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Linus on Linux, 20 Years In

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the stop-being-so-ethical-please dept.

Linux 197

Radium_ writes "Along with the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Linux kernel, Linuxfr — a French-language Linux website — published an interview with Linus Torvalds. [Interview in English.] The creator of Linux answers questions about Linux kernel licensing, his contributions to the kernel development model and Linux in 2031."

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A really interesting quote from Linus (2, Insightful)

frostmages (2115310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040404)

A lot of other people think that the BSD license with its even more freedoms is a better license for them.

The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free. Now we can stop the fighting. BSD license doesn't try to tell other people how they can use the code, GPL does. Who is more correct man to say it?

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040540)

So what? I don't think *anyone* would argue that the BSD license contains more freedoms than the GPL.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040710)

Um. I think Linus Torvalds would argue exactly that. Since he did. In the quoted line from the article.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040808)

You know what I mean... argue against that statement.

Stupid English language!

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040884)

Stupid English language!

And users say "stupid computer", it's easier to blame the tools than one who wields it.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040936)

And users say "stupid computer", it's easier to blame the tools than the one who wields it.

Somewhere, there's an irony in that post....

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (5, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041038)

English is the result of Norman soldiers attempting to pick up Anglo-Saxon barmaids, and is no more legitimate than any of the other results.
— H. Beam Piper

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

Soulshift (1044432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041076)

And users say "stupid computer", it's easier to blame the tool than the one who wields it.

Somewhere, there's an irony in that post....

Meta-irony for the win.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041846)

Metal-iron for the win indeed.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041482)

To be fair, computers are pretty stupid. If they were smart, I wouldn't have to spend all day programming the damn things.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (5, Insightful)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040558)

BSD license is more free, but does not preserve the freedoms.

Choice of license should depend on your goals. If one of them is philosophy, so be it. If one of them is business, so be it. I always pick the license that I feel best for a project.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (3, Interesting)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040894)

BSD license is more free, but does not preserve the freedoms.

Choice of license should depend on your goals. If one of them is philosophy, so be it. If one of them is business, so be it. I always pick the license that I feel best for a project.

It is more free but it does not preserve the freedoms? Who's freedoms? Stop it with the doublespeak/orwellian newspeak. Neither the BSD or GPL have anything to do with the end user. The end user does not give a rats arse about the source code, it's availability or what license it is under. The only people interested are third parties looking for an opportunity to contribute to the codebase and both licenses offer that freedom to those "developers". The BSD also offers the freedom to take that source, use it and incorporate it into a larger closed source product which implements the same standard as the original project.

if you want to push a particular ideology represented by the GNU foundation then you would choose the GPL but if you are interested in pushing forward an open standard that can be implemented and integrated by anyone then you would choose the BSD. Part of the reason why TCP/IP became the standard for the internet is because the stack was release under the BSD license which meant that closed source software vendors could implement the same stack on their platform quickly without fear of viral licenses or contamination.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (-1, Flamebait)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041248)

Trouble is, you can't understand the FSF people without first joining their cult. A religions terminology is always opaque to outsiders.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (5, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041434)

Not at all.

Just watch a Mad Max movie.

The BSD is fine if you want some robber baron to exploit your work and lock you out of the end result. Otherwise, the GPL makes more sense. Despite of all of the noise from the BSD trolls, RMS did not create the GPL out of some deep seated need to overthrow capitalism. He created it because he started out with a more naieve approach to licensing and then had to deal with angry contributors when that first Robber Baron wannabe came along.

The GPL was created to keep CONTRIBUTORS happy. It was created so that the guys doing the actual work, the coders, would not get upset when the next Apple or Microsoft came along.

Guys like Linux have to deal with guys like Alan Cox.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041718)

>It is more free but it does not preserve the freedoms? Who's freedoms? Stop it with the doublespeak/orwellian newspeak.

