Free Your Phone

Corey corey at
Sun Jan 21 02:32:48 CET 2007

On Saturday 20 January 2007 15:48, David Ford wrote:
> OpenMoko FIC/GNU/Linus/Alan Cox/X11/Xorg/GTK/... Linux.  Oh, and who is 
> the principal for the plastic and silicon?  How about the makers of the 
> editors you use to create all this code and give credit to the companies 
> that supplied the monitors, cpus, and keyboards?

Let's just call it EverythingAndTheKitchenSink/Linux, and be done with it.

Your attempt towards exaggeration has possibly led you away from the point.

You use X11/Linux and Xorg/Linux as an example, well let's see: those are
both names of a specific piece of userland software. You don't see anyone
suggesting "Bash/Linux" or "Grep/Linux", however. 

GNU is not merely a single piece of software, you seem to not understand that. 

GNU is a system, a collection of extremely rudimentary/fundamental pieces
of _critical_ software that are used to compile, bootstrap and enable an actual 
functioning operating system from which even higher layers of software can 
then be built and ran. ( the GNU system also happens to include some other 
higher-layer components, such as gtk, gnome, and so on )

Xorg, GTK, etc, etc, do _not_ provide the following components:

parser generator
posix library
core utilities
etc, etc, ... I'm sure I missed some other important ones.

The purpose in the "GNU/Linux" qualifier, is to explicitly state that the system
being referred to is an operating environment which is largely 
built-from/depends-on the GNU toolchain and includes the linux kernel. Any
particular extra software configuration on top of that is identified through
the specific name of the distribution, i.e. Debian, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Kubuntu,
OpenMoko, etc, etc,

Now, if "GNU/Linux" - under those certain constrained instances where it is
a more accurate description - is still unnecessary in your mind, then fine - but
at least realize that your counter-arguments have entirely missed the mark as
far as relevance to the underlying point goes: you seem to indicate that you don't
like the idea of "GNU/Linux" primarily because it brings too much undue focus 
upon one simple piece of software amongst many; however GNU, as I hope you 
can clearly see now, is not some trivial, random single piece of userland - quite
the contrary it is the _very_means_ by which most linux-based os's are built.

Personally, I never actually use the "GNU/Linux" identifier - but I can understand 
the logic and reasoning behind it, and it certainly doesn't bother me when other 
people use it. At any rate, it looks better written out, than how it sounds verbally.

More information about the community mailing list