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Re: RMS comments: Gnome part of the GNU operating system.



On Mon, Jul 24, 2000 at 03:09:57PM -0400, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Hamish Moffatt <hamish@debian.org> writes:
> 
> > The GNU project has contributed a lot to Debian and they deserve
> > credit. We call it Debian GNU/Linux, for example. But there are lots
> > of other major contributors too. So let's not devalue their contributions
> > by promoting GNU too heavily.
> 
> The relevant thing here is that GNOME is part of GNU.  That's what the
> G in it stands for.

True, but it isn't an essential part of GNU. For example, my new Dell
Inspiron 3800 is awaiting an upgrade to potato. It's been loaded with
a base slink system and it works fine. Does it have GNOME? No. Does
it have X? No. Does it have Emacs? No (I prefer Epsilon, but that's
another matter, I could just have well used FTE). Does it have perl?
python? No and no. What does it have? C and Algol 68 and Linux and a
considerable number of utilities (vital utilities). For example, cp,
mv, rm, tar, gzip, superformat, mke2fs, init and all the other
programs in /sbin and /usr/sbin.

The system wont work without the base utilities. Ever tried to use
GNU/Linux without ls? "echo *" is a very poor substitute.

If Richard Stallman comes across as belligerent, then I say he is
understandably justified. Across the world, a tiny proportion of
people understand that Linux is the kernel *only*. Most people who
use MS Windows 9x, for example, think that the GUI is the operating
system because that's what they interface with. You clearly use GNOME
and you regard it as essential. It isn't. Nor is X. Just useful and,
probably, time-saving. The fact is that Richard and the other members
of the GNU team are *not* getting the credit they deserve. What is
called Linux is an enormous superstructure with the kernel way down
at the bottom. Linux is less than 0.1% of the system now. Probably
less than 0.01%. There will undoubtedly be a replacement for Linux.
Probably HURD in the near future.

Credit where credit is due is *very* important in the scientific
world. Why not in the computer world too?

-- 
Sian Leitch (Software Engineer specialising in Algol 68)
Algol 68 for Linux is available from
<ftp://vestein.arb-phys.uni-dortmund.de/pub>
Look for ctrans-bin_0.1.0.tar.gz

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