GNU bug report logs - #9210
Documentation: misleading wording

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Package: libtool; Reported by: Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>; dated Sun, 31 Jul 2011 14:04:02 UTC; Maintainer for libtool is bug-libtool@HIDDEN.

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To: Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9210: Documentation: misleading wording
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On Sun, 28 Aug 2011, Christophe Jarry wrote:

> Bob,
>
> As a GNU maintainer, you have to comply with the document named "Information
> for Maintainers of GNU Software":

The contract I signed with the FSF does not support anyone ordering me 
to do anything.  Of course any contributions I may make will follow 
the FSF maintainer rules (existing at the time) as much as is 
reasonable.

Currently there are 8 instances of bare 'Linux' in the Libtool manual 
and 26 in the Libtool ChangeLogs.  If one searches through all files 
in a configured libtool source tree, there are 290 instances.

Other FSF packages have similar issues.

Bob
-- 
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/




Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 16:34:57 +0200
From: Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>
To: Libtool Bugs List <bug-libtool@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9210: Documentation: misleading wording
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Bob,

As a GNU maintainer, you have to comply with the document named "Information
for Maintainers of GNU Software":

=46rom http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/maintain.html#Preface:

    If you are or would like to be a GNU maintainer, then it is essential to
    follow these guidelines.

=46rom http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/maintain.html#GNU-and-Linux:

    The GNU Project was formed to develop a free Unix-like operating system,
    GNU. The existence of this system is our major accomplishment. However,=
 the
    widely used version of the GNU system, in which Linux is used as the ke=
rnel,
    is often called simply =E2=80=9CLinux=E2=80=9D. As a result, most users=
 don=E2=80=99t know about the
    GNU Project=E2=80=99s major accomplishment=E2=80=94or more precisely, t=
hey know about it,
    but don=E2=80=99t realize it is the GNU Project=E2=80=99s accomplishmen=
t and reason for
    existence. Even people who believe they know the real history often bel=
ieve
    that the goal of GNU was to develop =E2=80=9Ctools=E2=80=9D or =E2=80=
=9Cutilities.=E2=80=9D

    To correct this confusion, we have made a years-long effort to distingu=
ish
    between Linux, the kernel that Linus Torvalds wrote, and GNU/Linux, the
    operating system that is the combination of GNU and Linux. The resulting
    increased awareness of what the GNU Project has already done helps every
    activity of the GNU Project recruit more support and contributors.

    Please make this distinction consistently in GNU software releases, GNU
    documentation, and announcements and articles that you publish in your =
role
    as the maintainer of a GNU package. If you want to explain the terminol=
ogy
    and its reasons, you can refer to the URL
    http://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html.

    To contrast the GNU system properly with respect to GNU/Linux, you can =
call
    it =E2=80=9CGNU/Hurd=E2=80=9D or =E2=80=9Cthe GNU/Hurd system.=E2=80=9D=
 However, when that contrast is not
    specifically the focus, please call it just =E2=80=9CGNU=E2=80=9D or =
=E2=80=9Cthe GNU system.=E2=80=9D

    When referring to the collection of servers that is the higher level of=
 the
    GNU kernel, please call it =E2=80=9Cthe Hurd=E2=80=9D or =E2=80=9Cthe G=
NU Hurd.=E2=80=9D Note that this uses
    a space, not a slash.

Please fix section "Platform-specific configuration notes" of Libtool's man=
ual
accordingly.

Christophe




Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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From: Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>
To: Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9210: Documentation: misleading wording
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On Thu, 4 Aug 2011 14:35:03 -0500 (CDT)
Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> wrote:

> The reason why I call it "foolish" is that it serves no useful 
> purpose.

Naming the entire system "GNU/Linux" serves at least one purpose: it makes the
reader aware of the GNU project's existence and the Free Software philosophy
behind it.

So I think this is useful.

Christophe




Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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On Thu, 4 Aug 2011, Christophe Jarry wrote:

>> While libtool is a GNU project, I think that this effort by the FSF to
>> independently re-entitle Linux to "GNU/Linux" subsequent to the
>> effective failure of their Hurd OS is foolish
>
> Why is it foolish? During the first years I used GNU/Linux, I believed Linus
> Torvalds did write the entire operating system, just because I only knew the
> name "Linux" for the entire system! So I think it is fair to say GNU/Linux.

I agree with you that all major contributors should be recognized. 
However, it is not necessary/useful to change the name to suit each 
major contributor.

The reason why I call it "foolish" is that it serves no useful 
purpose.

> What is a typical GNU/Linux system?

