Tuesday, September 28, 2010

27th Birthday of the GNU project.

GNU was a software computing environment envisioned by Richard M Stallman. The vision was to build an operating system(UNIX like) and then provide it with all the user mode tools so that users could use it, build upon it, share it and improve it. This is more of the principles of "freedom" expressed by Sri Mahatma Gandhi.

I would request the reader to refer to the first announcement RMS made about his passion and plan for the liberation of the software world http://www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announcement.html. Well the operating system part did not turn out as easy as RMS envisioned. But with the advent of the Linux kernel the incomplete part was now complete. GNU vision with the free software foundation provided all the user mode tools. This gave rise to the GNU/Linux system. Anybody with the clear information about the history of both the projects(GNU and the Linux kernel) would like to call the Operating system they use as GNU/Linux. This pays gratitude to both the projects which has put to shame many propreitory protject software teams on the subject of its longevity and its productivity.

This is a true example of the human nature of "sharing". So will we have a "GNU" operating system? NO. RMS himself is not confident on the GNU/HURD project. GNU/HURD was also a micro-kernel OS. Now, we have a project (Minix 3) which is still alive and been funded by the European Union. If this project goes out and reaches to the developers of the linux kernel and convince them that the micro-kernel approach is the way to go(By the way I do believe in micro-kernels). I believe the ideas look great. But message passing through t the OS for any communication b/w processes looks complicated. I am hoping for one more option GNU/Minix. Which would be excellent owing to the multiple cores on todays desktops.

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.