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Re: LCC and blobs

On Dec 11, Thomas Bushnell BSG <tb@becket.net> wrote:

> > All hardware depends on non-free software.  If you want to lobby for all
> > hardware to be free, including the firmware/BIOS/whatever, then fine.
> > That's a noble war to wage and I'd support your efforts.
> Really?  Will you support it in the traditional free software way, by
> saying "no, we don't support that, it's not free and we can't"?  I
> guess not.
Is this what you are doing? Are you refusing to use modern computers
because you do not have the source code for the many firmwares contained
in their devices? I suppose not, so by following your reasoning I have
to conclude that you support some non-free software.

> The issue isn't whether there is non-free software which is depended
> on in some extremely loose sense of depended.  (All hardware depends
> on the non-free software which runs the power grid too, right?)  The
> issue is whether that other software is the kind of software which
> *could* be distributed for free.
Do you know about some software which *could not* be distributed freely?
Please explain.

> Because the separate firmware could be distributed as free software
> but is not, and because that failure to distribute it as free software
> hurts all the users who could have benefited from its free
> distribution, the package which depends on it goes in contrib.
I cannot follow the last part of your reasoning, or at least I cannot
reconduct it to policy. Again, I say "arbitrary".

> For the built-in firmware, which cannot be changed anyway, the failure
> to distribute it as free software is not hurting the user; rather, the
> decision to make it fixed on the card is what hurts the user.
Why do you think it cannot be changed? Many modern devices have it
stored on a flash EEPROM chip. Apparently you are not well informed on
the subject being discussed.
And even if it where stored in ROM, so what? Many older computers came
with the ROM source code printed on paper, and there is no technical
reason which would forbid doing this for modern hardware too.
Also, the decision of keeping a firmware on non-volatile storage is a
*technical* one, not political: with most modern devices this is only
useful if the hardware may be needed to perform the system bootstrap.

ciao, |
Marco | [9720 coUsIkzd32x5k]

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