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GNU is Not Unix

RMS Accused Of Attempting Glibc Hostile Takeover 887

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the things-are-never-dull dept.
Bram Stolk sent a bit in thats been floating around lately where Ulrich Drepper, glibc maintainer announces the new version, and sidetracks to discuss an an RMS takeover attempt and how he feels about it. He raises several good points and I tend to agree with him. The FSF has done, and continues to do so much good, but more and more tension continues to grow between the extreme free speech faction and the more moderate folks. People have asked my opinion, and I'll just leave it by saying I don't prefix "Linux" with those 3 little letters and a slash even tho I've been asked.
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RMS Accused Of Attempting Glibc Hostile Takeover

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  • by randombit (87792) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:01PM (#2195129) Homepage
    is why can't gcc 3 be used to compile this new version of glibc?

    Because glibc is very sensitive to changes in how the stack is laid out, etc. This is just one of those things, just like how 2.2 kernels could not be built with gcc 2.95. Eventually everyone will get their stuff straightened out, and that's that.

  • Re:Stallman.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jorbettis (113413) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:12PM (#2195164) Homepage

    Well, it's not about stallman's ego, it's about making people realize that there is more to Free Software than the apolitical views of Linus.

    BTW, here's a quote from one of Stallman's speeches (it was very well recieved):

    When I do this, some people think it's because I want my ego to be fed. Of course, it's not like I'm asking you to call it Stallmanix.

    -- Richard Stallman on GNU/Linux


  • by randombit (87792) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:24PM (#2195219) Homepage
    'Eventually'... When is that? While I'm still alive?

    Who knows? And anyway, who cares? Compiling glibc is a gigantic PITA. It takes hours even on a fast machine, and it's not really necessary for anyone except people doing distributions. Did you really need to compile glibc with gcc 3.0 right away? You can use glibc with gcc 3.0 just fine, you know.

    And GCC 3.0.1 comes out tommorow.
  • by mdavids (143296) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:36PM (#2195266) Homepage
    "Stallman recently tried what I would call a hostile takeover of the glibc development. He tried to conspire behind my back and persuade the other main developers to take control so that in the end he is in control and can dictate whatever pleases him."

    How? Why?

    "The morale of this is that people will hopefully realize what a control freak and raging manic Stallman is."

    Because you say so? I think I'll reserve judgement until I hear something more than "He just is, okay!"

    This $&%$& demands everything to be labeled in a way which credits him and he does not stop before making completely wrong statements like "its variant".

    Aha! So that's what it's all about. I find it surprising that someone working on "the GNU C library" as it's called in these release notes, should take exception to the idea that it's supposed to be a part of the GNU operating system.

    Calling the operating system GNU/Linux, GNU/Hurd or whatever is not egotism (or not just egotism, anyway). It's an accurate description of what the system is. Look at, for instance, reviews [unixreview.com] calling openUNIX "Linux without Linux". That just sounds absurd, unless you know that the first "Linux" actually means "GNU".

    I find this completely unacceptable and can assure everybody that I consider none of the code I contributed to glibc (which is quite a lot) to be as part of the GNU project and so a major part of what Stallman claims credit for is simply going away.

    Does not play well with others. End of story.

  • by cperciva (102828) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:45PM (#2195297) Homepage
    ... but also make sure you refer to Microsoft BSD/Windows.

    Giving credit where credit is due is one thing, but trying to give everyone credit in the name is just going to lead to horribly long names.
  • Hypocrisy (Score:3, Informative)

    by Feign Ram (114284) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @07:47PM (#2195302)
    Found this interesting entry in Miguel de Icaza's weblog - http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel/activity-log.ht ml, dated Jul'28th -

    I talked to Don Becker about GNU/Linux, and he had an interesting story to tell. Back in the day when he was at MIT and was an active contributor to gcc, he tried to get RMS to support Linux. RMS' answer back in the day went along the lines of `Linux is a waste of time, work on the Hurd instead, it is the future'.

    An interesting twist to the Linux vs GNU/Linux debate.


    Seems to confirm what RMS told Drepper. He seems to want it both ways . More developers need to come forward with their experiences - they will be doing the community a service.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2001 @08:43PM (#2195467)
    Well, OK, he did. He called it Freax!
    That sucked, so the FTP site maintainer
    at ftp.funet.fi changed the name.
  • by Chester K (145560) on Sunday August 19, 2001 @09:02PM (#2195530) Homepage
    Never mind that when I purchase or download a Linux version 70% or more of the included software is GNU. Right?

