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

scj at yaccman.com scj at yaccman.com
Mon Jun 2 14:08:20 AEST 2014

Three comments on Gnu/Unix.

The first is that the Unix creators were very ambivalent about the AT&T
Lawyers.  The legal situation surrounding AT&T licensing software was
murky, and the lawyers attitude was often "let's wait 10 years and see
what happens in case law...".  I spent about six months trying to get the
PCC C grammar released to the public domain, with the notion that this
would help limit the splintering of the language that was starting to
happen pre ANSI C.  I couldn't get anywhere with that.

The second comment is that, for me personally, the ripping off bothered me
less than the complete lack of attribution of the original creators. 
There were easily two dozen people who contributed some significant code
and/or ideas to Unix, but you'd never know it by looking at Gnu.

The third comment is that the loss of central control has had its costs. 
I get a rash looking at the 500-page gcc manual, orders of magnitude
larger than the code for pcc.  It's hard to steer a sensible course
between stagnated central control and chaotic anarchy, but for my taste
letting every grad student with a couple of hours of spare time piddle on
the code base has not, on the whole, been a good thing.]


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