Lignux, what's the matter with you people?

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Linus Torvalds

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Jun 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/3/96
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Umm,
this discussion has gone on quite long enough, thank you very much.

It doesn't really _matter_ what people call Linux, as long as credit is
given where credit is due (on both sides). Personally, I'll very much
continue to call it "Linux", but there have already been distributions
that call it "Linux Pro(tm)" etc, which I don't find all that
surprising..

The GNU people tried calling it GNU/Linux, and that's ok. It's
certainly no worse a name than "Linux Pro" or "Red Hat Linux" or
"Slackware Linux" (the last two are often just called "Red Hat" and
"Slackware" when talking among Linux people, so there the "Linux" part
has fallen off altogether).

Lignux is just a punny name - I think Linux/GNU or GNU/Linux is a bit
more "professional" myself, but I'm not going to get gray hairs about
this.

Much worse than the strange name is all the silly newsgroup and email
activity this has resulted in. It's not as if the FSF unilaterally
changed the name of the OS - they just changed the name of their
"distribution" (well, it seems it's currently just GNU emacs for Linux,
but maybe this will be a trend).

Btw, I've often been irritated by the "unknown" in the gcc setups for
Linux, and I'd much rather see a gcc calling itself "i586-gnu-linux"
than "i586-unknown-linux" any day (but I have to admit that either is
preferable to "lignux" in this context ;-).

Relax,

Linus

Kai Harrekilde-Petersen

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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torv...@linux.cs.Helsinki.FI (Linus Torvalds) writes:

> Umm, this discussion has gone on quite long enough, thank you very much.
>
> It doesn't really _matter_ what people call Linux, as long as credit is
> given where credit is due (on both sides).
>

> Lignux is just a punny name - I think Linux/GNU or GNU/Linux is a bit
> more "professional" myself, but I'm not going to get gray hairs about
> this.

Sure, but RMS is unfortunately shooting himself (and FSF) in the foot
by statements like this Lignux thing, which generates a lot of bad
feelings towards RMS and FSF. I think this is sad, because the idea
behind the GNU project is a very very good.

Also, it indirectly hurts the free software movement as such, since it
causes a lot of energy lost in bickering between the different
"fractions", instead on improving the systems.

> Much worse than the strange name is all the silly newsgroup and email
> activity this has resulted in. It's not as if the FSF unilaterally
> changed the name of the OS - they just changed the name of their
> "distribution" (well, it seems it's currently just GNU emacs for Linux,
> but maybe this will be a trend).

I haven't worked/discussed with RMS very much, but from the little I
have, I think that lignux will be distribution name from FSF from now
on (unless RMS makes a quick turn, which seems unlikely to me).

OTOH, I'm beginning to think that what RMS is doing is a PR stunt:
first cause a lot of stirring, them become the `saving hero' by
backing out, getting people to use the 'GNU/Linux' he wanted from the
very beginning. Also, he has managed to make a lot of people say /
write "GNU" very many times in a very short period.

> Btw, I've often been irritated by the "unknown" in the gcc setups for
> Linux, and I'd much rather see a gcc calling itself "i586-gnu-linux"
> than "i586-unknown-linux" any day (but I have to admit that either is
> preferable to "lignux" in this context ;-).

Ah yes, this one has irritated me too. I'd be perfectly happy with
i586-gnu-linux.

> Relax,
>
> Linus

I'm trying, I'm trying ... but my boss keeping coming around asking
what I'm doing :-)

Kai
--
Kai Harrekilde-Petersen <k...@dolphinics.no> #include <std/disclaimer.h>
http://www.dolphinics.no/~khp/ Linux: the choice of a GNU generation
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough; they're yours" -- Richard Bach

Randolph R. Russell

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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Although your forbearance in this affair is commendable, I must take
issue with one of your points, and the position you have taken in
general.

Linus Torvalds wrote:
>It's not as if the FSF unilaterally changed the name of the OS - they >just changed the name of their "distribution"

The language in Stallman's article, and the context in which "lignux" is
used in the newest emacs version make it clear to me, and to many
others, that the goal is not to name a Linux *distribution* lignux or
GNU/Linux, but to rename Linux itself. Of course, the GPL allows anyone
to distribute Linux using any name they please as long as there is
sufficient attribution and the original source code is available.
Nevertheless, there are clear advantages to having a universally-used
name that refers to a universally-recognized entity. That uniform name
is Linux, and it refers to the source code that you and others have
written that allows one to build Linux operating system kernel.
Unilateral renaming *is* the goal here, and you should counter the
attempt for the following reasons.

First, there is more at stake than simply the name of the operating
system you have created (thanks, btw.) Stallman's position implies that
any operating system anyone ever creates in the future is a *GNU*
operating system if it relies on GNU utilities. Is that a reasonable
stance? I think not. I suspect that the outcome of this debate, and the
position that you take, will influence future debates and outcomes over
this issue. We can and should give credit where credit is due, but no
one is obliged to give *more* credit than is due.

