently considered the GNU project a failed endeavour without usable
> results, superseded by "Linux" written by Linus Torvalds et al.  This
> lead to several problematic results: people "porting" applications from
> the "dead" GNU project to Linux without bothering about code
> compatibility or contributing back upstream.  Forks were happening all
> the time, and requests for supporting upstream in its endeavor to
> provide portable applications were poo-pooed.  The FSF at consideral
> cost organized the effort to end the Linux-specific fork of libc, and
> have glibc be the cross-platform GNU library.
> If the aim of this campaign would have been to make people like Richard
> Stallman better, sure, it would have been a complete disaster.  The
> goal, however, was to make people aware of the role the GNU project
> plays in the context of Linux.  And this goal has been met surprisingly
> well, and certainly to a quite higher degree than the actual _use_ of
> the name "GNU/Linux".
> So yes, it turns out that the approach was effective for the goal.
> Whether the associated costs were optimal is a different question.  But
> other previous approaches had not worked out.

Hmm. So then the goal isn't so much to give credit through names,
which is weird (why through a name? Why should _names_ be how
credit is given?! That certainly _does_ seem odd.), but to make people
aware of the existence and purpose of GNU, the GNU Project, and
perhaps most important of all, the GNU Philosophy of Free software
as in Freedom for the user.

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