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Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC's DRM Iplayer windows only

From: Chris Croughton
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC's DRM Iplayer windows only
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2008 20:56:51 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

On Tue, Jan 08, 2008 at 06:59:37PM +0000, Noah Slater wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 08, 2008 at 05:49:26PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Arguably, calling the operating system GNU+Linux or Linux+GNU, while
> > more accurate, is retronaming in a way.
> No, you are totally wrong.
>   "Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete
>   Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu's Not Unix), and
>   give it away free to everyone who can use it.  Contributions of time,
>   money, programs and equipment are greatly needed. "
>   Richard Stallman, Sept 27 1983
>   http://groups.google.com/group/net.unix-wizards/msg/4dadd63a976019d7
>   "I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and
>   professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.  This has been brewing
>   since april, and is starting to get ready.  I'd like any feedback on
>   things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat
>   (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons)
>   among other things).
>   Linus Torvalds, Aug 26 1991
>   http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.minix/msg/b813d52cbc5a044b
> The GNU operating system predates Linux by 8 years.

So?  BSD predates both.  I know, let's call it GNU/Linux/BSD/Unix!
Throw in SCO, Novell and IBM as well for fun, they all claim to have
written bits of it.

As Linus' comment makes clear, although he was aware of the GNU project
his OS was not derived from it.  Indeed, the GNU Hurd was started at
about the same time as the Linux kernel and didn't become operational
until long after there were several complete Linux distributions (I
don't know anyone who uses the Hurd, is it still even supported?  The
last release seems to have been in 1999).

> > I'm not sure that Open Source is a revision of Free Software
> The Free Software Foundation was started in 1985 by RMS.
> The Open Source Initiative was founded in 1998 by ESR.
> Free Software predates Open Source by 15 years.

"Post hoc ergo propter hoc" again.  One of the well-known fallacies.
The term "Open Source" was around well before ESR founded the OSI
(Wikipedia says it was used "as early as 1987"), and certainly the
concept was around much earlier (much of the early Internet structure
was based around open source, with several of the implementations not
only being open but defining the protocols used).

> > Anyway, please finish this subthread (there will be a slight delay on
> > posts to it from now on) and direct the discussion towards the
> > "Growing FSFE" one.  We all know the views on GNU+Linux - unless
> > you've a killer unknown argument or link, please don't take the list
> > around in circles.
> Is this list moderated? What do you mean delay? I didn't realise we
> were only allowed to discuss things deemed suitable subject matter.

I haven't heard before that it's moderated.  Who is in charge of that?

> If you look closely, I am not arguing the point that GNU/Linux is the
> correct name, I am arguing the point that the FSF still needs to
> protect and campaign the name. A very differnt topic and a very
> important one.

Well, I'm one of the people who gets annoyed with that "campaign".  As
far as I'm concerned it's just as much hijacking the name as it would be
to talk of "GNU/BSD", the BSD systems I know have just as much GNU/FSF
owned software as do Linux systems.  Heck, I know Windows systems with
as much.

Chris C

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