08.31.20

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Linux Would Never Have Been Mainstream Without GNU (We Could be Living in a BSD/UNIX World or Just More of Microsoft)

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel at 11:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The licence crafted by Richard Stallman, as well as the GNU Project (lots of basic but invaluable utilities), helped make Linux what it is today; it’s good that the value of the licence is still being recognised, but bashing “where it came from” (so to speak) is disrespectful and opportunistic because Stallman says less obscene and controversial things than those insults from the founder of Linux

IS RMS an ‘extremist’?

No and it is not honourable to call him that.

Corporations want us to think he is. The Linux Foundation (little but a front of monopolistic corporations) pretends he does not exist and never did anything at all.

Hey, nothing extreme about individuals amassing $200 billion and still pursuing ways to avoid tax, right? Nothing ‘sick in the head’…

“Hey, nothing extreme about individuals amassing $200 billion and still pursuing ways to avoid tax, right? Nothing ‘sick in the head’…”Or a nontechnical Linux Foundation ‘chief’ taking (or rather raking in) so much money that the foundation he 'runs' operates at a loss.

At the moment we study thousands of old Debian E-mails from the 1990s (never published before); a lot of them come from Bruce Perens and so many of the messages acknowledge the FSF/GNU and RMS (a lot more than Linux and Linus Torvalds). “Open Source” didn’t exist at the time, but they spoke about Free software and several times about “Open Hardware”. Bruce lost his temper at one point and started cursing at everyone, albeit he then posted a mass apology to each person individually (no link as it would not be respectful to Bruce, whose latest initiative seems noteworthy and GPL-friendly).

“The system as a whole is a lot more worthy of the name “GNU” than “Linux”, which RMS said was “not an operation system” (causing an uproar among kernel developers at the time).”Reading these E-mails very carefully (I’ve spent many hours on that already), it seems clear that in 1996 and in 1997 GNU was a lot more important than Linux, which had already been around for half a decade. The revisionists were beginning to call the whole system just “Linux” (the mailing list shows many disagreements and dissent, both from Debian developers and from the FSF). A couple of years later there was OSI and “Open Source” — a term that Torvalds was fast to adopt because it helped bury the message of GNU and the FSF. As if they never existed and Torvalds was an ‘overnight God’ in his twenties.

Those who care about true history and not mainstream nonsense may want to read the pertinent E-mails, which we reproduced in the name of transparency (much belatedly, 23 years!). The system as a whole is a lot more worthy of the name “GNU” than “Linux”, which RMS said was “not an operation system” (causing an uproar among kernel developers at the time). It’s all there in the E-mails, with direct quotes from Debian leaders, the Slackware founder, and other high-profile people. We omit links intentionally as those might increase the perception of privacy invasion. We can produce the underlying evidence upon demand (we’ve taken notes of what’s where exactly in these E-mails).

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