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Re: Social Contract: Practical Implications

On Fri, May 07, 2004 at 09:22:30AM -0600, developer list wrote:
> Questions:
> 1. I was under the impression that firmware leads to better performance.
> Is this true?

Sometimes.  In some cases, the card has a base-level of firmware, but
there is the ability to load a newer version of the firmware in
volatile memory which will indeed improve performance.  

In other case, the card has no read-only memory at all, and without
the use of firmware uploaded to the peripheral, the card will not
function at all.

> 2. If 1. is true, then will removing the bits of firmware from the kernel 
> lead to degraded performance of, for example, graphics cards?
> 3. Are there other features, besides firmware, whose performance will be
> effected adversely by the strict adherence to "free" envisioned by the
> social contract?

Modern fonts do not come with sources.

Documentation for many GNU packages are licensed under the GFDL, which
does not qualify as "free" according to the DFSG.

The GPL also does not adhere to the DFSG.  Previously, this didn't
matter because the GPL is a license, and not software.  With the new
social contract, this is now problematic, although the obvious thing
to do is to amend the social contract again to explicit exempt at
least the GPL.

					- Ted

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