With bsd you can make the code proprietary and if you are mighty enough, maybe your closed version of things will be the thing everyone will be using in the end. With gpl you can't.

Which licence, would you say, intuitively, would lead to a world with more lines of code freely in the open in the end?

Some people seem to believe that not allowing software to be made un-free will preserve the freedom of it better. It's not as straightforward as the more freedoms of bsd up front, but I wouldn't say it's double- or newspeak.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042016)

Neither the BSD or GPL have anything to do with the end user.

Really? Have you actually read the licences at all? They are clearly addressed to any user whatsoever, including the end user.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042286)

if you want to push a particular ideology represented by the GNU foundation then you would choose the GPL but if you are interested in pushing forward an open standard that can be implemented and integrated by anyone then you would choose the BSD. Part of the reason why TCP/IP became the standard for the internet is because the stack was release under the BSD license which meant that closed source software vendors could implement the same stack on their platform quickly without fear of viral licenses or contamination.

Sure, and even RMS agrees with that. But those cases are few in the whole set of OSS software.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042576)

The BSD also offers the freedom to take that source, use it and incorporate it into a larger closed source product which implements the same standard as the original project.

Or arbitrarily change or extend it so there's no or flawed interoperability between the closed and open version. Or withhold bug fixes as a competitive advantage over the open version. The BSD license is great if everyone plays nice, but if someone wants to fuck you over you are all lubed up. If you really, really mean that you want nothing from them then choosing the BSD is fine, good for you. But if you start throwing hissy fits over asshattery when you specifically chose a license that allows it over one that doesn't, well you don't get much sympathy from me.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042754)

The end user does not give a rats arse about the source code, it's availability or what license it is under.

The point of free software licenses is to ensure the end user has access to the source code. So that if the end user does give a rat's ass he can actually do something to examine and improve the code, if only for his own use and edification.

I.e., it's all about the end user.

It's when someone realized that there were users in the middle doing things to the code that they might not want to give to the end user, and that they had every right not to, that it all got weird.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041290)

I hear this "does not preserve the freedoms" thing all the time from pro-GPL folks. It seems like they honestly believe that a commercial company can take existing GPL code, incorporate it into a product, and then magically the GPL code can no longer be used by open-source folks anymore.

Sure, any contribution that the commercial entity made to the GPL'd code base won't be shared back. But they wrote the code, not you, and it should be the developers' prerogative on whether they wish to share any code with anyone. You still have the original source code anyway.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (2)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041810)

I hear this "does not preserve the freedoms" thing all the time from pro-GPL folks. It seems like they honestly believe that a commercial company can take existing GPL code, incorporate it into a product, and then magically the GPL code can no longer be used by open-source folks anymore.

If this is what it seems like to you, it's clear that although you hear these people, you don't understand what they're saying.

Sure, any contribution that the commercial entity made to the GPL'd code base won't be shared back. But they wrote the code, not you, and it should be the developers' prerogative on whether they wish to share any code with anyone. You still have the original source code anyway.

That's precisely the point. It should be developers' prerogative. It's my prerogative to only share my code with people willing to share in return. The GPL enables that, and if you claim freedom is at all important, you should be glad that I'm free to make this choice, whereas other people may prefer a different choice (and use a BSD license as a consequence). Arguing that I should give up my freedom to share my code only with people I want so that others than share their code only with people they want (and I'm not one of them) is ridiculously hypocritical.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042324)

I agree that it's your choice to share the code with whoever you want. Just like it's a company's choice to share their source code or keep it closed.

My point is the idea that "the GPL protects freedom" is a load of BS. It's just another way to lock down code, it just "looks" free because they make the source available. GPL folks should at least admit that it has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with controlling the source code.

Personally, I think you should be proud if any of your code is used by a commercial entity. It means your code is good. But I guess your moral grandstanding is more important than any sort of recognition.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042548)

My point is the idea that "the GPL protects freedom" is a load of BS. It's just another way to lock down code, it just "looks" free because they make the source available.

