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Re: New summary: Binary peripheral software

On Tue, Apr 06, 2004 at 07:45:32PM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> David B Harris writes:
> > Keep in mind that we're not talking about x86 instruction set binary.
> > We're talking about crap that some chipset reads and maybe runs. It may
> > very well be the case that that's the preferred form of modification
> > *even for the manufacturer*, let alone the person who wrote these
> > particular bits.
> I doubt many manufacturers actually have people who edit firmware in a
> binary format.  However, having the preferred form for modification
> (say, Verilog or VHDL code) will not help many users: they will not
> have the HDL libraries and compilers necessary to reproduce the binary
> version.  Those tools can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
> Sometimes, just through the finicky-ness of HDL tools, you must use a
> specific version of libraries and/or compiler to produce a properly
> working firmware.

That's all true. (I've talked about FPGAs and the like in this thread
before.) However I don't see it as being particularly relevant. The DFSG
doesn't say we only require the source when it would actually be
feasible for our users to modify it and rebuild it.

You do raise a good point though in that even if we had the source to a
lot of these blobs, would we have suitable tools (in main) to regenerate
the blobs? There's no free way of rebuilding FPGAs for example.

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>

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