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Re: What OS is used By Richard Stallman

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: What OS is used By Richard Stallman
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 21:50:30 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.50 (gnu/linux)

mike3 <> writes:

> On Jan 16, 1:17 pm, mike3 <> wrote:
>> On Jan 14, 6:32 pm, David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> > Why is it ok to
>> > bereave the GNU project of the credit for its work?
>> Credit can be given in other places beside _names_.
>> The idea it must be given in the name and in no other
>> place doesn't really make much sense.
> Oof, that's not quite right. The idea is that it must
> be given in the name, no other place is an acceptable
> _substitute_ for giving it in the name (as if it was,
> there's nothing wrong in terms of credit with calling
> the system "Linux".).

The problem is that credit was given _nowhere_.  People stopped
cooperating with the GNU maintainers of GNU software and made
Linux-specific forks.  They talked down and derided the GNU project and
took all the credit for the software which they forked.  Attempts by the
GNU maintainers to maintain portability were sabotaged because "GNU had
failed, Linux thrived".

Focusing on the name was a strategic choice.  The miracle is that it
actually worked rather well.  Not for making Stallman or the FSF
popular.  Or even making anybody like the name GNU/Linux.  But while
people are quibbling and fuming over the name, they get educated about
the situation.  And that's something they did not bother with before.

Losing the GNU/Linux battle again and again looks like it has been
winning the education war for GNU.

Whether or not it is the "right" place to give credit, it turns out that
just constantly trying to get the credit there is achieving the primary
purpose, that of educating people.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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