|Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English)||by Linux fortune|
|Brief History Of Linux (#22)|
RMS had a horrible, terrible dream set in 2020 in which all of society was
held captive by copyright law. In particular, everyone's brain waves were
monitored by the US Dept. of Copyrights. If your thoughts referenced a
copyrighted idea, you had to pay a royalty. To make it worse, a handful of
corporations held fully 99.9% of all intellectual property rights.
Coincidentally, Bill Gates experienced a similar dream that same night. To
him, however, it was not a horrible, terrible nightmare, but a wonderful
utopian vision. The thought of lemmings... er, customers paying a royalty
everytime they hummed a copyrighted song in their head or remembered a
passage in a book was simply too marvelous for the budding monopolist.
RMS, waking up from his nightmare, vowed to fight the oncoming Copyright
Nightmare. The GNU Project was born. His plan called for a kernel,
compiler, editor, and other tools. Unfortunately, RMS became bogged down
with Emacs that the kernel, HURD, was shoved on the back burner. Built
with LISP (Lots of Incomprehensible Statements with Parentheses), Emacs
became bloated in a way no non-Microsoft program ever has. Indeed, for a
short while RMS pretended that Emacs really was the GNU OS kernel.
|"We invented a new protocol and called it Kermit, after Kermit the Frog,|
star of "The Muppet Show." 
 Why? Mostly because there was a Muppets calendar on the wall when we
were trying to think of a name, and Kermit is a pleasant, unassuming sort of
character. But since we weren't sure whether it was OK to name our protocol
after this popular television and movie star, we pretended that KERMIT was an
acronym; unfortunately, we could never find a good set of words to go with the
letters, as readers of some of our early source code can attest. Later, while
looking through a name book for his forthcoming baby, Bill Catchings noticed
that "Kermit" was a Celtic word for "free", which is what all Kermit programs
should be, and words to this effect replaced the strained acronyms in our
source code (Bill's baby turned out to be a girl, so he had to name her Becky
instead). When BYTE Magazine was preparing our 1984 Kermit article for
publication, they suggested we contact Henson Associates Inc. for permission
to say that we did indeed name the protocol after Kermit the Frog. Permission
was kindly granted, and now the real story can be told. I resisted the
temptation, however, to call the present work "Kermit the Book."
-- Frank da Cruz, "Kermit - A File Transfer Protocol"