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Old 01-02-2008, 06:09 AM   #1
kahlil88
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Lightbulb Don't Call It "Linux"


This is kinda like those "don't call it a phone" commercials, but with a Linux twist. It's bad to call the system "Linux" because it gives the wrong idea about the operating system's history, and leads people to believe Linus Torvalds created the entire thing. I recommend calling it "GNU/Linux", or just "GNU" (since that's what it is, and the Linux kernel is not the reason people use it anyway).
The term "open source" can also be misleading. The proper term, as coined by Richard Stallman, is "Free Software" (which describes software that gives the user freedom). Software that is "open source" can still have a restrictive license that doesn't adhere to the Free Software Definition (a good example is Project64).

I was thinking it would be fun to spread GNU and Free Software awareness with clever images (wallpapers, avatars, banners, buttons) that get the point across. Perhaps a stampede of gnus chasing a penguin. Please post any ideas, links, images, or anything else significant to this cause.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 06:36 AM   #2
SciYro
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RMS, is that you?
 
Old 01-02-2008, 07:06 AM   #3
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlil88 View Post
...... and the Linux kernel is not the reason people use it anyway).
I disagree--Until there was Linux, I never heard of GNU. I am sure I am not alone.

The view that we should technically call it "GNU-Linux" is old news, and really doesn't seem to have much support. We have always had labels for things that were imprecise and yet got the job done. That's not going to change anytime soon.

It strikes me that similar logic might cause "Windows" to more precisely be called "DOS-Windows" since it was built on DOS. Or maybe "DOS-Mac-Windows" since they copied the Mac GUI interface.

And of course we should never have said "scotch tape"---it's "Scotch brand cellophane tape"
 
Old 01-02-2008, 07:17 AM   #4
reddazz
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Just call it GNU/BSD/APACHE/MOZILLA/PYTHON/PHP/QPL/MIT/.../Linux.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 07:25 AM   #5
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I have to agree with that Linux was what makes GNU apps to stand out. Without linux kernel, the only thing (AFAIK) that left was the Hurd kernel which from the beginning was problematic and that's why the FSF and GNU adopted the Linux Kernel.

As pixellany said, there are tons of example where things aren't called as 'technically' should be called but that's the way things are, the matter 'GNU/Linux or just Linux' have been debated for years, however, that hasn't changed at all the fact that it's still called 'Linux', and I don't believe that will change either.

Like wise, if 'open source' isn't an appropiate word to refer to open code, neither is 'Free Software' because there's then that matter of 'Free as freedom/free speech not as free beer', then we should use something like 'open source code' or 'non-closed software code' or 'Free as free speech software' or the like.

We, as humans, adopt words for simplicity and not for right taxonomy/semantics most of the time, we are build that way. That in some point things need to be clarified, true, but we will continue using simple words to describe complex things.




Regards

Last edited by Acron_0248; 01-02-2008 at 07:27 AM.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:08 AM   #6
DotHQ
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I believe most are aware that Linux is Unix running on a 386 platform. So it should be call Unix dangit.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:14 AM   #7
brianL
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I always call it GNU/Linux, others can call it what they like. And, since I'm using, or have used, a lot of GNU stuff on Windows via either Cygwin, DJGPP, or MSys + MinGW, I'm going to start calling Windows: GNU/Windows. Where would the Linux kernel be without the GNU tools?
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:15 AM   #8
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotHQ View Post
I believe most are aware that Linux is Unix running on a 386 platform. So it should be call Unix dangit.
You are joking?? Linux is not Unix--no matter what it runs on. It is a Unix "workalike"---also sometimes called a clone.

"Unix dangit"??? This should be: "Unix Dangit" (he was a notorious character from the very early days of computing.....)
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:26 AM   #9
Larry Webb
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Hopefully one day it will be called "The Other OS" or better yet "The OS".
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
kahlil88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
I disagree--Until there was Linux, I never heard of GNU. I am sure I am not alone.
That's because there wasn't a complete free operating sytem until the Linux kernel was finished, and Linus Torvalds decided to call the whole thing "Linux" because he has a big ego. I don't think RMS wanted to market GNU before it was complete, but I'm sure if Hurd had been finished before Linux, the world would know it as GNU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
It strikes me that similar logic might cause "Windows" to more precisely be called "DOS-Windows" since it was built on DOS. Or maybe "DOS-Mac-Windows" since they copied the Mac GUI interface.
The DOS/Mac/Windows issue is completely different. There would be lawsuits if Apple or Microsoft used each others trademarks in such a way, even if they do copy each other's ideas on a regular basis. Also, Microsoft is a single corporation. There isn't a separate entity making Windows' kernel and naming the whole system as such. If Microsoft was facing an issue like this, they would either sue or buy whoever is causing them problems, and from that point they have 100% say in the matter.
The issue at hand is that calling the system "Linux" makes people believe that Linus Torvalds created the whole thing, but really he just combined his kernel with GNU for a complete system. Calling the system "GNU/Linux", "GNU+Linux" or just plain "GNU" informs people where the system comes from.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 09:19 AM   #11
pixellany
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You may be technically correct but you are swimming upstream. The brand-name recognition is established--"Linux"--and that is not likely to change.

Since you know the issue quite well, you certainly know that RMS is not universally liked in the opensource community---I gather this traces to his somewhat autocratic idealism. As for Torvalds' big ego, I have a different impression. Have you read the book "Just for Fun"?

As for Windows, why doesn't the name include all the things they bought and absorbed into the Windows code base?

I will continue to use Linux, but not Windows---YMMV.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 09:41 AM   #12
XavierP
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Actually, Linux has always been the name of the kernel and wasn't named by Linus - he asked for suggestions and chose Linux. The early community named it, to be precise.

As the the GNU/Linux naming - this is a long standing argument. It should not be called merely GNU because the GNU kernel wasn't ready (and still isn't AFAIK) and that's why the Linux kernel was used. The real reason we say Linux is that human beings always shorten things for ease. Frankly, as long as the system works as I want it to I really couldn't care less what's it's called.

And I have moved this to General.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #13
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I'm gonna call it linux, in private, and slackware, in public, unless I'm being threatened with a pointed stick, or a piece of fruit, in which case I'll try to distract my adversaries with a screenshot of an actual gnu (as long as the wildebeasts don't get upset at the rename), as I make my getaway with my horseless carriage.

cheers,

Last edited by mrclisdue; 01-02-2008 at 09:47 AM.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 09:55 AM   #14
uros09
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GNU/Linux is 85% GNU and 15% Linux.Linux is kernel (the most significant part of operating system).Linux can not exist without GNU but GNU could exist without Linux (on Solaris or BSD but it is big question where would GNU be without Linux).
So 15 cheers for Linus Torvalds and kernel developers and 85 cheers to Richard Stallman and GNU programers.I feel it is right to call system GNU/Linux.

Main point is not software convenience main points are freedoms (all 4 of them not just 2).
 
Old 01-02-2008, 10:12 AM   #15
kaz2100
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Hya,

Does anybody have (or remember) how 'www.gnu.org" looked like, before this morning?? (2/Jan/2008)

Last time I visited that home page was quite a while ago, I do not remember the following statement
Quote:
(Sometimes this combination is incorrectly called Linux.)
Is politics hiding??

Happy Penguins!
 
  


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