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Re: [DRAFT] resolving DFSG violations

On Wed, 2008-10-29 at 22:33 +0100, Michelle Konzack wrote:
> Anw what do you do with sourcode, for which there is not even a
> compiler
> availlable under Linux/BSD?  And you HAV to buy a  8000 US$
> development
> suit from the chip manufacturer to build the firmware?

Free software is an iterative process; we started with nothing, using
proprietary C compilers, kernel, libc - everything. And we iterated, and
iterated - now we have a free stack including BIOS, and are continuing
to push freedom deeper down the stack.

I feel for you that you are on the cutting edge, where you cannot do
what you need to do without spending 8K US to buy a proprietary tool.

> I have such software and EVEN me can not read the firmware.
> I have ONLY a "project" in my IDE and it produce the firmware.

Well, your IDE is software, it can read the input settings to generate
the firmware. So its part of the tool chain to build the firmware.
Whatever data the IDE edits as you change settings, thats the source for
the firmware. (You may be combining other binary blobs when you compile
the firmware, but thats the nature of this part of the industry, as I
understand it).

And yes, people can fry their *own hardware* if they mess up the
firmware. So what - I started with monitors you could completely fry if
you put the wrong X11 config settings into it, which is vastly easier to
do than rebuilding a firmware:).

None of this changes the fundamental aspects though:
 - The output firmware is not the preferred form for modification (it is
   the output, not the alterable portion of the input).
 - The output firmware *may* need to be replaced if there is an issue
   found after the hardware ships. (Its not a write-once event to create
This clearly means that we cannot ship it in main or contrib under the
social contract.

(I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware and
useful reading, as I'm not personally coding down at this level).


GPG key available at: <http://www.robertcollins.net/keys.txt>.

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