    Being under the GPL is not the same as being GNU. I've written stuff and released it under the GPL and I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me that the FSF deserves naming credit for my software.
  • Re:Thought Police (Score:3, Informative)

    by Garc (133564) <[jcg5] [at] [po.cwru.edu]> on Sunday August 19, 2001 @09:45PM (#2195627)
    Linux is the flagship that carries that ideal. It doesn't matter what it's called, everyone associates Linux with free (as in beer), and therefore should be exactly what he needs.

    Actually, a lot of people tend to associate linux with open source, which, as we all know if different than free software. RMS wants to GNU out front so that the distributions people use will be associated with freedom (as in speach not beer). That is his goal as I see it.

    links describing linux and its relation to GNU:



    Garc
  • Re:Thought Police (Score:2, Informative)

    by twilightzero (244291) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .sflorm.> on Monday August 20, 2001 @12:27AM (#2196088) Homepage Journal
    I agree with the general analogy, however you've missed one crucial point here. Your point is well made that the GNU project had the compiler, assembler, linker, C library, shell, etc but not a kernel. However, we've been waiting what, 10 years now for the kernel? I believe that credit is due in the appropriate places. With that said, Linus took the aforementioned tools and put the Linux kernel and several other important pieces (a good number of which were custom written) and produced an OS with it, which somewhat unwittingly spawned a world community and became at least the public spearhead of Open Source/Free Software/Whatever The Hell You Call It. The GNU project STILL has yet to produce a fully functional operating system of its own. In fact, if you go to the software list on www.gnu.org [gnu.org] and look, the HURD isn't even listed in the list of GNU software packages. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to flame or knock anybody. Like I said, credit where credit is deserved. The GNU project has produced some really great stuff, used VERY widely on Linux (bite me you name nazis), Sun, BSD, HP/UX, even Windoze (I know a lot of NT sysadmins who use some GNU tools in their jobs). The Linux community has taken pieces of different GNU projects and put it together with a kernel and other stuff into a high quality, stable operating system. They all deserve credit, as well as all the people who don't fall under either community and just write code. So get off your damn high horse and get your ass down here in the mud with the rest of us. =D
  • Re:Thought Police (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2001 @12:34AM (#2196109)
    Actually, Arandir is wrong. I doubt he was around to watch the early development of Linux.

    Linux was developed on what could justifiably be called GNU/Minix-- a 32-bit Minix with enough of the GNU system to be usable. As soon as Linux was viable enough to boot (before it was self hosting), it was basically outfitted with as much of then existing GNU software as possible to form a working system. At that time GNU software was basically aimed at replicating/improving the UNIX environment; many SUNs at the time ran GNU environments, for example. With the addition of X and associated tools, Linux systems continued to be essentially GNU. the GNU environment doesn't necessarily mean software written by Stallman/FSF--just that he considered it Free and fit to include in a definition of a Free environment. Since stallman observed that the environment he likes to call GNU has been wrapped around the Linux kernal, he chooses to call it GNU/Linux. However, those that don't share the vision of GNU may not care enough to do the same. They, for example, see GNU as part of a different vision.
  • by Adam J. Richter (17693) on Monday August 20, 2001 @02:17AM (#2196301)


    The basic idealogical dispute is that previously it was illegal to link glibc with proprietary software linked by non-GNU compilers due to a special "modified GPL" in the libio section of the GNU C Library. The change that the steering committee (who are developers like Roland McGrath, not just "Stallman") made was primiarily to convert that code to LGPL. Ulrich was the one being an idealogue about it. In this case, the steering committee was the group that was actually trying to get the right thing done for the users.



    The glibc-2.2.4 announcement advised everyone to switch to it. What the announcement did not mention is that if you try to configure glibc-2.2.4, you discover that it does not want to build under gcc-3. The steering committee is pushing for a fast release of glibc-2.2.5 which will not have this problem.



    So far, the steering committee seems to be a very positive influence. In the past, people were giving up hope on glibc due to its bloat, arcaneness, and legal issues. The SC seems much more focused on what users want.



    By the way, let me say that Ulrich Drepper has made many contributions to glibc and I hope he will continue to be involved as a contributor.


  • by kwoff (516741) on Monday August 20, 2001 @03:04PM (#2198681)
    Adam J. Richter wrote:
    > What the announcement did not mention is that if
    > you try to configure glibc-2.2.4, you discover
    > that it does not want to build under gcc-3.

    Actually, there is a sentence that says that:

    "And while we are talking about compilers; gcc 3
    can NOT be used." (from glibc-2.2.4 release notes)

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