Re: *BSD and GNU/*BSD nomenclature (was: Re: X Strike Force SVN commit: rev 183 - in branches/4.3.0/sid/debian: . patches)
On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 07:14:48PM +0200, Robert Millan wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 10:08:42AM -0600, Joel Baker wrote:
> > On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 04:52:39PM +0200, Robert Millan wrote:
> > >
> > > You just said it is "*not* GNU-based". Do you know what GNU/Something means?
> > *sigh* It was early in the morning. I typed GNU on autopilot; I *meant*
> > "GNU libc & other stuff".
> erm, so that was a typo?
Well, if you read the part of the message you elided, I laid out exactly
what the system is and isn't. You haven't answered my question about "What
is a GNU-based system?", so I cannot tell you whether it was a think-o, or
actually an accurate statement.
> > As for knowing what GNU/Something means - does
> > *anyone*? Nobody could explain the details when it was first debated, and
> > to date, nobody has explained them here, either.
> According to the GNU folks, it's a variant of the GNU system for which
> "Something" may provide some indication on what it differs from GNU.
So a GNU-based system is "a variant of the GNU system that differs from
GNU"? That seems rather... circular.
> > > RMS would never request placing "GNU/" in the name of a system that is
> > > "*not* GNU-based".
> > Maybe. Maybe not. He requested it of systems that didn't consider
> > themselves GNU based, but *he* considered them to be. Debian agreed with
> > him, others didn't. C'est la vie.
> that's right (although it's discussable what "themselves" means here), but
> we're not talking about GNU/Linux.
Actually, we are, at least by reference; we're talking about GNU/*, and
why it has GNU in the name, and GNU/Linux is one of the primary current
> > The port maintainers have done their best to try to ascertain what,
> > exactly, the GNU/* means, and have failed to get useful answers, yes. So. I
> > present to you the following system; you tell me if it's GNU, or not, and
> > if at all possible please cite references to RMS (or at least FSF folks)
> > asserting any particular point.
> No, i was asking wether _you_ think it's a GNU variant. My opinion is that
> it shouldn't be considered as such, but i'm not going to defend that opinion
> with citations whatsoever (though if others want to, they're welcome to).
My opinion is that it has enough GNU stuff in it that, per the reasoning I
saw in the archives on debian-devel, it was reasonable to name it "Debian
GNU/NetBSD". If you don't agree, fine, but I'm not going to chance my mind
just because you assert it should be otherwise; provide something to back
> > Keep in mind that the rest of Debian might also have a say, though I
> > strongly suspect that as long as we have clear reasoning, nobody will care
> > much which way it goes.
> Feel free to discuss it if you think it's necessary, but note my concern is
> only with the contradiction of calling it "GNU/NetBSD", but still saying it's
> not a GNU variant. If that was just a typo then let's drop it here.
That also depends on whether you think the "GNU/" prefix means "a GNU
variant", a matter on which opinions seem to differ. Me, I'm going to stick
with Debian's precedent, until given a reason to do otherwise. Particularly
given the point made in another message, that there is *more* meaning to
labelling it GNU/NetBSD than there is to calling Linux GNU/Linux, since
"NetBSD" normally implies that it has nothing much to do with GNU software
except the compiler and a few other relatively minor pieces.
Joel Baker <email@example.com>