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#26 2014-07-10 11:16:09

Lone_Wolf
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From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 4,160

Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

I agree the gnu tools are very important, but where does it end ?

Should we also credit wayland, X , mir ?
After all, distros that don't have any graphical environment are only useful for special cases.

What if i replace some gnu tools with alternatives (clibc instead of glibc , llvm/clang instead of gcc ) , should they be named also then ?


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Automounting : not needed, i prefer pmount
Aur helpers : makepkg + my own local repo === rarely need them

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#27 2014-07-10 14:43:09

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

Lone_Wolf wrote:

I agree the gnu tools are very important, but where does it end ?

Should we also credit wayland, X , mir ?
After all, distros that don't have any graphical environment are only useful for special cases.

What if i replace some gnu tools with alternatives (clibc instead of glibc , llvm/clang instead of gcc ) , should they be named also then ?

Irrelevant and illogical. No one's saying it should be called Binutils/GCC/Glibc/Linux. The fact is that "Linux" never indicated anything more than a kernel just like "GCC" never indicated anything more than a compiler (ok, "chain of compiler tools"). However, "GNU" was always a system name. So it's weird and dishonest to call that system by the name of a single component. Of course there are components from outside of the GNU organization but they also are not meant to be an operating system; they are written to be compatible with the GNU system or with the POSIX standards in general. Of course, since GNU packages are POSIX-compatible, they can be used interchangeably with other compliant systems, however they feature many extensions that together help define GNU. When a bunch of core GNU tools are combined with GNU-compatible tools, it's effectively a GNU system.

As soon as someone comes up with another system on top of whatever kernel, they can call it whatever they want, like "Android". What's the cutoff for how much GNU is necessary for it to be GNU?  I guess it depends on how it's all put together (it requires system thinking, not reductionist thinking).  If it's still GNU-compatible and made in the spirit of GNU, I'd say it's GNU. If not, it's up for debate.  But until someone actually builds such a system, we're all using GNU and Linux to comprise the minimal functionality necessary to use our computer (and more than that minimum, of course), so it's correct to call it a GNU system.

Edit: disclaimer: I am an active contributor to GNU.

Last edited by jakobcreutzfeldt (2014-07-10 14:55:13)

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#28 2014-07-10 15:55:54

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,506
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Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

When a bunch of core GNU tools are combined with GNU-compatible tools, it's effectively a GNU system.

Like when someone says whether they use a Mac or a PC(-compatible).  Exceedingly few people still actually use a 'true' PC.  But 'PC' defined the type - even when all the components have been replaced by others that are not made by IBM, one would still call it a PC.

So GNU ~ PC.

Last edited by Trilby (2014-07-10 15:56:43)


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#29 2014-07-10 16:25:03

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

Trilby wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

When a bunch of core GNU tools are combined with GNU-compatible tools, it's effectively a GNU system.

Like when someone says whether they use a Mac or a PC(-compatible).  Exceedingly few people still actually use a 'true' PC.  But 'PC' defined the type - even when all the components have been replaced by others that are not made by IBM, one would still call it a PC.

So GNU ~ PC.

I'm not sure what you're trying to argue, but if it's the early 1980s and "a bunch of IBM PC hardware is combined with IBM PC-compatible hardware, it's effectively an IBM PC", yes, I guess that's accurate. Of course, it should be added that exceedingly few people still actually use a 'true' Mac by that standard, since Macs these days have effectively the same hardware as other computers.

Anyway, still not sure what you're trying to argue here...my sarcasm sensors are burnt out so I can't tell if you're taking the piss out of what I said or not.

Last edited by jakobcreutzfeldt (2014-07-10 16:25:30)

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#30 2014-07-10 16:31:06

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
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Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

Nope, no sarcasm.  I mean it as an genuine comparison as I do see them as similar or even equivalent.

Nobody uses a 'true' PC, and as you point out, no one uses a 'true' Mac - but people will still refer to their computers as a mac or PC because those predecessors defined the pattern that they followed as GNU did for the GNU/Linux system(s) we use.


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#31 2014-07-10 16:34:24

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

Trilby wrote:

Nope, no sarcasm.  I mean it as an genuine comparison as I do see them as similar or even equivalent.

Nobody uses a 'true' PC, and as you point out, no one uses a 'true' Mac - but people will still refer to their computers as a mac or PC because those predecessors defined the pattern that they followed as GNU did for the GNU/Linux system(s) we use.

Ah ok, yes I understand and agree. Sorry, it's the end of a long day and I barely have two neurons left in my head to rub together to form a thought or two.

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#32 2014-07-10 16:39:48

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
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Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

No problem ... you're just displaying your own RMS syndrome! wink *ducks*


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#33 2014-07-10 16:47:48

x33a
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Registered: 2009-08-15
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Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

Trilby wrote:

No problem ... you're just displaying your own RMS syndrome! wink *ducks*

So you finally understand what RMS syndrome is wink

PS: I don't

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#34 2014-07-10 20:55:35

nomorewindows
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Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 2,961

Re: What defines a linux distro compared to a linux "spin off"?

x33a wrote:
Trilby wrote:

No problem ... you're just displaying your own RMS syndrome! wink *ducks*

So you finally understand what RMS syndrome is wink

PS: I don't

OpenBSD wasn't exactly sure they agreed with the way that RMS construed himself.


I may have to CONSOLE you about your usage of ridiculously easy graphical interfaces...
Look ma, no mouse.

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