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Re: The GNU thing

On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 06:51:49AM -0600, Jonathan Guthrie wrote:
> > On Wed, 24 Mar 1999, David B. Teague wrote:
> > 
> > > > The importance of compilers was one reason I chose to license Linux
> > > > under the GNU Public License (GPL). The GPL was the license for the
> > > > GCC compiler. I think that all the other projects from the GNU group
> > > > are for Linux insignificant in comparison.
> > 
> > I think this statement is absolute truth.  Linux wouldn't exist without
> > GCC, but it certainly could without textutils or shellutils and suchlike.
> interesting opinion. Maybe you never tried to "dpkg --purge --force-depends
> --force-essential" those packages.

The key thing is that GCC was responsible for creating Linux. The other
programs would have been written if they didn't already exist. Since they
DID already exist, there was no point in wasting the effort to reinvent
wheels and these other programs were SUPPOSED to be free. Now we see that
there is a big giant string attached to using them. You can use them but
you have to attach the letters GNU/ to your system if you do. I simply
think it is in poor taste for Stallman to make this argument and this is
the first comment Linus has ever said even remotely near the issue in
public. Basicly he said that the GNU project is of little/no importance to
Linux and I agree. 

If the GNU project had been the first to bundle Linux with the other GNU
programs, they might have a claim.  Since others simply grabbed the GNU
stuff because it was handy, RMS has no claim. The thing will probably
backfire in his face. In the desire to be truly free there has already
started at least one effort to port the BSD stuff.

There is no use in arguing about what is the correct name, if you produce
a distribution, you are free to call it whatever you want. The problem is
that nobody should have the right to tell someone else what to name their
stuff.  It is a freedom issue. I would have second thoughts about using
some "free" software and then have the people that "gave" me the software
try to dictate to me additional terms not in the license after the fact.

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