[TUHS] Gnu/Stallman (was Bugs in V6 'dcheck')

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Mon Jun 2 12:59:13 AEST 2014

On Jun 1, 2014, at 8:09 PM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> Phil Garcia wrote:
> I've always wondered about something
> else, though: Were the original Unix authors annoyed when they learned that
> some irascible young upstart named Richard Stallman was determined to make
> a free Unix clone? Was he a gadfly, or just some kook you decided to
> ignore? The fathers of Unix have been strangely silent on this topic for
> many years. Maybe nobody's ever asked?

In private moments, some of the BSD old-timers have told me they are silent
due to bad blood that Stallman’s early fund-raising and propaganda efforts
created. Why rehash 20 year old battles with an obvious nutcase, eh? Since
more than one person has told me this, so I think silence is a wide-spread
case of “If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all."

> Gnu was always taken as a compliment. And of course the Unix clone
> was pie in the sky until Linus came along. I wonder about the power
> relationship underlying "GNU/Linux", as rms modestly styles it.

Of course, it should be noted that the GNU project was totally incapable
of producing a working kernel… They did decent clones of user land stuff,
but Hurd was a total dead end...

> There are certain differences in taste between Unix and Gnu, vide
> emacs and texinfo. (I grit my teeth every time a man page tells me,
> "The full documentation for ___ is maintained as a Texinfo file.")
> But all disagreement is swept away before the fact that the old 
> familiar environment is everywhere, from Cray to Apple, with rms 
> a very important contributor.

Emacs is awesome….


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