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Re: free vs. non-free debate

(sigh) excuse me gentlemen, but this is simple linguistics: You will
never find acceptance of the term GNU/Linux unless it is cast into
abscurity.  Why?  Frequently used terms tend to shrink, not to
lengthen.  This is a pretty well documented rule of linguinstics.

They don't really call it "RedHat Linux" or "Mandrake Linux" or
whatever.  people calls these simply "redhat", "mandrake" &c The
problem with GNU is that it is too ubiquitous and does not actually
*define* a subset of Linux nor does Linux define a subset of GNU.
They are two systems which overlap.  Solaris and GNU overlap too.

The only way you can solve this is to find a 2-syllable word that
describes both systems in this context without offending Linus or
Richard.  Good luck.

We *can* however, decide upon a *legal* name of GNU/Linux or even
Free-linux and then _define_ _it_ _ourself_ (ie, "those parts of a
Linux-based system which meet the criteria of any of the following
open source licences ...") It can mean anything we want ("only those
parts of the Linux that made us think of the colour blue".  

IMHO, though, GNU/Linux is very clear in denoting strictly "those
parts of a Linux-base system which meet the criteria of the *GPL*" and
that, as Richard points out, will require you to jettison many
non-free documents (particularly those un-licenced docs which we now
distribute illegally), and this is especially impractical for us if the
documents themselves must be GNU-ish (most don't look GNU-ish).  Note
that it is *very* possible to have a pure-GNU Linux system, but such a
box is an exception (and exceptional) rather than the norm.

The hard truth is the LDP is itself not GNU (much of it is not even
legally free) and the collection covers more than just the GNU
products for Linux.  The _only_ common thread in the collection is the
documents discuss systems in the context of Linux distributions (many
docs are just as applicable to BSD and even Solaris, but are phrased
as if they are Linux specific)

Since no one here wants to trim the LDP collect by 60-70% solely for
idealistic reasons, this issue is a moot point.  

We *can't* use the GNU unless we usurp it from the FSF.  Sorry.  We'll
have to think of something else to flame-on about.  This one is over.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@linux.ca>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
TCI - Business Innovations through Open Source : http://www.teledyn.com
Canadian Co-ordinators for Bynari International : http://ca.bynari.net/
Moderator, Linux Education Group: http://www.egroups.com/group/linux-ed

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