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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 15:47:21 +0200

On Fri,  6 Oct 2006 19:10:53 +0200 (CEST)
"Alfred M. Szmidt" <> wrote:

>    I am not saying it was an established definition.  I am saying that
>    is was used pretty much synonymously.
> And I'm saying that it was not used synonymously in most circles,
> maybe in your circles.  And in those days the term "kernel" wasn't
> even that used much, the operating system included everything you
> needed to use the computer (editors, compilers, and what not).

Even before the 80s, "kernel" was a widely used and fairly well-defined
term. From Ralston's "Encyclopedia of Computer Science and
Engineering", 2nd Edition (Copyright © 1983 Van Nostrand Reinhold):

"The term /kernel/ (and sometimes /nucleus/) is applied to the set of
programs in an operating system which implement the most primitive of
that system's functions. The precise interpretation of kernel programs,
of course, depends on the system; however, typical kernels contain
programs for four types of functions:

 1. /Process management/ (description elided)
 2. /Memory management/ (description elided)
 3. /Basic I/O control/ (description elided)
 4. /Security/ (description elided)

In some systems, the kernel is larger and provides for more than these
classes of functions. In others, it is smaller."

In my recollection at least, Unix was exceptional in that it provided,
as part of the operating system, programs such as assemblers, compilers,
text editors, link editors etc. that one had to pay for in other
systems. None of the other OSes I worked with in the 70s (MVS, GEORGE,
CP/M, AOS) included software development tools. 

Microsoft released a number of languages for CP/M (and TRSDOS) in the
early 80s. Ryan-McFarland was another vendor of Fortran and Cobol for
early microcomputers. Borland built its reputation with development
tools for MS-DOS. 

Bundling development tools was so exceptional that all Unix vendors had
"unbundled" them by the early 90s. 

Stefaan A Eeckels
One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils 
in this world are to be cured by legislation.          -- Thomas Reed

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