Except that's a completely ignorant argument. The GPL protects the freedom of the source code and users who receive the code via a 3rd party. It's only BS to people who approach it with a fundamentally flawed understanding of what it's trying to achieve (or are resentful they can't jack the code.)

Personally, I think you should be proud if any of your code is used by a commercial entity. It means your code is good. But I guess your moral grandstanding is more important than any sort of recognition.

Well, if possibly unattributed, unpaid usage of your code is all you ask, many corporations will happily give that to you. Others have found that companies will happily use GPL'd code and contribute back. And many people think that maintaining an open base of software for computing is important, even moreso these days with extremely user-hostile platforms coming to the fore.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (3, Insightful)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042748)

You keep saying that word - freedom - but it does not mean what you think it means.

The GPL is about asserting control over derivative works. It provides the illusion of freedom, but the source code is not actually free. If it was free, there wouldn't be any restrictions at all.

To say "the GPL protects the freedom of the source code" also implies that if a commercial entity made a derivative work, somehow the original source code is no longer free. That is complete bullshit. The only purpose the GPL has is to control derivative works.

If you want to use the GPL because it works for you, that's fine, go right ahead. But don't fool yourself into thinking that it has anything to do with freedom.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042614)

I hear this "does not preserve the freedoms" thing all the time from pro-GPL folks. It seems like they honestly believe that a commercial company can take existing GPL code, incorporate it into a product, and then magically the GPL code can no longer be used by open-source folks anymore.

I think I understand the sort of thing you're referring to, that argument that BSD allows the 'freedom to take away freedom', which of course it doesn't, the original code does not become non-free. Yes it allows for non-free derived works, which means you provide 'freedom of choice' to the people who use your code.
GPL controls the code in such a way that it ensures that everyone who uses your code and anything derived for it gets the same rights and the same freedoms. So it's all just dependent on your world view, no license is 'better'.
To me Free Software means being altruistic and not forcing others to think my way, so i prefer the BSD license, of course others would disagree. The fact is permissive free, restrictive free and proprietary licenses can co-exist and that's really all that matters.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (3, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041992)

I don't understand this.

BSD license is more free, but does not preserve the freedoms.

If somebody builds on your work and doesn't release it back to you, you don't lose anything. Effectively, there's no difference between that and if they had never even touched your stuff... which they wont do if they didn't want to have to share their changes with a GPL project anyway.

So you're only retaining contributors that are OK with sharing anyway and you're excluding people who do not want to give their modifications away openly and for $free. My idea of freedom is not "here is a free widget, but you can't improve and sell it, you can only give it away" - WTF?

This is strong-arming people into open source, just like the unnecessary association of $free with open. This isn't preservation, protection, nothing like that, it is attempting to SPREAD an ideal that has lately been starting to freak me out, and is counter intuitive to a healthy economy. There simply is no market demand for these ideals. GNU and FSF resort to this asshattery to attack a (once healthy) software market, forcing reimbursement for software development into areas that are unfeasible for small software businesses all for the sake of ideals that have zeeeeeeero demand in the marketplace. "Look at me, you can get a quick start on your project, for FREEE, there's just this uh, one string attached... you must support my agenda, mwahahahah! (evil Bowser laugh)"

Look, nobody uses Ubuntu because it has source code available. They use it because it's $free. I know everyone here knows this... "well duh, it has to be $free or nobody would use it and open source wouldn't advance"
Why doesn't creep out more people?

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042370)

Yes, you don't understand this. You're not even wrong.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042466)

If somebody builds on your work and doesn't release it back to you, you don't lose anything.

That's not the purpose of the GPL: somebody may distribute derivatives following the license and even so never contributing back. The GPL is a legal version of the Pay It Forward concept.

So you're only retaining contributors that are OK with sharing anyway and you're excluding people who do not want to give their modifications away openly and for $free. My idea of freedom is not "here is a free widget, but you can't improve and sell it, you can only give it away" - WTF?

