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Re: more evil firmwares found

In my original post I tried to make a clear distinction between the
executable bits of a package and the non-executable bits (at least, not
executable on any machine that we know of; disclaimer pursuant to
Herbert Xu's post).  I was apparently not successful in making that
distinction.  As I clarified in another post:

Software = Program + Supporting Material

DFSG#2 supports this distinction.

> > This is ridiculous.
> 	Lots of people have said that about people who want free
>  software. It may be ridiculous, but we do want the software to be
>  free, despite all that.

You can omit the subtle personal attacks.  I'm on the same side, or I
wouldn't bother posting here.  I didn't say the free software concept is
ridiculous.  My entire article consisted of rebutting the idea that all
materials in Debian are programs, and thus must necessarily meet the
conditions of DFSG#2.  *That* idea is ridiculous.  They can only be
defined as programs if you construct a theoretical machine that executes
them.  Is this practical or even necessary according to the goals of the

> 	Narrowing software definition down to what suits you does not
>  fly either.
> >From WordNet (r) 2.0 (August 2003) [wn]:
>   software
>       n : (computer science) written programs or procedures or rules
>           and associated documentation pertaining to the operation
>           of a computer system and that are stored in read/write
>           memory; "the market for software is expected to expand"
>           [syn: {software system}, {software package}, {package}]
>           [ant: {hardware}]
> 	I think the antonym defines things just fine.

Someone else posted plenty of definitions of software that range from
contradictory to parallel with that definition.  I don't think using a
random dictionary definition is going to suffice for our purposes.  It
is becoming clear that a precise definition of what is software and what
is a program is necessary, if the Social Contract is to be upheld in an
universally agreeable manner.

Ryan Underwood, <nemesis@icequake.net>

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