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Re: LCC and blobs

On Dec 11, Goswin von Brederlow <brederlo@informatik.uni-tuebingen.de> wrote:

> > I do not believe that this is obvious. I understand that FSF disagrees,
> > and considers firmwares to be just "data".
> Would you accept a patch for ppp of the form:
> char data[] = { 0x17, 0x23, 0x42, ...};
> ...
> *(int (*)(int))data(fd);
> After all, it is just data.
No, because these bytes are executed on the system CPU under the control
of the OS, so to me they look like software.

> The FSF also things the GFDL is free, nothing new there. I also highly
> doubt even the FSF would consider a file stating "DO NOT DISTRIBUTE"
> as being GPL compatible because it is "just data". And some of the
> files in question in the kernel do.
I was not talking about this kind of files (which obviously have some
kind of licensing problem).

> > Not so small: the drivers for most WiFi network adapters, many bluetooth
> > adapters, all USB DSL modems, most (all?) DVB receivers, most 3D video
> > cards are just the ones I can think about right now.
> I don't know about WiFi or bluetooh but the usb dsl modems seem to
> work fine with e.g. eagle-usb-* packages.
You choose as an example a package which under the proposed
interpretation of policy would be removed from the distribution.
*ALL* drivers for USB modems are like this (I know: I have spent over
two months making Debian the distribution with the best support for them).

> And I haven't heart of any 3D video card that _requires_ extra
> firmware to work at all. It is true that you need extras to benefit
> from 3D but that doesn't make them non-functional. 2D support is good
It makes 3D non functional (I'm talking about Radeon and Matrox cards),
this looks like important enough for me.

> enough to install extra modules. It might be more work but there is no
> requirement for tainting the main kernel image with non-free 3D
> drivers.
We are not discussing distribution of non-free drivers, but 100% free
(GPL'ed or X11) drivers.

> PS: I was going by the list of troublesome files posted month ago,
> maybe that was incomplete but it wasn't overly long (comparted to
> kernel size).
It did not contain drivers which load firmwares from an external file.
That list is much longer, especially if you add drivers which are not in
the kernel tree.

ciao, |
Marco | [9715 buPH875bquuVQ]

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