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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?
On Wed, Jan 08, 2003 at 03:00:20AM -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
> The definition of GNU is simple: GNU is an operating system. In 1983
> I announced the plan to develop a Unix-like operating system that
> would be entirely free software, and I gave the system the name GNU.

Just for the record, "operating system", and "kernel" are used as
synonyms in the research literature. If you open a textbook on
"operating systems" or look at the contents of the proceedings
of Operating Systems conferences, you will not find many discussions
of text editors, compilers, or other programming tools. Generally, the operating
system is considered to stop at the system call interface.

One of the revolutionary features of UNIX was that it was relatively
agnostic about "tools".
Oddly enough, the two most active campaigners for expanding the
definition of operating system are the FSF and Microsoft.

I think that Richard's usage of "operating system" is based on
Digital Equipment Corp. terminology from the prehistorical times
of releases on tape.

> We're looking for a good term to use for "programs released under GNU
> licenses", because we want to educate the community that this is not
> the same thing as free software (there are other free software

(1) GNU Programming System.
(2) GPL Programming Layer

You should be able to get US military funding because these are recursive
TLAs. The GPL expansion to "GPL Programming Layer" so that GPL becomes
a context sensitive recursive TLA should be enough to get an entire Homeland
Security program dedicated to the project.

Please feel free to use this idea without restriction. In fact, this is released
under "I don't want to have anything to do with it" license.


Victor Yodaiken
Finite State Machine Labs: The RTLinux Company.
1+ 505 838 9109

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