Ubtuntu desktop with GNOME and KDE.

> So technically speaking, GNU tools are required to run a GNU/Linux system.

At the moment, only the GNU C library is required to run a GNU/Linux 
system.  If this is replaced with a non-GNU C library, then Linux can 
run without the GNU.

>> I think that it is better to stick with the names that the developers of the
>> Linux kernel and the users prefer to use.
>
> In what way is that better?

Because it is what they prefer to use.

If GNU developers cared about this issue then all instances of "Linux" 
in package documentation would have been substituted to "GNU/Linux" 
quite some time ago.  Instead they silently ignore it similar to the 
way they previously ignored the RMS directive to use only Scheme and 
Guile for scripting.

Bob
-- 
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/




Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 20:53:15 +0200
From: Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>
To: Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9210: Documentation: misleading wording
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> While libtool is a GNU project, I think that this effort by the FSF to=20
> independently re-entitle Linux to "GNU/Linux" subsequent to the=20
> effective failure of their Hurd OS is foolish

Why is it foolish? During the first years I used GNU/Linux, I believed Linus
Torvalds did write the entire operating system, just because I only knew the
name "Linux" for the entire system! So I think it is fair to say GNU/Linux.

=46rom http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html#why:

    Many other projects contributed to the system as it is today; it includ=
es
    TeX, X11, Apache, Perl, and many more programs. Don't your arguments im=
ply
    we have to give them credit too? (But that would lead to a name so long=
 it
    is absurd.)

    What we say is that you ought to give the system's principal developer a
    share of the credit. The principal developer is the GNU Project, and the
    system is basically GNU.

    If you feel even more strongly about giving credit where it is due, you
    might feel that some secondary contributors also deserve credit in the
    system's name. If so, far be it from us to argue against it. If you feel
    that X11 deserves credit in the system's name, and you want to call the
    system GNU/X11/Linux, please do. If you feel that Perl simply cries out=
 for
    mention, and you want to write GNU/Linux/Perl, go ahead.

    Since a long name such as GNU/X11/Apache/Linux/TeX/Perl/Python/FreeCiv
    becomes absurd, at some point you will have to set a threshold and omit=
 the
    names of the many other secondary contributions. There is no one obvious
    right place to set the threshold, so wherever you set it, we won't argue
    against it.

    Different threshold levels would lead to different choices of name for =
the
    system. But one name that cannot result from concerns of fairness and g=
iving
    credit, not for any possible threshold level, is =E2=80=9CLinux=E2=80=
=9D. It can't be fair
    to give all the credit to one secondary contribution (Linux) while omit=
ting
    the principal contribution (GNU).

> and it ignores that most software in a typical "Linux" system is not the
> Linux kernel or FSF/GNU software.=20

What is a typical GNU/Linux system?

=46rom http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html#allsmall:

    GNU is a small fraction of the system nowadays, so why should we mention
    it?

    In 2008, we found that GNU packages made up 15% of the =E2=80=9Cmain=E2=
=80=9D repository of
    the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution. Linux made up 1.5%. So the same
    argument would apply even more strongly to calling it =E2=80=9CLinux=E2=
=80=9D.

    GNU is a small fraction of the system nowadays, and Linux is an even
    smaller fraction. But they are the system's core; the system was made by
    combining them. Thus, the name =E2=80=9CGNU/Linux=E2=80=9D remains appr=
opriate.

As far as I know, all GNU/Linux distributions use:

-=C2=A0the kernel Linux (or its deblobbed version called Linux-Libre - see
  http://www.fsfla.org/svnwiki/anuncio/2010-03-Linux-2.6.33-libre.en),
-=C2=A0GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Binutils, GLIBC (or EGLIBC, which is he=
avily
  based on GLIBC) and other build tools (GNU make, automake, autoconf and c=
o).

On that base, the user or developer builds a set of tools to suit her needs.
These tools can come from outside of the GNU project and outside from Linux.

So technically speaking, GNU tools are required to run a GNU/Linux system.

But what distinguishes GNU/Linux from most of the other operating systems? =
It
gives her user the 4 freedoms of using, modifying, sharing the entire opera=
ting
system and sharing modifications of it.

Basically, people that call the operating system "Linux" consider that free
software tools have to be widespread whatever the price, so they often
distribute GNU/Linux with proprietary programs to make it more appealing for
GNU/Linux new comers. But this has the effect to support proprietary softwa=
re
instead of free software. It makes GNU/Linux become more and more a proprie=
tary
operating system like Windows.

For most of them, the only advantage taken from GNU/Linux is that it is "fr=
ee
of charge".

