[ILUG] RMS & GNU/Linux
nick-list at netability.ie
Thu May 23 15:44:15 IST 2002
> Read http://www.linuxworld.com/site-stories/2002/0520.rms.html
> see if you can find anything with which to really disagree.
> I've always thought that RMS had a strong point here, but I've been
> too lazy to do anything but say Linux. However, he's close to
> convincing me. In fact, he has convinced me, the question only remains
> whether lazines will overcome my conviction :-(
The problem with RMS is that he lets his unyielding and rigid idealism
get in the way of reality. Or maybe it's a virtue - I don't know.
Certainly, he's extremely close to sounding bitter about the fact that
it's Linux which has become famous rather than the GNU/FSF software
which it depends on to become usable.
There are, of course, a number of straw men which RMS himself uses. He
points the finger at Linus and says that he's bad for the free software
movement because he doesn't give enough credit to the FSF, and because
(shock, horror) he uses tools such as bitkeeper instead of the more
politically correct cvs.
I don't buy this: Linux calls the kernel "linux", not the
distributions. And as for the cvs/bitkeeper dispute, RMS really ought
to get a life. CVS has limitations which Linus feels would cause
problems for Linux (the kernel, not GNU/Linux, the distributions)
development, and imo he has made a perfectly reasonable decision in
using the best available tool for the job.
Linus deserves credit for bringing the idea of Open Source to the world
through the medium of Linux, just as much as RMS does for coming up with
the FSF, gcc and emacs, and the University of California does for coming
up with things like the BSD license. Unfortunately, the press has
chosen to revere Linus rather than RMS. Shit happens.
If Linux really pisses RMS off so much, perhaps he should spend more
time getting GNU/Hurd into a usable state than whinging about the
success and the name of its competition. Certainly, this would be a
more productive use of his time.
All in all, I just can't seem to work up much sympathy for him over this
particular neurosis. Call it Linux or GNU/Linux: I don't care - there
are more important things in the world to spend cpu cycles on.
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