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Re: [DRAFT] resolving DFSG violations

On Wed, 2008-10-29 at 21:47 +0100, Michelle Konzack wrote:
> There are SDKs called "Builder" where you will have NEVER  source  code,
> even as Developer, since the "Builder" create an  IMAGE  which  will  be
> uploaded into the the SRAM  of  a  Microcontroller  (I  have  some  8051
> compatibles) and then after uploading it is executed...

So suppose you have this IMAGE and you discover it has a problem; how do
you modify it to fix the problem?  I'm assuming you load it into
"Builder", and then "Builder" can display for you something sensible and
comprehensible, better than simply editing bits, right?  More details
would be helpful here.thout VAT) in Low-Cost.

> I do not know, whether my customers accepet 5 US$ more.
> However, my Firmware Loader must be there anyway for upgrades...
> The question is, what do you want with the Sourcecode?

Your English is a little confusing for me, so I'm not sure what this
question is asking.

If you mean, what is the source code which Debian promises to make
available to its users, it's generally understood to be the preferred
form of the program for making modifications to it.

If you mean, why does Debian want the source code, there can be many
reasons.  One is to learn about the program; how it works, how other
programs doing similar tasks could be built, and so forth.  Another is
to deal with the day when you are gone and people still have the
hardware and wish to make it do something you never thought of.  But
regardless, Debian has promised that Debian is only free software.  

> Reprogramming?  A singel error in the parameters will cook your computer
> hardware and HOW do you want to recode something or add functionality?
> I have choosen the smallest Microcontroller required to save money...
> Yes, I can reploaye a MC with 16 kByte SRAM with one which has 256 kByte
> and then OSS frickler can add stuff, but this would make the  controller
> over 10 times more expensive...
> Please think about it.

About what?  Debian has no objection to the use of loadable firmware.
But notice that part of the reason you would save money with the
loadable firmware is that you can ask Debian to undertake the cost of
distributing it for you (and thus saving you the cost of the SRAM, which
is the way you would distribute it yourself).  Debian will distribute
it, but in order for it to be a part of Debian itself, it needs to be
free software.  There is no reason your interest in making the hardware
affordable can't go along with that at the same time: just provide the

> I have the hell striping down the firmware of my hardware  to  fit  into
> 32 kByte and you are talking about modifications to it...
> I am sure, my enterprise is  not  the  only  one  wondering  about  such
> requirement to let users modify firmware of sensibel hardware which  CAN
> destuct the whole computer since they have to leafe out  some  stuff  to
> get it into the small memories...

How is this a reason not to provide source code?

> It is useless because I am building a hardware  which  take  me  several
> month  to  develop  plus  coding  testing  the  software  in  a  secured
> environement where hardware can not be destucted...
> The lifetime of such hardware would be maybe 3-5 years and now, you  can
> explain me, HOW you would develop/recode the firmware, if you  have  NOT
> the requirement environement, risking damages to the hardware and more.
> You do not know the internals of my hardware and have to  guess  things.
> Without the hardware developer tools you can not even DEBUG the Hardware
> while loading YOUR hacked firmware.  Even if  my  hardware  has  a  JTAG
> connector...

I don't understand why this matters to you.  Provide the source code;
Debian ships it, and nobody is hurt.  If nobody ever makes use of it,
how has it harmed you?


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