Second, Stallman -- the creator of the GPL -- is doing more to undermine
it than any outsider possibly could. What could be more discouraging to
someone who wishes to place software under the GPL than witnessing the
petty credit-mongering and influence-bargaining in which Stallman et al.
are currently engaged? *Oppose* the FSF in this matter -- for the
*benefit* of the FSF, the *benefit* of Linux, and the *benefit* of free
software.


Randolph R. Russell

Louis-Dominique Dubeau

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

Linus Torvalds wrote:
> Umm,
> this discussion has gone on quite long enough, thank you very much.
>
> It doesn't really _matter_ what people call Linux, as long as credit is
> given where credit is due (on both sides). Personally, I'll very much
> continue to call it "Linux", but there have already been distributions
> that call it "Linux Pro(tm)" etc, which I don't find all that
> surprising..

Of course nobody denies the right of RMS to choose whatever name he
wants for refering to Linux. However, we have the right not to like
his choice.

Moreover, the problem is not as much the renaming as the way this was
presented to us. In the file written by RMS and packaged with the
latest Emacs release, RMS basically said "Since A is true, we must do
B". Where A is a bunch of quick and dirty affirmations about the Linux
community and B is the renaming. The problem is that most of what is
said in A is flawed and akin to FUD.

Also, I think people are fed up with RMS' and FSF people way of telling
them what to do and not do usually in the style of "I have the Truth(tm)
and you are but a bunch of pagans." A good example of this, the mail of
MIB where he talks about the "Forces of Darkness" as being the people
who write proprietary software for Linux.

So I think people are reacting to an attitude problem at the FSF.
Considering that many Linux users are strong defenders of the GPL and
freeware I think it is necessary to make our disagreement known to the
people of the FSF. Doing otherwise would only lead to a greater
accumulation of tensions between the FSF and its user base and probably
lead to a radical split in the future.

Finally, some of the turmoil we are witnessing is to keep more extremist
people to throw the GPL away altogether. The FSF may be wrong on some
points but the GPL is still a Good Thing(tm). Unfortunately, some
people do not see this and threaten to stop using the GPL. Other people
and I had to do some damage control about this.

Regards,
ldd

-- Louis-Dominique Dubeau == Home page: http://step.polymtl.ca/~ldd/ --

Daniel Barlow

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <31B6E2D9...@step.polymtl.ca>,

Louis-Dominique Dubeau <l...@step.polymtl.ca> wrote:
>Moreover, the problem is not as much the renaming as the way this was
>presented to us. In the file written by RMS and packaged with the
>latest Emacs release, RMS basically said "Since A is true, we must do
>B". Where A is a bunch of quick and dirty affirmations about the Linux
>community and B is the renaming. The problem is that most of what is
>said in A is flawed and akin to FUD.

The other problem is that even were A true, the reasoning that led him
to do B was flawed anyway. But we've been over this way too often
anyway.

>Also, I think people are fed up with RMS' and FSF people way of telling
>them what to do and not do usually in the style of "I have the Truth(tm)
>and you are but a bunch of pagans." A good example of this, the mail of
>MIB where he talks about the "Forces of Darkness" as being the people
>who write proprietary software for Linux.

Jun 7 00:08:34 detached kernel: sense of humour reported invalid error
status (on hold, eh?)

I'm not aiming this at you, Louis, but the quality of humour in this
thread generally is really appalling. The `pro-FSF' people have their
every last remark taken at face value, and the antis still haven't tired
of the `linletsjamasmanynamesinthemiddleofthestringaspossibleux' joke.
It's a double standard, folks. If you want to make crap jokes, let the
other side make theirs too.


Daniel
--
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``He died? But this is supposed to be a kids' movie ...''

David Kastrup

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Jun 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/7/96
to

In article <DsLqF...@detached.demon.co.uk> d...@detached.demon.co.uk (Daniel Barlow) writes:

>Also, I think people are fed up with RMS' and FSF people way of telling
>them what to do and not do usually in the style of "I have the Truth(tm)
>and you are but a bunch of pagans." A good example of this, the mail of
>MIB where he talks about the "Forces of Darkness" as being the people
>who write proprietary software for Linux.

Jun 7 00:08:34 detached kernel: sense of humour reported invalid error
status (on hold, eh?)

I'm not aiming this at you, Louis, but the quality of humour in this
thread generally is really appalling. The `pro-FSF' people have their
every last remark taken at face value, and the antis still haven't tired
of the `linletsjamasmanynamesinthemiddleofthestringaspossibleux' joke.
It's a double standard, folks. If you want to make crap jokes, let the
other side make theirs too.

Well, this is of course due to the usual warranted structural
consistency of irony. If somebody heatedly writes a lot of heated
emotional rather extreme and rather solemn verbage culminating in a
warning against the forces of darkness, perfectly fitting in with the
rising tenor of his writing, you can interpret it basically in the
following ways:

a) The whole thing is meant ironic
b) The thing starts as non-ironic, then subtly switches over to the
ironic mode at some place which is it is the readers' task to determine
if he wants to get the point of the author.
c) The author is just for the art of it continously switching from
non-ironic to ironic, and does not particularly care where the reader
identifies the start of irony.
d) The whole thing is meant rather earnest, but there are degrees of
patheticness rising, for the sake of effect.

