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Re: LCC and blobs

> Raul Miller wrote:
> > The API that is programmed by the firmware -- which you shouldn't confuse
> > with the API used by the driver that downloads the firmware -- is not
> > known to us.

On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 03:51:22PM +0100, Peter Van Eynde wrote:
> I don't understand you.


> An API is not "programmed".

Programs are written against an API.

The API represents the aspect of the computer which is being programmed
when you write a program.

> Something can provide or support an API or use an API.

"Use an API" can correspond to an "API being programmed" for the case
that that the use of the API involves the creation of a program to do
the using.

> In this case the firmware+hardware provides and API to the linux
> driver.

Sure.  But that's not the API I was talking about.

I was talking about the API the firmware uses -- the one that the program
contained in the API was designed to work with.

> It is known, we can support it.

Which has nothing to do with the issue I was talking about, because
you've got the wrong API.

> If the device has bugs in executing the API it makes no difference if
> there is a firmware or not to the driver, nor does it to our support
> because we don't provide the firmware, we only use it.


We don't provide the firmware.

And the reason we don't provide the firmware is that we don't understand
the issues well enough to do so.

This rather concisely captures what the DFSG is about.

> The mere fact of uploading the firmware does not give us an obligation to support it.

And, in fact, we shouldn't support it.

> If your printer misprints a page you don't expect debian to patch it do you?

This is another good example.  And, taking it a bit further, I think
shipping a printer to me would be a waste of Debian resources.

[That said, I don't have a printer.]

> >>It is useful to re-upload the flash. Nothing else. So what is the 
> >>difference between this use and the driver that has to load it every time?

> > The "has to" bit.
> If the "has to" is to do a specific task, eg connecting to a wifi network, 
> then the "has to" is no different from grub loading the XP bootsector.

We don't distribute the XP bootsector.

> In the other case the ipw2100 driver already loads and does some (very 
> limited) work.

The issue is completeness.

A piece of software which has to have some non-free software to become
functional is useless without that non-free software.


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