[Nottingham] NLUG: What's in a name?

Martin martin at ml1.co.uk
Thu Jun 9 21:41:23 UTC 2011

On 9 June 2011 22:03, Mat Booth <mbooth at fedoraproject.org> wrote:
> On 9 June 2011 21:52, Joshua Lock <incandescant at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Now don't get me wrong, I have a lot of love for GNU and what Stallman
>> and the FSF have done but I don't feel that the distinction is
>> worthwhile to site visitors.
>> The people who care know what it means and the people who don't may
>> well learn in time.

Good comment and that is a hope. However, we also have a strong
association that 'Linux' is the /everything/ including even such as
KDE, Gnome, or whatever desktop, computer 'n' all. I guess people
commonly substitute the word 'Linux' for the 'Microsoft' or 'Apple'
Marketed connotations of 'everything and the world of computing'. The
word 'kernel' is unknown to most people... Let alone subtle
distinctions of different groups and different names for the
applications, desktop, OS, kernel, and underlying hardware.

> Indeed. In free software development circles, we call this
> bikeshedding[1] and is something I just can't bring myself to care
> about.
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_Law_of_Triviality

Linus himself made similar allusions for his arbitrary version number
jump to 3.0:


"Subject	Linux 3.0-rc1

Yay! Let the bikeshed painting discussions about version numbering
begin (or at least re-start)."


We have many options (and fantastic developments) with many
applications and many desktops and many shells/terminals (no desktop
needed). For all those, all beautifully worthy of note, we still have
the OS part and the kernel that are uniquely essential. Everything
else and all choices for everything else are uniquely dependant on
those two items. Also, I feel it has also required the GPL for making
it all work so well.

Good comment earlier about the longer title looking 'scary'.

I'm all for simple and non-scary! :-)


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