I am very much afraid that I consider the quoted article to be rather
clearly of type d), and thus humour has not much to do with its
reception.

But probably we are in the wrong group to discuss subtleness like
this.
--
David Kastrup Institut fuer Neuroinformatik, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
Email: d...@neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de Telephon: +49-234-700-5559

Michael I. Bushnell, p/BSG

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Jun 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/8/96
to

It appears I forgot to make one last thing clear in my clarification:

Well, this is of course due to the usual warranted structural
consistency of irony. If somebody heatedly writes a lot of heated
emotional rather extreme and rather solemn verbage culminating in a
warning against the forces of darkness, perfectly fitting in with the

rising tenor of his writing [...]

When I used the phrase `Forces of Darkness' I intended it to refer to
Micro$loth, the sorts of people who make proprietary video cards, and
Intel's annoyance about not wanting to release information about how
to make optimizing compilers for certain chips.

I did not intend the term `Forces of Darkness' to mean people who are
just trying to get by with what they are stuck with. And I
*certainly* didn't intend it to refer to any free software authors,
whatever license they happen to use or politics they happen to hold.

I regret that my message which used the term was not clear enough; I
regret that some people felt themselves attacked by a term which was
not meant to do so.

Michael


Peter Dalgaard BSA

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Jun 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/10/96
to 07: 10:22 GMT

d) The whole thing is meant rather earnest, but there are degrees of
patheticness rising, for the sake of effect.

I am very much afraid that I consider the quoted article to be rather
clearly of type d), and thus humour has not much to do with its
reception.

But probably we are in the wrong group to discuss subtleness like
this.

Erm, David, non-German speakers may be interested in knowing that
"pathetisch" means "with pathos", whereas the English for some odd
reason have chosen "pathetic" to equate "pitiful".

Might one assume that you don't write exactly what you mean there?

[Same confusion exists in Danish, as does that arising from direct
translation of "self-concious", etc.]
--
O__ ---- Peter Dalgaard Blegdamsvej 3
c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics 2200 Cph. N
(*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen Denmark Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dal...@biostat.ku.dk) FAX: (+45) 35327907

Kai Henningsen

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Jun 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/15/96
to

p...@kubism.ku.dk (Peter Dalgaard BSA) wrote on 10.06.96 in <x2g284p...@bush.kubism.ku.dk>:

> In article <DAK.96Ju...@mol.neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de>
> d...@neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de (David Kastrup) writes:
>
> d) The whole thing is meant rather earnest, but there are degrees of
> patheticness rising, for the sake of effect.
>
> I am very much afraid that I consider the quoted article to be rather
> clearly of type d), and thus humour has not much to do with its
> reception.
>
> But probably we are in the wrong group to discuss subtleness like
> this.
>
> Erm, David, non-German speakers may be interested in knowing that
> "pathetisch" means "with pathos", whereas the English for some odd
> reason have chosen "pathetic" to equate "pitiful".

Not quite. "pathetisch" is also used in the sense of "pompous". The
difference is not quite as large as you make it out to be.

> [Same confusion exists in Danish, as does that arising from direct
> translation of "self-concious", etc.]

Self-conscious is a lot worse - the German word "selbstbewußt" means the
exact opposite.

Kai
--
Current reorgs: news.groups, news.admin.net-abuse.* (see nana.misc)
Internet: k...@khms.westfalen.de
Bang: major_backbone!khms.westfalen.de!kai
http://www.westfalen.de/private/khms/

Peter Dalgaard BSA

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Jun 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/17/96
to

In article <6Atk-...@khms.westfalen.de> k...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai
Henningsen) writes:

p...@kubism.ku.dk (Peter Dalgaard BSA) wrote on 10.06.96 in
<x2g284p...@bush.kubism.ku.dk>:

> Erm, David, non-German speakers may be interested in knowing that


> "pathetisch" means "with pathos", whereas the English for some odd
> reason have chosen "pathetic" to equate "pitiful".

Not quite. "pathetisch" is also used in the sense of "pompous". The
difference is not quite as large as you make it out to be.

Oh yes it is! I looked it up this time. "Pathetic" translates to
"jämmerlich" or some such in German/Danish. However it turns out that
not even the root word "pathos" mean the same! It comes from Greek
"suffering" to be sure, but the English take it literally, whereas we
use it in the sense "expression with [excessive] feeling", i.e.
sentimental, pompous.

> [Same confusion exists in Danish, as does that arising from direct
> translation of "self-concious", etc.]

Self-conscious is a lot worse - the German word "selbstbewußt" means the
exact opposite.

- namely self-confident, sure of one self. No disagreement there.

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