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Re: GNU/Linux Naming

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU/Linux Naming
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2007 12:29:00 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> writes:

> On Fri, Dec 07, 2007 at 10:35:41AM +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
>> Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
>> [...]
>> > No, Linux is a kernel, you can get all of it in a single tar ball at
>> >  ... you know, neat packages called
>> > linux-VERSION.tar.bz2 (for instance).
>> Have you ever visited that site, mini-RMS?
>> <quote>
>> What is Linux? 
>> Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch 
>> by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers 
>> across the Net. 
>> </quote>
> Yes, I know the Linux developers are from a school of belief where the
> operating system is the kernel, your point?

Actually, there is no consistent school of belief involved in quotes
like the above that take all credit and warp history: they talk about
"the operating system Unix" (though Unix is a well-known and partly
standardized entity including a lot of userland) and say that "Linux"
(which is all they ever talk about) is in the same ballpark and was
written from scratch by Linus "with assistance".

It is exactly history-mongering quotes like this that forced Richard
Stallman to come up with a plan of countering this sort of revisionism.
And in the wake of that, some "schools of belief" were made up to clad
this revisionism with a layer of legitimacy.  But in the above
quotation, it is still rather bare.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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