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SubjectRe: Nvidia and its choice to read the GPL "differently"

Richard Stallman writes:

> Many people think GNU is a collection of tools, because the best known
> among the programs we developed for GNU are tools. We also developed
> other programs for GNU that are not tools. But GNU is not just a
> collection of various programs; it's an operating system which in 1992
> was mostly complete. (See
> it would be
> *inaccurate* to say anything but "Linux" when talking about "Linux,
> the operating system."
> The term "operating system" has sometimes been used with the same
> meaning as "kernel", but nowadays when people speak of operating
> systems they typically mean complete systems such as HPUX, Solaris,
> Windows, MacOS, GNU, and GNU/Linux.

By "GNU" you mean the Hurd? That's not nice at all. Just where
did you get your network stack from? How about the bulk of the
hardware drivers?

I think Hurd/Linux or Linux/Hurd would be a proper name for
your kernel. Credit is due, right? Don't be a hypocrite now...

> If you call the system "Linux", you are misinforming other people:
> teaching them a false picture of the system's history. Some of them
> may become so attached to the false picture that it distorts their
> thinking. If you call it "GNU/Linux", this won't happen.

Calling the OS "Linux" has nothing to do with teaching anybody
about history. The true historical name for the kernel, given
by Linus, is "Freax". I'm not kidding. An FTP site maintainer
(named Ari Lemmke?) came up with the "Linux" name.

So Freax is our kernel, and Linux is the OS. The kernel has to
report "Linux" as the name of course, since the kernel is the
part of the OS which supplies /proc/version. Using one name
for everything reduces confusion. Regular people have enough
trouble telling the OS apart from the hardware it runs on.
(The "Start" button is part of a PC you know!)

Anyway, "GNU/Linux" inhibits the spread of free software.
Regular people care about how attractive the name sounds.
This alone should be reason enough to drop the crusade.
Ask somebody in marketing, sales, or psychology if you need
help understanding this concept. In addition, the effort
you spend on "GNU/Linux" is noise that dilutes your message
about the value of free software. People have limited
attention; it does no good to get side-tracked on some
personal conflict over a perfectly usable and accepted name.
The listener allows you a limited amount of conflict;
exceed some per-person threshold and you get dismissed
as a nut.

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