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Re: *BSD and GNU/*BSD nomenclature

Robert Millan wrote:
RMS would never request placing "GNU/" in the name of a system that is
"*not* GNU-based".

Let's not get dogmatic about this. TTBOMK, there is no canonical definition of "GNU-based". The NetBSD port, for example, has many GNU components. GNU-enough-for-ya? Well of course there won't be consensus on that.

However -- apologies if this point has been made before -- I'd like to suggest that there is in fact a better argument for calling BSD ports "GNU/..." than there is for Linux. If GNU software is such an important component of Linux systems, why didn't people call them that from day one? Simple -- because it's redundant. In practice, there is no other userland that you could be talking about, and we all know it. Usage choices tend towards parsimony.

However in the *BSD case there *is* now variety in userlands, and the name needs to reflect that somehow. Using "Debian" as an identifier is short-sighted, as Robert pointed out in <20030613014412.GA736@aragorn>.

Just in case anybody cares that perhaps a name should describe and distinguish, rather than keep RMS happy (god help a world where that was the #1 priority).

[Perhaps people would be happier with GNutBSD  ;)  ]

John Ineson

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