Nowhere in the GPL says you have to give your modifications for free; you just can't charge more than you already did for the binaries.

This is strong-arming people into open source, just like the unnecessary association of $free with open. This isn't preservation, protection, nothing like that, it is attempting to SPREAD an ideal that has lately been starting to freak me out, and is counter intuitive to a healthy economy. There simply is no market demand for these ideals. GNU and FSF resort to this asshattery to attack a (once healthy) software market, forcing reimbursement for software development into areas that are unfeasible for small software businesses all for the sake of ideals that have zeeeeeeero demand in the marketplace. "Look at me, you can get a quick start on your project, for FREEE, there's just this uh, one string attached... you must support my agenda, mwahahahah! (evil Bowser laugh)"

First, GPL licensed software is simply given with a price, like most others. Just because the price isn't monetary doesn't mean it's an 'attack' on the software market.

Secondly, the software market was healthy? That's just laughable. Yes, it was healthy for Microsoft and a couple of other companies who had everyone else by the balls with its monopolies and lock-in.
The IE6 monopoly was 'healthy'? Ha.

Thirdly, as said, GPL simply has a price. If a small company can't afford it, how is that any different from e.g. Oracle selling database licenses at $40k per CPU, which small companies can't afford either?

If there's anything that a market is good at, is deciding if something is too expensive. Apparently, the GPL isn't.

Look, nobody uses Ubuntu because it has source code available. They use it because it's $free. I know everyone here knows this... "well duh, it has to be $free or nobody would use it and open source wouldn't advance"

And, and nobody uses Red Hat, since it's not free. Oh, wait.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042950)

Im sorry if i dont do my hobby for other to make money of. Whats so wrong about honest trading, you get to play with my code if i also get to play with your code.
I dont really se the fun in hey hare are the 200 man hours that i put in this project please take it and go home and dont play ball.

  "This is strong-arming people into open source" that is one way of looking at it another is i like to play with people who also likes to play with me.

each to his own if you love to work for free please do so, if you like to work for money that is ok to so why is it wrong to work for more code

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042054)

As an american I am free, and the patriot act exists to protect my freedoms.

Wait, what?

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042492)

And public domain code is most free.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042780)

And public domain code is most free.

In some European countries it is not possible for an author / creator to give away all their 'rights' via the public domain. The SQLite folks have learnt the hard way that going public domain causes a whole bunch of headaches. It's actually easier to go with a 2-clause BSD/MIT license if you just want to give everything away with the least amount of hassle as to what's done with it afterwards:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040576)

Are you some kind of troll
If BSD is good for you use it, most companies would probably want LGPL. Gives people the right to use the code, but also protects your interests. When Microsoft wanted to contribute to the Apache project they used this licence for this reason

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (2)

lucian1900 (1698922) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040592)

They both have restrictions. BSD is especially more restrictive than MIT. So much so that many people consider BSD to be weak copyleft.

Also, Linus is well known for not being a FSF nut. Sane people in both camps have always been nice about the other camp.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (5, Funny)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040890)

Sane people in both camps have always been nice about the other camp.

Yes. The description "bunch of masturbating monkeys" was meant in the nicest possible way. :)

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040610)

"Trying to push any particular license as "the ethical choice" just makes me mad. Really."

You dun made Linus mad.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041756)

Well PISS on Linus - no one cares what he thinks! Who does he think he is, anyway?

Oh - wait. You mean THAT Linus? The guy who wrote my kernel? Ooops. I take it back. I didn't mean anything, Linus. You really don't need to track me down and break my computer! I promise, I'll be nice from now on!

