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SubjectRe: GNU/Linux
On Sun, 4 Apr 1999, Michael Talbot-Wilson wrote:

> The most minimal complete Linux system consists of the kernel, some of the
> utilities in util-linux, a means of remote login and file transfer, a file
> editor, and the means to develop, test, compile and install all of the
> preceding.
>
> We can quibble over the real proprietorship of the copyright, and the
> separate issue of licence under the copyright, for all categories but the
> last. But when we come to real credit for the Linux achievement we should
> admit that Linux would not exist without the last category. Let me make
> that plain: Linux would not exist without Richard Stallman.

Why not? Remember, the FSF does not have a monopoly on compilers.

Had gcc not been available, another compiler would probably have been
used. If that compiler was non-free, how long do you think it would have
taken until a (semi-)free alternative appeared? The availability of gcc
and other GNU software was just extremely helpful at the time. Without it,
Linux might have sizzled and died, but then again, it might not have.

The free software / open source community owes a lot to Richard Stallman
and the FSF, but not everything.


Y.T.,

Ernst Jan Plugge - rmc@dds.nl
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