The Haus

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Poking Holes in the de Tocqueville Report

Andy Tanenbaum takes the opportunity to poke holes in the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution report which claims that Linus Torvalds really didn't write Linux, but stole it from other Unix sources. Tanenbaum was interviewed by Ken Brown for this report. Their chief argument seems to be that Linus couldn't possibly have written Linux all by himself because they cannot figure out how that could be possible, even though he isn't the only person to have done this. The cynic in me might wonder why stupid people insist that everyone else in the world must be stupid. And certainly the mere fact that the de Tocqueville Institution has taken large wads of cash from Microsoft doesn't affect their credibility at all. At any rate, it's a good read.

I've linked to a Slashdot mirror of the article since the original is Slashdotted. Please note that Tanenbaum and Torvalds have not always seen eye-to-eye, to put it kindly. That makes this defense all the more interesting.

By the way, Linus finally came forward and revealed the real authors of Linux.

J.t.Qbe comments: This article is well worth reading for anyone interested in Linux and/or the history of Unix. Tanenbaum is part of that history and has some great insights into the current lame attack by yet another thinly-disguised Microsoft front.

News for 05/20/2004

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