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040622)

Did you really miss the "A lot of other people think that" before the part that you cited? Reading his whole answer, he doesn't even comment on which license is more free. He just says that the GPLv2 is the right license for him and his goals.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040774)

Yes, the BSD license has more freedoms. In the same way you'd have more freedom if you were allowed to shoot people in the face without facing consequences. Some freedoms are best not given away to everyone.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (2)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040776)

Besides I remember about a year ago (I think) Eric Raymond asking, do we need the GPL?. The debate around this was quite sane with many people looking rationally at all the licences, giving reasons for choosing one over another. Even the GNU people made fair points, in regards to protecting the labour of those who contributed to the code base. I think the community has moved on from irate arguments on freedom, this maybe because Stallman's (as important and influential as he is) view is balanced by others such as Torvalds.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040832)

Please learn your language. The "even more freedoms" bit is included in what "a lot of other people" think. That is not necessarily what Linus thinks.
Linus is just stating other people's opinion, not his own.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040838)

The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free

So what? Linus did not write the GPL, and he did not even plan to release the original Linux kernel under a libre license.

Who is more correct man to say it?

Maybe RMS, or someone who actually works for the Free Software Foundation?

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041002)

No, his quote won't stop the fighting. Because, really, the arguments about "which license is freer" are actually not about which one is freer. This is just another case where the debate is derailed because people are using a word (in this case "free") as a stand-in for another concept ("better"). To have a productive conversation we first need to recognize that there are different ways to define "free". (Are we talking freedom for user? Freedom for developer? Freedom for distributor? And are we talking about 'freedom' as in 'unrestricted', or as in 'guaranteed to remain open/available? Etc.) Then, rather than try to agree on a definition, it's actually more productive to move past it and talk about the concept that the word is being used to get at. The real debate is about which license is more ethical, or leads to better software, or which makes the world a better place, or whatever... Even once you focus-in on those questions, it's not at all obvious what the right answer is (and so the argument will continue), but at least you'll then be arguing about a specific question rather than arguing over a vague word.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041044)

The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free. Now we can stop the fighting. BSD license doesn't try to tell other people how they can use the code, GPL does. Who is more correct man to say it?

I think you just defined flamebait.

Nice.

Re:A really interesting quote from Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041586)

Except that the BSD license lives in a fantasy world, where nobody abuses anybody and everything is happy with the bees and the flowers...

In the real world, a company will take Linux, add a unique feature that the original version can't integrate, make it the dominant version used because of that feature, and close the source. (Remember the MS JVM [wikipedia.org] ?)
Result: Linux would be dead.

There's even a name for it: EEE: Embrace, extend and extinguish.
Microsoft's core strategy for everything they can't just buy but want to dominate. Used on a ton of companies, including Netscape, Borland, Sun, etc.

You can bet money that it would be the very first thing MS would think of, the instant Linux changes to the BSD license.

BSD is 100% free, no discussion about that. But it's too free for the real world. (Unless the perverse delusion about the the existence of "intellectual property" is extinguished.)

Hey, Linus (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040506)

That's GNU/Linux, you insufferable shit.

Re:Hey, Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040568)

But... it's only the Linux kernel, there's no GNU, there's not even a slash... o_o

Re:Hey, Linus (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040588)

Hey, dumbass, Linux IS the software that Linus Torvalds started - the fucking KERNEL, you dumb ass.

Re:Hey, Linus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040628)

That's incorrect. The kernel is GNU/Linux, and the operating system is GNU/GNU/Linux.

Re:Hey, Linus (1)

dow (7718) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040738)

I thought he was joking actually... but no-one has moderated yet. Could somebody please moderate and tell us whether this is supposed to be a funny?

Re:Hey, Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040954)

Well, I can't say for sure whether this guy's serious or not, but I can say it shouldn't change the fact that it isn't funny. It's just insulting.

Re:Hey, Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041990)

Stallman, is that you?

Yerp! (1)

dakkon1024 (691790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040606)

Wow, I had no idea he was a potty mouth.

Re:Yerp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040794)

"Yerp"? What the hell is that? Did you burp, then typed in exactly what came out of your mouth?

