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Re: OT: GNU an Operating System WAS Re: One unclear point in the Vim license


(PS: I am not sure RMS follows this list, and you did not CC him, so he might
not have read your mail).

On Thu, Jan 03, 2002 at 03:27:14PM -0800, lloyder@canada.com wrote:
> >     If I ask one of my friends "what is GNU" he doesn't just think of the
> >     OS, GNU is more than that.
> > 
> > This appears to be a misunderstanding, because GNU is an operating
> > system--no more, no less.
> That is comical.  The term operating system (OS) is a 
> vague term even if you attempt to make the term concise:
> http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/html/entry/operating-system.html

Oh well, certainly the term is stretchable.  You would say Windows is an
operating system, and for Microsoft the browser belongs to it.  And instant
messaging software, and CD writing software etc etc.  It depends really who
you ask.
> The meaning of the acronym GNU suggests an OS, but 
> many GNU initiatives seem not to be in pursuit of 
> creating/improving an OS, but an operating environment
> -- semantic sugar?  Are these GNU initiatives not GNU?

You can read on GNU's homepage what GNU software consists of.  The term
operating system is use in a very broad sense by RMS, obviously.
> I would think if GNU was an OS, there would be no 
> Linux today.



`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

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