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02.09.14

Stallman’s Views: 10-Part Series of Opinions on Non-GNU Matters

Posted in GNU/Linux at 9:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Photo by Pratheesh Prakash

Summary: Prelude to a series of video interviews with the father of Free (as in freedom) software

IT HAS been a while since we least released an episode with Stallman. We published 6 short videos where Stallman spoke about the early days of GNU back in the 1980s. There is a new comment from a valued reader who says “Linux has nothing to do with Stallman.”

“It’s not as though Apple and Microsoft would have thrown away their kernels to replace them with pre-1.0 Linux back in 1991.”It depends what one means by “Linux”. A lot of people use the word to refer to the GNU system which was extended by the inclusion of Linux. And even if they refer only to the kernel, where would if it be if had no system to be integrated into (the first person to do this was a colleague of mine in Manchester Computing)? It’s not as though Apple and Microsoft would have thrown away their kernels to replace them with pre-1.0 Linux back in 1991. In that sense, Linux is somewhat indebted to GNU.

A new post [1] shows a very deceiving timeline from the Linux Foundation, where Stallman only shows up some time around 1992, almost a decade after he started building the GNU system. This is revisionism and a distortion of history. It’s not the first and it motivates or justifies the need for rebuttals. In the coming weeks we are going to release several different videos of Stallman talking about non-technical matters or Internet matters which do not involve operating systems. Stallman explains, among other things, that he believes demonisation of him might be part of a paid campaign. Incitations against him are common and they are usually not hinged on facts.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. XX != Years of Linux

    There’s a big problem with this “20 Years of Linux” graph, and many “XX Years of Linux” graphs as most all show an incomplete history or timeline of events and milestones. The one below for example.

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2 Comments

  1. luvr said,

    February 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Gravatar

    To be honest, I do believe that in 2011, one could rightfully speak of “20 years of Linux”, in that Linus started the Linux kernel in 1991—i.e., twenty years earlier.
    Having said that, Linux is a typical example of what “standing of the shoulders of giants” can achieve. As such, a graph titled “Memorable Linux Milestones” does not have particularly great credibility if it ignores the milestones that preceded it—most notably GNU and the GPL. In addition, I doubt it I would include the creation of the Linux Foundation in such a graph; in my opinion, the first Ubuntu release is far more significant to Linux history than that (even though I, too, frown upon the path that Ubuntu has taken nowadays), and that’s missing from the graph.

  2. pratheesh said,

    February 19, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks for using my photograph and giving due credits.

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