[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- raya's research on "The Four Freedoms"
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2006 12:54:22 +0200

On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 09:23:19 +0200
David Kastrup <> wrote:

>  The following section "Introduction" tries to cast some
> light on the actual usage of the word, and in the rest of the article,
> "operating system" is sometimes used to clearly indicate just kernel
> and kernel threads, sometimes in the terms of the encompassing system.

My second edition "Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering"
Copyright © 1983, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Inc. defines "Operating
System" as:

"the software (programs and data) that initiates the interaction of the
electronic and electromechanical components of a computer so that they
constitute a useful system for carrying out computations. The operating
system is responsible for sharing the computer equipment among users
and is therefore sometimes identified by functional names such
as /control programs/, /supervisors/, /executives/, or /monitors/,
although these names have gradually fallen out of use."

Chapter 1 of Kernighan and Pike's seminal "The Unix Programming
Environment" (Copyright © 1984, Prentice-Hall) starts with:

" What is "UNIX"? In the narrowest sense, it is a time-sharing operating
system kernel: a program that controls the resources of a computer and
allocates them among its users. It lets users run their programs; it
controls the peripheral devices (discs, terminals, printers and the
like) connected to the machine; and it provides a file system that
manages the long-term storage of information such as programs, data and

 In the broader sense, "UNIX" is often taken to include not only the
kernel, but also essential programs like compilers, editors, command
languages, programs for copying and printing files, and so on.

 Still more broadly, "UNIX" may even include programs developed by you
or other users to be run on your system, such as tools for document
preparation, routines for statistical analysis, and graphics packages. 

 Which of these uses of the name "UNIX" is correct depends on which
level of the system you are considering. When we use "UNIX" in the rest
of this book, context should indicate which meaning is implied."

It would seem that what constitutes an "Operating System" has always
been open to interpretation.

Stefaan A Eeckels
Governments are like babies: digestive tracts with a big appetite at
one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. The better run
ones from time to time get clean diapers...   

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]