When listening to others talk about GNU/Linux it always strikes me as odd the argument that is used. That the Linux kernel was made usable by the marriage of the GNU tool set to it so therefor it should be called GNU/Linux as it is a blending of the two and Linux is only the kernel. On the face of it this argument makes sense ... if one doesn't think about it too deeply.
There are however a few things I would like to point out. The GNU tools are released under the GPL, which does not carry a branding clause. This means in effect I can take those tools, do nothing at all to them, and rename them. Henceforth I can call them the 'Azerthoth Tool set and Compiling modules' and there is not a thing that can be done about it legally. Making that change stick in the eyes of the public, odds probably arent that good. As long as I don't change the license though, all I really have to worry about are the purists and Stallmanites flaming me into oblivion.
The next reason, and in my mind the compelling reason I refuse the GNU/Linux name, my car. Did that stop you for a second making you ask yourself where THAT connection came from? Let me explain then. Lets take my Mercury Cougar for example. Thats easy, Mercury makes a car that I bought, and the model name for that car is Cougar. I have never, and neither have you called it a John/Cougar, even though John might be the name of the guy who designed it. How about a Delco/Cougar because I have a Delco alternator in it that supplies power for the electrical system. A Chevron/Cougar because of the gas I use to give it motive force? Do you see what I am getting at? All of these things are part of a complex and integrated system, however they are NEVER named specifically. The same holds true with nearly every item you have ever acquired.
But, but, but, the GPL is what makes Linux ... well ... Linux, shouldn't we acknowledge that? Um, NO, we should not have to, nor should we be forced to tolerate those who would make us think so. If contribution to the underlying abilities of Linux made that sort of branding logical then should we not also be correct in calling it Morton/Linux or Tridgell/Linux perhaps Ingo/Linux or Stallman/Linux. It is all about a whole bunch of complex pieces coming together in one place at one time to make something that just works. All the pieces are needed to make it happen, and picking out just one single piece to give additional credit to in the complex amalgam that is otherwise known as Linux is just plain silly. Kind of like Frankenstein's monster, a bit from here and a bit from there and a bit from somewhere else. Stuff it into a case, apply electricity, and viola.
I have said my piece on the matter, coherently I hope. All that remains now is to bid you all ado for the moment and await the flaming that I am sure is coming. I did knowingly and willingly step on Saint Stallman, and in the community that surrounds Linux, that is one of the “Shall Not's”. Let's hope that my new asbestos undies are up to the challenge.
have fun till next time.