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Re: gnu vs. xemacs

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: gnu vs. xemacs
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 10:53:03 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Matthew Flaschen <address@hidden> writes:

> Tim X wrote:
>> You don't think your being a bit pedantic do you? After all, Linux is
>> what GNU/Linux is commonly called. You also have lots of other
>> references out there which don't include the "GNU" part, such as The
>> Linux Journal, the Linux Gazette, Linux Weekly news,
>>,, etc etc.
>> At least if your going to take the time to post a response, maybe add
>> something for the OP in addition to correcting his colloquial use of
>> Linux rather than the technically correct one.
> I don't think he's being pedantic, and the fact that the error is common
> does not mean it's insignificant.  It's not only technically correct,
> it's ethically correct.
> As for the OP, I can't help since I've never used XEmacs.

Perhaps your right - I guess what got to me was the fact the
respondent was able to take the time to correct a common error which
nearly everyone is guilty of, but failed to actually address the OPs
question in any way. I mean, is he going to correct every post that
refers to just Linux rather than GNU/Linux?

Although I understand why we should encourage people to not drop the
GNU part, I suspect that basic human tendency to shorten descriptions
will see Linux being used far more often than GNU/Linux. We have
far greater ethical problems relating to how people use GNU software
and misunderstanding regarding free software and open source than
whether people use the "formal" title or not. IMO if we want users to
adopt a specific terminology, we need to provide positive
reinforcement to do so in addition to criticising them when they fail
to. Actually assisting someone together with correcting their
understandable error in terms would assist in this. Just criticism
without any assistance is more likely to have the opposite affect. 


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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