Re:Yerp! (1)

supremebob (574732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041196)

Yeah... and did anyone else think that Richard Stallman might have been the target of this particular comment?

"Whenever you use it as an argument for why somebody_else should do something, you're no longer being ethical, you're just being a sanctimonious dick-head."

Wow... Burn! Linux Guru cat fight!! :)

Re:Yerp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041732)

Yeah... and did anyone else think that Richard Stallman might have been the target of this particular comment?

Your mastery of stating the blindingly obvious shall surely never be surpassed by future generations. Bravo. *slow clap*

Re:Yerp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041550)

Wow, I had no idea he was a potty mouth.

'Potty-mouth'?

WTF?

Netcraft confirms.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040666)

Linux is now Ubuntu

Re:Netcraft confirms.. (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040822)

I thought Linux was Android these days
if you're going with largest % of the user base...

Re:Netcraft confirms.. (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041118)

Nope. I've often seen a distinction made between Android and Linux. Turns out, all these years when people talked about Linux they often meant GNU/Linux. Technically, Android runs on Linux, of course, but the meaning of the word Linux is GNU/X/[whatever]/Linux and Android isn't it. Hence, for example:

-Do you run linux on your [device]?
-Nope, Android.

Re:Netcraft confirms.. (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041292)

What? There is Android in Linux?

Is there a .og domain? (0)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040686)

Because if so the French linux site, linuxFr should really be based there.

Re:Is there a .og domain? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040798)

I dunno, but if there is then I'm sure there's a www.sex.og [www.sex.og] . I'd try going there first.

Big thank you to all the contributors (3, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040702)

To all the people who contributed Open Source projects over the last 20 years, a big THANKS. Can you imagine this landscape without open source software and alternatives to run it on like Linux and the *BSD variants?

Most of the internet would would need downtime for reboot every night, and the cost incurred by your ISP for all the proprietary licensing would probably put the net out of reach for most common folks.

Re:Big thank you to all the contributors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36040874)

So why the "20 years", particularly? What about all the free software pre-dating Linux?
It's not like Linux was the first, or even an especially early visible example.
I'm so glad we have Linux, but without it, what would HURD look like?

Re:Big thank you to all the contributors (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041088)

I'm so glad we have Linux, but without it, what would HURD look like?

Duke Nukem Forever?

Re:Big thank you to all the contributors (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041096)

I'm so glad we have Linux, but without it, what would HURD look like?

The same that it does now? HURD was floundering for years before Linus ever started his kernel.

Re:Big thank you to all the contributors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041564)

The second half of that deserves flamebait honestly.

Re:Big thank you to all the contributors (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042332)

Most of the internet would would need downtime for reboot every night, and the cost incurred by your ISP for all the proprietary licensing would probably put the net out of reach for most common folks.

Oh please. It's not like there wouldn't be competition or demand-driven innovation without open source. Either Microsoft would have fixed their shit anyway, proprietary Unix would have gotten cheaper, IBM's OS/2 would have succeeded or maybe even Apple would have stepped in. One way or the other the BSOD hell we had in the 90s was a children's disease that we'd outgrow.

Ethics (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040886)

I don't understand his position on ethics. Ethics are a social construct. Things are unethical because they are likely to cause harm to other people. It makes no sense to have a code of ethics in a social vacuum, if you were the only person on earth nothing could possibly be unethical.

If unethical actions are harmful, then shouldn't we be making sure the people around us are behaving ethically? Wouldn't that decrease the net harm we suffer? If unethical actions aren't harmful, then what makes them unethical?

Re:Ethics (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040982)

Linus' specialty is in managing the kernel development process, not the finer points of English. Besides, I think everyday everyone gets confused with the finer lines between ethics, morals and character. if we didn't, we wouldn't be human.

Re:Ethics (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041814)

That. And I know that in French "ethical" has a slightly different meaning. It doesn't really mean "judgemental" but "good". It may be the same in Finnish. It would surely explain the reaction.