> I think that it is better to stick with the names that the developers of =
the
> Linux kernel and the users prefer to use.

In what way is that better?

> The same logic could be used to create the names GNU/FreeBSD,=20
> GNU/NetBSD, GNU/Solaris, GNU/Darwin, etc., because most of these OSs=20
> include some GNU components.

=46rom http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html#bsd:

    Should we say =E2=80=9CGNU/BSD=E2=80=9D too?

    We don't call the BSD systems (FreeBSD, etc.) =E2=80=9CGNU/BSD=E2=80=9D=
 systems, because
    that term does not fit the history of the BSD systems.

    The BSD system was developed by UC Berkeley as non-free software in the
    80s, and became free in the early 90s. A free operating system that exi=
sts
    today is almost certainly either a variant of the GNU system, or a kind=
 of
    BSD system.

    People sometimes ask whether BSD too is a variant of GNU, as GNU/Linux =
is.
    It is not. The BSD developers were inspired to make their code free sof=
tware
    by the example of the GNU Project, and explicit appeals from GNU activi=
sts
    helped convince them to start, but the code had little overlap with
    GNU.                                                                   =
     =20

    BSD systems today use some GNU packages, just as the GNU system and its
    variants use some BSD programs; however, taken as wholes, they are two
    different systems that evolved separately. The BSD developers did not w=
rite
    a kernel and add it to the GNU system, so a name like GNU/BSD would not=
 fit
    the situation.

    The connection between GNU/Linux and GNU is much closer, and that's why=
 the
    name =E2=80=9CGNU/Linux=E2=80=9D is appropriate for it.

    There is a version of GNU which uses the kernel from NetBSD. Its develo=
pers
    call it =E2=80=9CDebian GNU/NetBSD=E2=80=9D, but =E2=80=9CGNU/kernelofN=
etBSD=E2=80=9D would  be more
    accurate, since NetBSD is an entire system, not just the kernel. This i=
s not
    a BSD system, since most of the system is the same as the GNU/Linux sys=
tem.

Christophe




Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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On 8/2/2011 2:29 PM, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
> While libtool is a GNU project, I think that this effort by the FSF to
> independently re-entitle Linux to "GNU/Linux" subsequent to the
> effective failure of their Hurd OS is foolish and it ignores that most
> software in a typical "Linux" system is not the Linux kernel or FSF/GNU
> software.  I think that it is better to stick with the names that the
> developers of the Linux kernel and the users prefer to use.
> 
> The same logic could be used to create the names GNU/FreeBSD,
> GNU/NetBSD, GNU/Solaris, GNU/Darwin, etc., because most of these OSs
> include some GNU components.

"How much GNU is there in GNU/Linux?"
http://lwn.net/Articles/445454/
Answer: between 8 and 13%, depending on whether you count the (now
practically independent) Gnome stuff.

By LOCC, the kernel alone is as big as all the GNU stuff put together.

--
Chuck







Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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On Sun, 31 Jul 2011, Christophe Jarry wrote:

> Dear maintainers,
>
> Today I browsed
> http://www.gnu.org/software/libtool/manual/html_node/Configure-notes.html#Configure-notes
> and read this:
>
>    When building on some linux systems [...]
>
> I am surprised you use the name "linux" to designate the entire system. I think
> you should use "GNU/Linux" instead. For more information, please read
> http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.

While libtool is a GNU project, I think that this effort by the FSF to 
independently re-entitle Linux to "GNU/Linux" subsequent to the 
effective failure of their Hurd OS is foolish and it ignores that most 
software in a typical "Linux" system is not the Linux kernel or 
FSF/GNU software.  I think that it is better to stick with the names 
that the developers of the Linux kernel and the users prefer to use.

The same logic could be used to create the names GNU/FreeBSD, 
GNU/NetBSD, GNU/Solaris, GNU/Darwin, etc., because most of these OSs 
include some GNU components.

Bob
-- 
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/




Information forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.

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Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 15:59:20 +0200
From: Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>
To: bug-libtool@HIDDEN
Subject: Documentation: misleading wording
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Dear maintainers,

Today I browsed
http://www.gnu.org/software/libtool/manual/html_node/Configure-notes.html#Configure-notes
and read this:

    When building on some linux systems [...]

I am surprised you use the name "linux" to designate the entire system. I think
you should use "GNU/Linux" instead. For more information, please read
http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.

Christophe






Acknowledgement sent to Christophe Jarry <christophe.jarry@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-libtool@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to owner <at> debbugs.gnu.org, bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#9210; Package libtool. Full text available.
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