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GNU within the name (Was: Changes in formal naming for NetBSD porting effort(s))

viro@parcelfarce.linux.theplanet.co.uk said:

> On Thu, Dec 18, 2003 at 05:03:55AM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:
>> Scripsit Kevin Kreamer <kevin@kreamer.org>
>> > In the case of a NetBSD libc, you could use
>> > Debian NBSD/NBSD
>> > basically having the first half signify which libc is used.
>> Wouldn't that be a major retcon? AFAIU the "GNU/" in Debian GNU/Linux
>> says that we're using GNU userland tools such as cp, mv, diff, cc,
>> make, nroff, etc. That's prominently visible to users; the libc is a
>> technical detail that most users wouldn't care about unless it breaks.
> Hardly.  Guess which *roff, gcc, diff, tar, etc. is there in *BSD?  And
> considering the state of coreutils...  not much to boast there.
> About the only thing that gives any real weight to "GNU/" stuff is glibc -
> the rest is either common on all free Unices (and GNU doesn't see that
> as grounds for claim on renaming *BSD to GNU/*BSD) or... well, less than
> impressive, to put it mildly.
> IOW, about the only way GNU/Linux as a port name makes sense is "what libc
> do we have here"/"what kernel does it run on".

You are currently saying that the GNU in GNU/Linux is justified by the
glibc and not by any other GNU software, because these GNU software
are common on other unixes.

Why? If you are right that others unixes uses widely GNU software,
maybe they should consider recognize the GNU part of the their
system. But that's a different story.

If we follow your theory, it means that if someday another system use
the glibc, we should remove the GNU from the GNU/Linux name. 

It does not make sense: the GNU part of the name shows that the system
used is the system designed/initiated by the GNU project running with
the kernel Linux, which is not part of GNU. It does not mean that
there are GNU software rarely used elsewhere in the system! 

(Note: I'm not subscribed to debian-bsd, please keep debian-devel in

Mathieu Roy

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