"Simplify the spelling of Linux":
@fribbledom "What you refer to as GNU+Linux is actually GNU/Linux, or as I've taking to call it, Linux, because the prefix didn't help clarify anything"
@fribbledom So someone decided to no longer give credit to #GNU, and they do that change without explaining in the commit message what the change actually is. The commit message should say "remove GNU" since that is what the commit is doing.
Apparently they don't want the commit message to show what they are actually doing.
Is that supposed to be funny?
I must admit I laughed, but I guess it's a fair change, as there's really no GNU dependency here.
@fribbledom That's an interesting commit. If it's about Golang on Linux then it might even be justified (I mean, there are Linux based operating systems without GNU or minimal dependency on GNU software).
I'll definitely follow for the upcoming discussion.
I think you could argue it's making it more specific, as there's indeed no GNU dependency here.
@fribbledom "rms fsf bad" aside, I never really understood GNU/Linux. Why is GNU the only part of the software that gets named? There are lots of important software layers that are vital to the usage of the OS, and it would be a pain to name them all every time. It makes sense to me to only refer to the lowest level layer since everything else depends on it. That being said, im glad the GNU/Linux copypasta exists, because it made me curious about what Linux itself actually is.
And there aren't many who would insist on a specific formatting of "X+Y" or "X/Y" for the two parts without getting eyerolls in response.
@jaxter184 @fribbledom GNU is a complete operating system that has support for multiple kernels (Linux is one of them) and is actually usable by people. Some consider Linux to be an operating system, because it meets a common definition of an operating system: software that provides an interface between the hardware, and applications run on top of it. However, using the Linux kernel alone is not very useful to people as a general purpose operating system, unlike GNU.
In this case, dropping GNU from GNU/Linux makes sense, since Go actually has no dependency on GNU as far as I know. Funnily enough though I’ve been considering saying GNU to people instead of Linux, since I can actually point to this page on the GNU site to download usable operating systems, which does not exist on any official Linux page (you can only download the sources, which isn’t useful to the average person).
I call it Linux because imo the most important operating system property is task scheduling. It doesn't even really have to have memory management or user input (though those are also things I would assign an operating system). Sure GNU is important to using it, but Linux does all the OS-esque stuff.
@jaxter184 @fribbledom I think the portability between Linux and Hurd mostly depends on if the application uses Linux specific system calls (graphic found on this page). To my knowledge applications that only interface with syscalls through glibc should at least be source compatible.
Here is a list of common porting issues. Basically it looks like if your application sticks to POSIX is should be fine.
Technical importance means that GNU should be mentioned whenever fundamental parts of the system come from the GNU project. This one is tricky since you can have many different combinations, where the portion of GNU can range anywhere from 0 to 100%. I presume most systems will include programs like Bash, GCC or glibc, with many including more, like GNOME, Guix or GTK, and others including none (like Alpine or Android, if I’m not wrong). I don’t think there’s any one defining part common to all systems one would consider a ‘part of the family’. But there are the two other aspects, too.
Historical importance means that GNU should be mentioned for sparking this family into existence. While the programs we use have various origins, GNU was the one project that explicitly set out to create a complete operating system that would let people do their computing freely. It was the one to bring forth the cause, inspire many others to join in, and provide them with tools to do so (such as the aforementioned software or the General Public License), which became widely adopted.
Finally, philosophical importance means that GNU should be mentioned for the one important value it represents: user freedom. It’s the one project that identifies user freedom as its ultimate goal, sets it as its top priority, and refuses to compromise. A lot of more philosophically aligned projects will choose to say ‘GNU/Linux’. I believe this is in part because the name ‘Linux’ does not carry those same values, much like ‘open source’ doesn’t carry the same values that ‘free software’ does, even if we use it to refer to the same thing.
If you look at Linux and what it stands for, you will find that it’s a kernel. It’s mostly free software, yes, but the freedom is more of a convenient trait it happens to have, rather than its entire raison d’être. If you look at The Linux Foundation’s homepage, you won’t find freedom mentioned at all. On the other hand, if you look at the GNU project’s homepage, you will find the idea heavily emphasisesd. Names carry connotations, and saying ‘GNU’ is a way of saying that you care about user freedom and recognise it as a very fundamental trait of the system you’re referring to. ‘Linux’ alone can not make this implication, and most the other software that makes up the system of your choice couldn’t, either, since most of it is less focused on the pure aspect of freedom.
@lxo a couple things:
* I don't care too much about the history in this particular case. I'm more thinking about what actually constitutes an operating system
* My stated curiosity was more about Linux, though I am also curious about GNU, and will probably read the article youre talking about later today
* I'm very impressed with everything the GNU project has accomplished, particularly gcc, and don't mean to diminish its impact. I just think its unnecessary to call it "GNU/Linux"
@muhlinus @fribbledom would you consider Void Linux to be sufficiently GNU-free? or does it have enough GNU in there that you would still want to call it GNU/Linux? At what point of the removal of GNU software would you no longer consider it to be GNU/Linux?
My issue isnt with the significance of the contribution to the user experience (of which GNU software has a lot), but rather what traits cause us to call something an operating system in the first place.
@muhlinus Sure, but the nature of technology is that everything is built on the shoulders of past innovations. Should it be called Turing/Lovelace/Stroustrup/Thompson/Ritchie/GNU/Linux? I'd argue the influence of Unix over GNU is larger than that of GNU over Linux, yet it's not called Unix/GNU. (To be fair, GNU does contain 'Unix' in its acronym, but prepends it with "Not", which kinda negates any attribution.)
In terms of literal building, you can build the kernel with Clang too
Even if glibc and current major Linux distributions play no specific part here, they are still part in the de-facto standard that makes up what we normally call Linux, but should not be confused with the Linux kernel, or with the completely different Android userspace that runs on top it.
@tzafrir @fribbledom Isn't the Linux kernel under android significantly modified to the point it could be considered a different kernel? I'd say thats an example of a historic name that everybody understands (i.e. Linux) being applied to something in a way thats not fully accurate (i.e. Android's kernel) that starts to lose its usefulness due to the inaccuracy.
Similarly, "GNU/Linux" raises more questions than it answers (though some of those questions are important)
@tzafrir @fribbledom I think it makes sense to use historic terms when talking about the politics or the history, but when we're having a technical conversation about Linux-based operating systems, not only is "Linux" more complete, but its also a little more correct.
The distinction between the kernel and the operating system is easy to do by appending the term "kernel", as you would with other operating systems (Windows kernel, Android kernel, Redox kernel, etc.)
@tzafrir I'm admittedly not fully educated about the topic, but I'm reading right now about stuff like mainline Linux not having WakeLocks and dropping support for Android-specific drivers? Is this no longer true?
At the very least, it's my understanding that the standard Linux kernel and Android Linux kernel are far from drop-in replacements for each other, and that it has been this way for a long time. That's my justification for considering them to be distinct from each other.
Is that motivated by the recent RMS discussion?
I get that GNU/Linux is more than just GNU tools and Linux kernel today. I am always for updating historical Labels to match current state.
But this feels more like a politicaly motivated removal of an attribution notice.
I have no idea what the motivation was, but I think it's a fair change. There's simply no GNU dependency here and the kernel is called Linux.
What actually bothers me is that they renamed "GNU/Hurd" too.
Hurd is not Linux and is a GNU project; you could replace the slash with a space.
IMO it's a bad commit message and they snuck in an unrelated change.
And 2 ppl 'Reviewed' it, but didn't even mention that?
@fribbledom as you said, there might be no dependency on the GNU part of GNU/Linux, but common, renaming GNU/Hurd tu just Hurd ?
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