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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- raya's research on "The Four Freedoms"

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- raya's research on "The Four Freedoms"
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 20:44:21 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Alfred M. Szmidt" <> writes:

>    > So you admit that there has been no _fixed_ definition.  Maybe
>    > you are too old to remember those things, but in those times,
>    > "operating system" and "kernel" was used pretty much synonymously
>    > in computer science circles.
>    This is true, but in computer marketing circles the definition
>    extended far beyond the kernel.  See, for example, what AT&T
>    included in System III or for that matter what all came on the
>    BSD tapes.
> It had nothing to do with "marketting circles", check what came on the
> LMI CADR, or LAMBDA tapes.  Or what came on RSX-10, or even ITS.  

"came on" most certainly had to do with marketing circles.  In
academic circles, "operating system" and "operating system theory" was
very much centered about the concept "arbitration of system resources
like CPU, memory, file storage, devices".

If I take a look into "UNIX, The Book" by Banahan&Rutter, published in
1982, I read under "The Process Environment" (emphases not my own):

    [...] In this chapter we explain the action of some of the UNIX
    _system_ _calls_.  These are the interface between programs and
    the operating system, they are what actually do the work of the
    system utilities.  Without them, programs are powerless to do
    anything except shuffle data around inside themselves.  All
    external action, be it input, output, executing another program --
    all this has to be done using _system_ _calls_.  System calls
    communicate between programs and the bit of UNIX which really _is_
    an operating system: it's called the `kernel' of UNIX.  The kernel
    is the part of UNIX which looks after the processor for you,
    allocating memory and time to programs, handling the filestore and
    the communications.

You'll actually find that while UNIX including its central utilities
is often informally referred to as "the system", the more formal term
"operating system", stemming from computer science, is commonly
reserved to mean the kernel itself.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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