[linux-elitists] PengPod engineers for a new project

David Edmondson dme at dme.org
Mon Sep 2 02:35:00 PDT 2013


Sorry for the long delay, I was on holiday.

On Thu, Aug 08 2013, Greg KH wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:40:17AM +0100, David Edmondson wrote:
>> On Thu, Aug 08 2013, Greg KH wrote:
>> > Linux will "win completely", and by doing so we have done something that
>> > no one else has ever done, in a way of doing it that has never been done
>> > before, and in a way that only a very few could have guessed would be
>> > possible[1].
>> 
>> Agreed. I certainly would not have anticipated the speed and extent of
>> its' success. It is the best of times.
>
> "speed"?  20 years isn't exactly fast :)

It seems like only yesterday that I booted the Linux kernel from a
floppy disk (no hard disk support), was dumped at a shell prompt (no
login) and fired up KA9Q to connect to a remote system using an external
modem (no kernel TCP/IP stack).

>> Linus chose a specific license, presumably with specific intent.
>
> And what was that intent?

I cannot know with any certainty, and am not in as good a position as
yourself to know with any confidence, but[1] I hope that it was with the
intention that the software be shared in accordance with both the terms
and spirit of the license.

>> That license includes various clauses intended to promote particular
>> behaviour and provide certain guarantees. Doesn't that license provide
>> various freedoms?
>
> And how has that license prevented any of those "freedoms"?

It has not.

> What has changed since the creation of the kernel that has prevented any
> of these "freedoms"?

The careful creation of software, software licenses and businesses
around the kernel that don't share the same terms or spirit.

> Remember, the FSF was the one that _approved_ Tivo's usage of signed
> bootloaders to lock down the kernel to a specific version in the
> machine as a valid interpretation of GPLv2.  So you can't complain about
> that, as you will be arguing against the creator of the license.

That's allowed, right? :-)

>> As for the worst of times, Jason described a possible scenario:
>> 
>>    As to predicting the long term, I suppose it depends on whether you
>>    think what we today call phones and tablets, and the operating
>>    systems running on them, will ultimately displace desktop machines as
>>    traditionally understood.
>> 
>> Those devices (phones and tablets) are often built in a way that is
>> restrictive - closed components, hidden software, etc.
>
> And what does that have to do with Linux?

The devices are described as "Linux devices", but include many
components which do not share the same license or source code
philosophy.

> I understand some people's annoyance at this type of thing, but Linux
> does not impose "usage restrictions" on devices.  To do so would be a
> violation of another type of "freedom", don't you agree?

Of course - (almost?) any freedom that might be granted can be phrased
as a restriction on some other freedom.

From reading your comments I realise that I used (and have generally
been using) the term "Linux" in a sloppy way - to mean something more
that the kernel. It's a mistake to do so in such discussions.

Footnotes: 
[1]  "I have no firm basis on which to make a statement, but will do so
     anyway."
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 327 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/attachments/20130902/2a697832/attachment.sig>


More information about the linux-elitists mailing list