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Re: "MIT/GNU/Linux" (was: gnu vs. xemacs)

From: Robert Thorpe
Subject: Re: "MIT/GNU/Linux" (was: gnu vs. xemacs)
Date: 30 Dec 2006 09:49:15 -0800
User-agent: G2/1.0

Micha Feigin wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: address@hidden
> > [mailto:address@hidden
> > On Behalf Of B. Smith-Mannschott
> > Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 2:46 PM
> > To: address@hidden
> > Subject: "MIT/GNU/Linux" (was: gnu vs. xemacs)
> >
> >
> > On Dec 29, 2006, at 02:12, Leo wrote:
> > > In every emacs-* mailing lists, it has been extremely consistent to
> > > use Linux and GNU/Linux i.e. Linux means the kernel and
> > GNU/Linux is
> > > the operating system that contains a Linux kernel.
> >
> The operating system is the kernel.

No it's not.  This is an insidious idea started by Microsoft in the 80s
who wanted to ship DOS with virtually no utilities.  They tried to call
it an OS even though it was only a part of one.  Historically an OS has
meant  "the stuff that is needed to make a computer usable", not just
the kernel.  Even they have moved away from doing this, far away.

> > Actually, we should use "MIT/GNU/Linux", at least when
> What about qt etc ?
> > at all tempted to shorten a handy phrase like
> > "MIT/GNU/Linux". It just rolls of the tongue.
> >
> > I'm inclined to agree with the point made by the pedants of
> > "GNU/ Linux", but I do wonder: where does it end?

This is a problem.  The systems that are used today have been built
from software from many sources, large voluntary projects, private
individual hobbiests, and corporations.  The largest things in a distro
used to be, in terms of lines of code, Linux, GCC, X, Glibc and Emacs.
Now there are things like and Mozilla.  There is no really good
name anymore.

Perhaps these systems should be described as "Free/Open software
operating systems".

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