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Linux Turns 17 Today 285

Posted by kdawson
from the hippo-birdies dept.
Meshach writes "Over at the Linux Journal, Doc Searles is noting that today marks 17 years since Linus posted to Usenet, starting Linux (post). As a Linux user at work and at home I say, thanks Linus!" The anniversary is also featured on the top page of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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Linux Turns 17 Today

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  • Re:Made for hackers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mick R (932337) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:18PM (#25269051)
    Don't mistake the word "hacker" for what the ill-informed media use it to mean. It is the popular media that have given the term a negative meaning, and then only in recent years. It WAS a positive term, and STILL IS to those who know what it really means.
  • Re:what (Score:5, Informative)

    by Petrushka (815171) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:00PM (#25269297)

    Probably because Linux had already been announced in August 1991 [google.com], so that is probably the more important anniversary. But the October post linked in the summary is the first usenet post to refer to it as Linux, and to link to the source.

    (Incidentally, at the risk of starting a flamewar, I think the 28th of September [google.com] was also a fairly important anniversary ...)

  • WRONG DATE (Score:5, Informative)

    by suso (153703) * on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:45PM (#25269583) Homepage Journal

    The right date is September 17th, not October 5th. But year after year people keep messing it up. Don't believe me, look here [wikipedia.org]

  • Thank RMS too! (Score:1, Informative)

    by okmijnuhb (575581) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:06AM (#25269699)
    Well while you're thanking Linus, don't forget to thank Richard M. Stallman, without whom Linux (a.k.a. GNU/Linux) would not exist as we know it today. GNU is 24 years old, preceding Linux by 7 years.
  • Re:Linus... humble!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Macthorpe (960048) on Monday October 06, 2008 @01:10AM (#25269975) Journal

    1) Writing a license doesn't require you to be a good coder.

    2) The original GCC was so poor that they eventually gave up on it and instead used EGCS, which was a much better fork of the same software which they then merged back in to GCC. I will go on to quote another Slashdot user who had the misfortune of working on some of his code:

    I know from personal experience that he is a control freak. All "official sanctioned" GNU code is owned by him, by copyright assignment. It is not enough for software to be under the GPL. My only direct experience was a phone call right after I had taken over the job of Mr. XEmacs and he told me how he must "wage war" (direct quote) against me and XEmacs because even though we were true blue GPL, he must have FSF copyright assignment.

    The Emacs source code which we inherited and forked is littered with 1000+ line functions, 6+ levels of nested if-else and assorted other crap that looks like it was being written to violate as many rules of good programming style as possible. The amount of time it took to get the code in a state where we could display CJK fonts in Emacs (and in a stable state) was staggering, especially considering that we were basing our work off the good folks' at ETL Mule.

    I have no respect for the man, no respect for his (programming) work. I find the names Linux/GNU and worse GNU/Linux to be as childish and offensive as the children who like to write Micro$oft and M$ and similar crap. (You might as well also write "you can't spell gOatse without the Gates and a big O". It's equally as witty.) Anyone can develop userland tools. Only a handful of people, of which Richard is NOT one, can develop a successful kernel.

    So, my point stands - Linus is a good coder. Stallman is not.

  • Not free software (Score:5, Informative)

    by byolinux (535260) * on Monday October 06, 2008 @01:33AM (#25270061) Journal

    Not free software! When Linux was first announced and released it was not free software. It became free in 1992 when Linus rereleased it under the GNU GPL. (See the release notes for version 0.12.)

  • Re:Linus... humble!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Monday October 06, 2008 @05:16AM (#25270911) Homepage Journal

    2) The original GCC was so poor that they eventually gave up on it and instead used EGCS, which was a much better fork of the same software which they then merged back in to GCC.

    Sorry, but this is the wrong argument. EGCS broke away because Richard Kenner was a crappy GCC maintainer. It was also driven in the fact that "official" GCC could not successfully compile the Linux kernel at the time. HJ Lu made forks of libc and gcc in order to support building Linux systems.

    The HJ Lu gcc fork was separate from EGCS and ended when EGCS was established.

    Otherwise, OK and that random slashdotter you quoted was me.

  • Re:Age of Consent (Score:2, Informative)

    by brianez21 (945805) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:07AM (#25271629) Journal
    You know, the age of consent in Finland is only 16...
  • Re:Made for hackers (Score:2, Informative)

    by cmdr_tofu (826352) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:16AM (#25272203) Homepage
    A "hack" is not necessarily a negative thing. In fact, most hacks can arguably be called ingenious! Read about the origin of the words "hack" and "hacker": http://tmrc.mit.edu/hackers-ref.html [mit.edu]

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