On 2022-02-24 21:02, Richard Stallman wrote:
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

> > That Linus Torvalds had serious misunderstandings on what "operating
  > > system" is ...

  > is vanishingly improbable.

Linux is a kernel, but many people think that it is an operating
system.  Perhaps Jean Louis was referring to that.  I am not sure
"misunderstanding" was the right word for it, though.

It seems pretty clear that Linus Torvalds was engaged in an activity
which he believed was headed in the direction of making a Unix-like
operating system, along the lines of Minix or Coherent or what have
you.  The GNU project was also replacing a Unix (including working
on a kernel), so the comparison to GNU makes sense in that light.

One short term goal was self-hosting: to stop compiling that
system under Minix, but do that under itself: so he wasn't just running
some regression test cases under the new kernel, but he had a system
with Bash and GCC.

He likely didn't suspect that the result of this activity would
be a decades-long project that is limited to producing a kernel
(and some utilities specific to it which depend on a third party
C library). Let alone that it would be a popular kernel that
people would turn into operating systems by combining it with other pieces,
and that they would still persist in calling every such a system
"Linux", informally. Let alone that it would be the kernel that
effectively ties together the GNU system and gets it into the
hands of large numbers of users on consumer-grade hardware.

At that time, it would have made sense for Torvalds to believe he
was working on an operating system project; there is no evidence
to support the belief that he had no idea what "operating system"

Reply via email to