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[humorix] Stallman's Latest Scheme

Stallman's Latest Scheme
May 18, 1999

Richard M. Stallman has announced a plan that will
eliminate proprietary, closed software and the "GNU/Linux"
boondoogle in one step.  RMS is advocating a new operating
system called "Gnuix" in which all software is interpreted,
not compiled.  The system will execute software directly
from the source code, making closed software impossible.

The Gnuix system is far from complete, but much of the
groundwork has been laid by RMS and the GNU Project.  It
will be based on the HURD kernel.  The most important part
of the system is PIG, a code interpreter capable of
directly executing programs written in C, C++, Java, Perl,
etc.  The PIG acronym (or "multinym" as RMS says) stands
for any of "PIG Isn't GNU/Linux", "PIG Is Gnuix", "Pretty
Innovative Gadget", "PIG Is Great", or "PIG Interprets GPL
software", depending on context.

As a side benefit, the name "Gnuix" was carefully chosen to
prevent "The GNU/Linux Problem".  With "GNU" built into the
name, the GNU Project will get the recognition (or should
that be ego-gratification?) it deserves.  However, RMS
detractors have already begun to call the system
"GNU/Gnuix" in protest.

Many hackers are concerned about the feasibility of such a
system.  One Linux enthusiast said, "RMS wants to create a
system entirely based on interpreted software?  That's
ludicrous!  Just look how slow and bloated interpreted Java
is.  Moreover, there's no guarantee that eliminating
binaries will increase freedom.  Companies could release
source code under restrictive Microsoft-like End-User
License Agreements, or they could have more liberal
licenses but distribute obfuscated source code that nobody
can understand or modify."

RMS vehemently defends his latest get-free-quick scheme. 
"While performance of interpreted programs isn't as good as
compiled binaries, the increase in freedom far outweighs
the decrease in performance. Besides, interpreted languages
such as Perl seem to work just fine. I doubt that Gnuix
software would be any slower than MS/Windows software

As far as the freedom issue, RMS says, "The Gnuix system
will not run any closed, proprietary software, period.  The
PIG interpreter will only execute GPL or LGPL licensed
source code, thus preventing any non-free 'open source'
software from being used at all." He added, "My plans for
World Domination are coming together quite nicely..."


James S. Baughn

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