GNU/Linux

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Linux or GNU/Linux

We should always say GNU/Linux
0
No votes
We should say GNU/Linux just enough to be clear and courteous
4
15%
We should say Linux but add a disclaimer in the small print
1
4%
Linux is what everybody calls it, so stop fussing and drink your coffee
21
81%
 
Total votes : 26

GNU/Linux

Postby guy » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:14 pm

LXF 157 carries a letter ranting about "GNU/Linux" followed by an equal Editorial rant in reply.

May I say that I find your reply a little unfair.

The point about GNU/Linux is that these two components, the GNU toolchain and the Linux kernel, are all you need to build a fully functional operating system. OK it doesn't have a GUI or a web server or stuff, but it's ready for them. You can open a command shell and create, save, move, install, configure and run your stuff. And perhaps also importantly, both components are licensed under variants of the GNU Public License.

I just looked up the result of today's Bahrain Grand Prix on the BBC web site - it was won by a Red Bull-Renault. Not a Red Bull, note. The BBC has no small-print disclaimer in an obscure page explaining that Red Bull is short for Red Bull-Renault, it writes the full name where it matters. Not everywhere of course, the narrative reports refer only to Red Bull, but the courtesy is maintained. And that's not just a publisher's political correctness. For example I am old enough to remember the original Mini Cooper - a Mini with its engine souped-up by Mr. Cooper - renowned and plagiarised to this day.

People sometimes claim wrongly that Android is not Linux, when what they rightly mean is that Android is not GNU/Linux. Given that you make such play that your magazine is not GNU/Linux Format, one might expect to find at least a page or two on Android Linux. But no, the platitude is not reflected in the content: in truth, this issue could well be titled GNU/Linux Format. A little more clarity and respect for other POVs all round might help reduce such errors.
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Postby nelz » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:01 am

That is a specious argument, F1 is a completely different environment where everything is determined by contractual agreements. On the results page you linked, there are mentions of Sauber and Torro Rosso-Ferrari. Both use Ferrari engines yet only one includes it in the team name.
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Postby guy » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:46 pm

I'm not saying that every F1 team takes the same stance, just that the idea of saying "GNU/Linux" chimes in with common practice elsewhere. I could have picked half a dozen examples from that list and more, you were lucky to find a single one. I could have picked many examples from the scientific community, say Calabi-Yau spaces, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox or Coxeter-Dynkin diagrams, to equal effect. Then again in the world of business one finds Hoffman LaRoche, Marks & Spencer, Messrs. Sue, Grabbitt and Runne Solicitors, and so on. All these are based ultimately on a show of mutual respect.

Nor should one imply that subjecting something to to legal contract somehow affects the morality of the thing itself. You don't need reminding that the essence of the GPL is that it subjects us to legal conditions, too. Those who find copyleft an immoral approach would still do so even if it were not legally binding.

I don't like spin whichever way it is spun. I prefer respect. At least you do not describe the Mini Cooper as "specious" (not even the ultimate Mini Cooper S ;) ).
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Postby nelz » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:44 pm

The main problem with GNU/Linux is that it is so damn clumsy and ugly. The / is also misleading. Notice that not one of the examples you gave uses it, some are now advocating GNU+Linux, which is more accurate if no less ugly.
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Postby Rhakios » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:09 pm

Perhaps it's time to resurrect the rather wooden sounding Lignux...

... then again, perhaps it isn't.
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Postby M-Saunders » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:13 pm

At least "GNU/Linux" is better than "Lignux", which RMS tried a while back...

I can understand where the GNU folks are coming from on this, but I think they'd have more success trying to spread their message through other means and with a bit more marketing savvy, than trying to squeeze an ugly prefix onto an already unusual-sounding OS.

As I see it, the two biggest GNU contributions to GNU/Linux today are GCC and glibc. It's possible that the former will be replaced by CLANG/LLVM one day, and the latter is useful but phenomenally boring, so RMS and co. have to be careful with this approach...

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Postby heiowge » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:12 pm

Coca Cola is called Coke. It's not it's proper name, but it's what everyone calls it. They adapted. So should the GNU / Linux nazis. If they want to call it Gnu / , go for it. But don't insist everyone else does.

Then again, it took the Coca Cola company almost 6 decades to adopt "Coke"...
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Postby Marrea » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:45 pm

nelz wrote:The main problem with GNU/Linux is that it is so damn clumsy and ugly.

That’s nothing compared with WSB where we have such gems as the Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati and the Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW. And dear old Jack Burnicle, bless his heart, will insist on trotting out not only the whole name but frequently prefaces it with the colour scheme as well - that is when he is not preoccupied with telling us all about whichever “pretty little lass” has caught his eye that weekend! :D
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Postby nelz » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:21 pm

In BSB he always insisted on the full Rapid Bathams Solicitors and someone else Ducati and then remind us of Tony Rutter's age, in case he'd had a birthday in the previous three laps :o
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Postby guy » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Whether one writes GNU/Linux, GNU+Linux or (my preference) GNU-Linux is neither here nor there. Though I have to agree that Lignux does sound a bit wooden-headed, especially if RMS was planning to call his next project Vitae. I am sure that a publisher as illustrious as Future Publishing could come up with something both grammatical and elegant.

It is surely possible that an OS built with the Linux kernel and a non-GNU toolchain might make the grade. One would expect RMS to accede gracefully that whatever it was called was none of his business, as long as it was not GNU/Linux.

Meanwhile, "let 'em eat coke" meant something rather different in my childhood...
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Postby nordle » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:55 pm

Marrea wrote: And dear old Jack Burnicle, bless his heart, will insist on trotting out not only the whole name but frequently prefaces it with the colour scheme as well - that is when he is not preoccupied with telling us all about whichever “pretty little lass” has caught his eye that weekend! :D


I don't remember him commenting......maybe I was too busy looking at the scenery to concentrate on what he said.

I cried laughing watching "I, Superbiker 2, The Showdown" last night. Witham and Jack in particular hitting some high notes that only bats and dogs would be able to hear.
The opening and closing races of 2011 BSB season were utterly brilliant. The kind of wheel to wheel fairing bashing that you'd probably have to go back to WSB 2002 Imola, Bayliss V Edwards to get a similar final.

Have to say, I REALLY, REALLY miss BSB's being on BBC with Barry Nutley.

Ooops, a bit OT.

ehh, yeah, Linux is Linux, the people have spoken.

Hoover is a vacuum cleaner. All vacuum cleaners are Hoovers now. mmmm, ok its not quite the same.

Linux can't run without a microprocessor of some description. So, should it be SiliconBasedElectricityPoweredMicroprocessorGNULinux

Snappy.

Linux is Linux. If we all stopped having pi$$ing contests, looked at the bigger picture, things might be even better than they are now.

For the record, my own position on Linux, I'm disappointed and not particularly optimistic. At least not compared to what I thought would happen 12 years ago. Maybe I'll save that rant for a rainy winters day after one too many beers :)
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Postby Brian Hunter » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:01 pm

What, you don't all use the Ubuntu Kernel as well?
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