Subject: Re: GNU License for Hardware
From: "Brian J. Fox" <bfox@ua.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 21:41:39 -0700


   From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
   Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 16:46:37 -0400 (EDT)

   Kristofer Coward writes:
    > Of course, GNU/Linux isn't as funny as plain GNU, but a compromise had to
    > be made :P

   Nope.

   I see you used the passive form of the word.  *Who* had to make a
   compromise?  RMS?  Because he didn't bother to create GNU out of the
   parts he created and the parts Linus and many others created?

Richard didn't "not bother".  On the contrary, he tried very hard to
make a complete GNU system.  However, a couple of things got in the
way of being there first:

    1) He wanted to support the hardware that was powerful enough to
       run a complete GNU system.  In 1985, that did not include PC's.

    2) He wanted to concentrate on the project as a whole, not on the
       kernel in specific.  This meant that he had someone else work
       on the kernel, instead of working on it himself.

    3) He had to have a good compiler, editor, debugger, shell,
       documentation system, and suite of utilities in order to proceed
       with the task of building a kernel that would run them.  I know
       about these items in specific because I wrote some of them.

    4) He chose a methodical person to be the primary programmer on
       the kernel, one who wanted to do most of the work himself.

On the other hand, Linus started with fast-enough cheap hardware, a
suite of utilities including cross compilers, editors and debuggers,
and an attitude that welcomed any help he could get.

    Uncompromising defense of freedom is no vice.

I agree.

Brian