Accusations, accusations, always accusations

Andrew J Bromage ajb at
Sun Oct 24 02:26:54 UTC 1999

G'day all.

Disclaimer: I'm not on anyone's side in this debate.  I just noticed
quite a few factual errors in this post.  I'm also not a Linux
worshipper, and definitely think the Hurd has more promise as far as
operating systems go.  Now read on...

On Sat, Oct 23, 1999 at 01:38:35PM -0500, Alejandro Forero Cuervo wrote:

> When any program calls printf, fopen, pthread_create, malloc, inet_addr
> and many other functions, the program is, more than likely, using code
> coming from the GNU project.

The Linux pthread_create is not from the GNU project, but rather is
the LinuxThreads package imported.  All the inet stuff is BSD code
(and hence BSD licenced).  Malloc is a GNU adaption of Doug Lea's
implementation (the GNU project added the multithreading support).
So of the five that you mention, two could be considered "code coming
from the GNU project".

> How far do you think the Linux kernel would
> get with no implementation of printf? How many programs do you think
> would run?

Any program written for a system with no console, written not to use
a console or written not to use stdio, I should think.

This would include any embedded system, anything written exclusively
for a GUI, any daemon, anything which can use sfio (e.g. Perl),
anything written in a language other than C...

Oh, and the kernel comes with its own implementation (customise for
use in a kernel) anyway.  See /usr/src/linux/lib/vsprintf.c for details.

> How many programs would build with no make, shell, textutils (ie cat),
> shell utiles (ie cd, sleep, echo), sed or C/C++ compiler?

Most computers which exist in the world have never been used to build
software.  Who was it who said that Unix was a nice OS for software
development and that's about all? :-)

In particular, the ucLinux project isn't interested in distributing
any of these tools since they're not important to have on your Palm

> Are things such as GNOME not part of the guts of the system (in those
> workstations where XWindows is considered a standard part of the system
> and programs depend of calls to, say, GTK)?

Is GTK part of the GNU project?  I thought it was part of the GIMP
project.  GNOME is part of the GNU project, but more Linux distributions
(particularly those with commercial support) are pushing KDE than are
pushing GNOME.  Oh, and of course the XWindow implementation that you
tend to find on Linux systems is of course not part of the GNU project.

> I'd think it is clear that the guts of the system were written by the
> GNU project over anyone else.

You may be right, but I think you picked bad examples.

Andrew Bromage

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