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Just for the sake of correctness (not political correctness though) shouldn't Linux be a link to GNU/Linux and the body of the article go to GNU/Linux? --Damas

I scrupulously call it "GNU/Linux", or even simply "GNU", as the kernel does not matter that much to the final user, but Wikipedia tries to intelligently report on the current state of things. Therefore, while it is true that "Linux" is (at least originally) the kernel, more than enough people call the OS "Linux" to warrant a section on it under this heading. Let's use GNU/Linux as the place where we discuss the reasons why the current usage is proper or not (and I believe it is not proper).

Changed GNU/Linux to Linux for legibility (how do you read that?). Cleaned up the explanation of the use of GNU/Linux in the last paragraph, with a link to the naming debate, and a short description of the distinct responsibilities of the Kernel and the system libraries. -- ksmathers

I am changing Linux to not be a Minix system but a Unix like system.

"At the present time, Windows and Mac users can easily migrate to Linux if they use desktop managers like KDE or Gnome, and many free software packages offer the functionality of programs available on the other operating systems." is blatant and misleading propaganda. I like Linux, but that kind of OS partisanship belongs elsewhere. -- The Cunctator

"blatant and misleading"?

  1. Migration is easy as
    1. many Linux GUIs (Gnome or KDE offer the same experience as Windows/Mac?
    2. many Linux programs allow easy import of (for example) Word documents
  2. It is a truism that many packages offer the functionality of those available on other OSes ... witness Gimp for example ... not "partisanship" as Microsoft (and Adobe et al) would not be half as worried if it were not true.

-John Lynch

"Thus, as many corporations and public offices are finding out, migration to a Linux-based system is thus not the chore that competing vendors would like one to believe." is better, but I don't think it has any place in the Linux page. If you'd like, you should make an OS advocacy page to hash this out. "Truism" doesn't mean what you seem to want it to mean. Gimp is a great program, but it's not identical to Photoshop. The assertion that Gnome or KDE offer the same experience as Windows/Mac? is as laughable as saying that Windows offers the same experience as the Mac. They are all different systems, and have different strengths. I just think we should keep the advocacy outside of the descriptions, unless expressly indicated as such. A history of OS advocacy would be a great resource.

-The Cunctator

It's not an issue of advocacy ... the statement that "many corporations and public offices are finding out, [that] migration to a Linux-based system is thus not the chore that competing vendors would like one to believe", is true no matter what way you parse it.

Likewise, your reading of my statement that "it is a truism that many packages offer the functionality of those available on other OSes" is flawed. Gimp (for e.g.) offers the functionality of Photoshop. I was not arguing that they were 'identical' (as per your reading).

Lastly, you're assuming I'm a linux advocate.

"Lastly, you're assuming I'm a linux advocate." I never did, nor did I even imply as such. Your language ("It is a truism", "is true no matter what..") indicates a strongly held position; without supporting evidence, I must assume the assertions are based to some degree on faith or emotion. Perhaps such phraseology is simply a rhetorical tic; a "truism" is a self-evident truth. Water is wet; that's a truism. And it's not even a perfect truism, because of the dependence on temperature and pressure ranges. The equivalence of functionality between Gimp and Photoshop is certainly not self-evident simply by saying so. That kind of language, and the introduction of the issue of marketing propaganda and public opinion into a paragraph about the nature of Linux, is why I refered to such a sentence as "advocacy" and "partisanship".

--The Cunctator

Hello Guys I think with these kinds of issues It is probably best that we agree to differ and include both opinions in the article. I am really keen on linux and have introduced it to several organisation I work for. But, I agree that the sentence "many corporations and public offices are finding out, [that] migration to a Linux-based system is thus not the chore that competing vendors would like one to believe" is slightly biased and may be a bit misleading. It seems to say that you can replace _Any OS_ and _Application_ with a linux based alternative that is _just as good_. This is obviously not true. Firstly most users who use the non linux os and applications will find that linux alternativs to their applications will be well below par. On the other hand there are some specialised applications on linux which are WAY Better than the alterntives. At the moment for a certain small number of applications the Linux "alternative" is the best solution. However for Most Applications for the Majority of people, Linux is definately Not the best alternative.

Linus didn't develop Linux from the start with the goal of portability in mind, that came later. At the time, his goal was to learn about the 386. Hence, I'm changing that bit.

--Robert Merkel

The article as it is is heavily slanted towards enforcing the "correct" terminology of calling Linux just the kernel, not the OS. This is obviously wrong and biased; calling the OS "Linux" is enormously widespread and cannot be dismissed as wrong usage in an encyclopaedia article. Even the article itself refers to the "OS" being adopted by manufacturers, while the "OS" is nowhere mentioned before that in the article.

The bias needs to be corrected. -- AV

Just stepping in with my two cents: Gimp does not offer the functionality of Photoshop; it offers most of the functionality of Photoshop. Photoshop allows a user to select and then cut and paste part of an image on any layer; Gimp does not. This was the chief, and (for me) most vexing difference between the two. --KQ
Wow. I see Asa has decided to throw down the GNU/Linux vs Linux gauntlet. Even though I basically support the use of GNU/Linux, it seems that the entries are better served by simply using the popular term "Linux" with the good explanation of use in the Linux and GNU/Linux entries. --The Cunctator
heh. i didn't read this page until after i did it :). maybe i should have! still haven't read it much. maybe tomorrow night :) Well lets see if anyone disagrees with me enough to go thru all of them. The problem with doing that is that many references to the OS in Wikipedia were already GNU/Linux? anyway! I think i have been reasonable with the terms on which i have made the changes. See my personal page for details. -- Asa

I agree that making the "Linux" page a pointer with actual explanatory text is better than the simple redirect. But let's not put any actual descriptive content on the Linux page that really belongs on one of the pages to which it points, otherwise we risk duplicate or out-of-sync data. --LDC

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Last edited December 8, 2001 8:05 am by Lee Daniel Crocker (diff)