Re:Ethics (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042026)

Linus' specialty is in managing the kernel development process, not the finer points of English. Besides, I think everyday everyone gets confused with the finer lines between ethics, morals and character. if we didn't, we wouldn't be human.

I don't know, "ethics" is a pretty unambiguous idea to me. It's not being evil, and being evil is most definitely not any kind of private thing.

It's about as far from "private" as it's possible to get. I really don't get where he's coming from at all.

Re:Ethics (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042098)

It's not terribly surprising that your ethics are not ambiguous to you, but that doesn't make them applicable to anyone else.

Re:Ethics (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36043196)

Well. I thought he was talking about character, which is what you are when no one's looking.

He may have applied the same standard to ethics. Which makes sense. Ethical systems are only valid to yourself.

Re:Ethics (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041336)

if you were the only person on earth nothing could possibly be unethical.

The whales might beg to differ.

Re:Ethics (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042866)

Things are unethical because they are likely to cause harm to other people.

Things are unethical because they are 'wrong' in terms of 'right and wrong' which are subjective and determined by an individual's point of view.

Re:Ethics (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 3 years ago | (#36043210)

No, you're confusing ethics with moral. Morals are for the most part black and white, these are principles and values that remain consistent and universal across race, nationality, and religion. Something like "do no harm to others" is a moral principle.

Ethics, on the other hand, is an entirely different branch of moral philosophy. In a sense, you could say ethics are moral principles practically applied to situational circumstances, particular world views, or as you put it a particular social context. Ethics are where you find the shades of gray which people tend to see things differently, depending on the situation and context. For example, someone might subscribe to the ethical philosophy that you shouldn't do harm to others, but it may be ethically acceptable to harm in the context of curtailing some greater evil, or harm.

So why is it that Linus should have to subscribe to the Free Software Foundation's ethical standards? More specifically, why should he have to subscribe to the FSF's ethical objections with regard to tivo-ization and DRM clauses in the GPLv3?

A broken clock is right twice a day (2)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36040946)

So I guess the eternal

Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of reliable, well-engineered commercial software? -- Matt Welsh

goes with this thread, then.

Re:A broken clock is right twice a day (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041464)

So I guess the eternal

Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of reliable, well-engineered commercial software? -- Matt Welsh

Considering that "lemmings jumping off a cliff" is a myth, your comment is insightful.

Who the fuck is Matt Welsh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042084)

Can somebody please tell me who the fuck Matt Welsh is, and why anything he says should appear at the bottom of Slashdot every single day?

Re:A broken clock is right twice a day (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042160)

Eternal is the word. I think it's time they fix the damn slashdot fortune generator, it's been stuck on that quote for way too long.

Re:A broken clock is right twice a day (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042694)

At this point, it's about 80 major bugs down in the list.

Re:A broken clock is right twice a day (2)

Spyder (15137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042384)

I resist the implication that commercial software is, in general, well engineered. I'm not going to claim that the "many eyes" concept always, or even usually, lives up to it's billing; but in several high profile projects the FOSS system has resulted in some of the highest quality and most widely deployed applications and services in world. The market challenge that many projects have represented have motivated vendors to improve in way they claimed were impossible.

A very short list off the top of my head:

Apache
Mozilla
OpenSSH
Snort
the collective GNU utilities
Wireshark

I apologize for feeding the trolls.

Re:A broken clock is right twice a day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042410)

Oh, that little blurb again. Yes, its quite possibly true (or not). I tried to post a story to /. about the blurb going on unceasingly for weeks and weeks and that something is broken in TACO-land. Story never made it in, the blurb at the bottom is still BoRk3n, and ./ maintainers are oblivious, malicious, or incompetent (ok it might be more an issue of "meh, two guys are on holiday, and I'm not going to give up a golf game and a nite out with the wife/GF to fix that!"). Pick the excuse of your choice, and run with it.

