Nobel Peace Prize to Linus Torvalds: A Northwest Nobel option?

Christopher Browne cbbrowne-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Tue Nov 24 17:54:53 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM, Darryl Moore <darryl-90a536wCiRb3fQ9qLvQP4Q at> wrote:
> Lennart Sorensen wrote:
>> That's certainly debateable.  Without Linus we would still be waiting
>> for the FSF to finish hurd (which might happen someday.  Maybe.)
> Yes debatable, as is just about anything I guess. I think without Linus,
> hurd would have been a much higher priority.

Yes, had Linux not been "available enough," then they might have put a
higher priority on Hurd.  It languished for quite a long time because
Mach wasn't quite available/usable.

Mind you, it could also be that without Linux, there mightn't have
been a GPL-licensed kernel, and the FSF might have become more of a
historical curiosity, as once the BSD folk got out from under the
cloud of the AT&T lawsuit, a lot of the people interested in a "free
Unix" would have headed in their direction instead of towards Linux.

I subscribe to the position that there was some "historical
inevitability," that there were a LOT of people keen on having a "free
Unix," such that if it hadn't been Linux or BSD-386, there were
certainly other options out there.

- Coherent wasn't free; it was probably the first most visible
"casualty" of Linux
- Minix (still under development!)
- MiNT (originally: MiNT is Not TOS, later, MiNT is Now TOS)
- VSTa

I'm pretty sure that's a desperately incomplete list...
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