Jeff Waugh asks if RMS “gets it”—presumably, that Waugh believes asking for GNU to receive a share of the credit “seems rather to distract attention from freedom”, as RMS said about the Linux trademark naming issues being dealt with now. I can only presume what Waugh is referring to since Waugh doesn’t describe his exact meaning in his blog. RMS’ take on the issue, on the other hand, is quite clear: the trademark issue doesn’t rise to the level of a problem for software freedom, hence it doesn’t receive much attention from RMS. On the other hand, calling the work in GNU “Linux” instead means giving more credit to a man who is profoundly disinterested in software freedom. Linus Torvalds’ reaction against Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell’s work on a Bitkeeper-compatible program during the recent Bitkeeper episode is another major step along the path of paying more attention to immediate desires than ethical examination.
If you would like to learn why RMS and the GNU Project ask for people to give GNU a share of the credit for the GNU/Linux operating system, read the FSF’s GNU/Linux naming FAQ. It covers a lot of questions people have about this issue.
People are working on the HURD (GNU’s official kernel replacement). And, like the Linux kernel in the early days, the HURD is not yet ready for wide use. Some argue that GNU/Linux isn’t ready for wide use either, but the point is that programs of this complexity take time to write and debug. Unlike Linux, HURD takes an unusual approach to doing the jobs a kernel does. It is more complex to debug than a monolithic kernel and its design will theoretically grant some interesting advantages for program development and ordinary use.
Update: I have yet to find an interview with Linus Torvalds that is this generous in sharing credit for notable achievements toward Richard Stallman (or the GNU Project) as this Stallman interview is with regards to Torvalds. Typically, Torvalds lets interviewers give him more credit than he deserves by allowing them to come away thinking he wrote an entire OS.