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Re: Proposal - Deferment of Changes from GR 2004-003

Xavier Roche wrote:
> The firmware is a detached part of the connected hardware, nothing
> more. The loading process just reconnects this part so that the
> hardware can work.

> Wi-Fi cards problems are a good example: there is no ROM in the
> pcmcia device, and therefore the binary code is loaded during startup
> in the RAM. Why should we treat this case differently ?

> [ Hardware + Firmware ] === [ Kernel ]
> [ Hardware + Loadable firmware ] <== [ Firmware + Kernel ]

I think there's a practical difference.

If the firmware lives in the hardware, it won't change when I upgrade
my operating system. In particular, it won't acquire new bugs.

If the firmware is supplied with the kernel, I could find that one day
I upgrade my system and my hardware stops working.

Now, that could happen anyway, and I'd file a bug. But in this case I
might get a response saying 'we can't fix this, we don't have the
source to the buggy component'. I don't think that's appropriate if I
haven't installed any packages from non-free.


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