Re: DRAFT for a GR proposal concerning the Sarge release
On Wed, 28 Apr 2004, Stephen Frost wrote:
> Has anyone asked Linus what his feelings are regarding firmware?
Good idea. And two interesting posts related tot his issue:
(Wed, 10 Dec 2003 )
"And I think this argument is _especially_ strong for things like firmware
etc, and I've been on record as saying that I think it's ok to upload
standard firmware for a driver as long as you don't call it directly (ie
it really lives on the hardware itself).
(At this point I should probably point out that other people disagree, and
there are people who feel strongly that the kernel cannot contain binary
firmware. Whish is obviously part of the reason for having the firmware
loader interfaces for drivers - adding an extra layer of separation)."
(Tue, 3 Feb 1998)
"Linus and I discussed this at length regarding the Mylex/BusLogic
FlashPoint SCSI Host Adapters. The FlashPoint SCCB Manager library code
runs on the host CPU essentially in place of firmware running on an
onboard processor as with the MultiMaster boards. Any software that runs
on the host CPU is *required* to be in source form; binary is considered
perfectly acceptable for firmware that is downloaded to a board, though
obviously source for that would be nice too. One of the key conceptual
differences here is that at least in theory, a driver in source form with
downloaded binary firmware can execute on any hardware-compatible platform
Linux runs on, or can be made to do so. The binary library module would
have to be provided by your company for each Linux platform to be
supported, and that does make a conceptual difference."