Thanks To Contributors Past and Future (2)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041198)

I first started using Linux in 1994 in college. Like most college students with a ComSci class that involves coding homework, you are nominally provided university resources to create and compile code but like so many universities, those resources were very overloaded especially during peak and crunch times. I had a 368 which I used for playing games and writing papers but someone mentioned that they knew this thing called Linux that behaved a lot like the system we used except it wasn't so slow.

So thanks to those authors and contributors back then for making my homework go smoother and who knows how Linux will help years and decades into the future.

Re:Thanks To Contributors Past and Future (2)

Hooya (518216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041310)

I started in 1995 for exactly the same reason! I had a 486DX at the time - was all kinds of fun trying to get the modlines for X working..

Re:Thanks To Contributors Past and Future (1)

lewiscr (3314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042244)

I always wondered what kind of modeline would destroy my monitor...

2031? How about 2038? (2)

adenied (120700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041216)

I don't really care what Linux is doing in 2031. I'm more concerned about 2038. Or rather, what it's not doing toward the end of January. On a serious note, how is Year 2038 being dealt with?

Re:2031? How about 2038? (2, Informative)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041402)

IOn a serious note, how is Year 2038 being dealt with?

64-bit arches are already not vulnerable, since time_t is 64 bits there.

If there are any 32-bit arches left in 2038, we'll deal with them in the same way we dealt with the 2GB limitation for file size: by defining new 64-bit datatypes (time64_t, struct timespec64, etc.) and a set of new system calls (time64, gettimeofday64, etc.), and allowing the C headers to transparently map the old names to the new system calls (as with -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64).

--jch

Re:2031? How about 2038? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041554)

We learned from experience and will let others deal with it in 2037.

Re:2031? How about 2038? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36042766)

Doesn't answer the question of what will happen to all those embedded devices still ticking out there, like in satellites, and deep space NASA probes that we can't really maintain pick up and retool.

That said, I only see pocket calculators being the largest "undead" group that still gets used very often after decades have of creation (see today's article about the HP12C with RPN from 30 years ago [slashdot.org] ), and none of them actually keep track of time.

Re:2031? How about 2038? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041650)

64 bits?

Quote of the Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041232)

So I always thought the whole "Tivoization" thing was silly thing. If you want to make your own Tivo, just do it. Don't think that just because it runs open source you should control the hardware. It's open source. If you want to make open hardware, make open hardware.

How about I bought the f****** hardware so shouldn't I be the one to control it?

Wonder if Linus thinks that the car company should be allowed to drive "his" car, or the television manufacturer should be allowed to change channels on "his" TV, or the video game console manufacturer should be allowed to remove an operating system on "his" console?

What a moron.

Re:Quote of the Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041462)

How about I bought the f****** hardware so shouldn't I be the one to control it?

No. Now piss off you little turd.

Re:Quote of the Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36041544)

Well he basically said he didn't agree with DRM but that it had nothing to do with Linux as long as the license is being respected. His comments through the whole article were trying to avoid his personal opinions on subjects and stick to the linux side of the argument. Linus has no business telling other what they should do with their hardware, and he knows that.

Go make your mythtv box and stop trolling.

Re:Quote of the Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36043064)

Wonder if Linus thinks that the car company should be allowed to drive "his" car, or the television manufacturer should be allowed to change channels on "his" TV, or the video game console manufacturer should be allowed to remove an operating system on "his" console?

Nice strawman retard, obviously you don't even know what Tivoization is. Try again.

Re:Quote of the Article (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36043092)

How about I bought the f****** hardware so shouldn't I be the one to control it?

You aren't aware there's nothing stopping you from hacking your TiVo? TiVo aren't going to support you or provide you tools but it's your hardware and you can do what you want with it.

Linus also talked about 20-years of Linux... (2)

sjvn (11568) | more than 3 years ago | (#36041346)

Re:Linus also talked about 20-years of Linux... (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#36042258)

Not to toot your own horn of course, but..

toot toot.

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