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Re: non-free firmware: driver in main or contrib?

"Marco d'Itri" <md@Linux.IT> writes:

> bts@alum.mit.edu wrote:
>>>>If Debian *could* ship it, it's software.
>>> This distinction is not clear at all to me. What if I take a dump of the
>>> flash EPROM chip? Does this magically makes the firmware a software?
>>There's no magic about it.  If I build a simulator for some hardware,
>>then my simulator's software.
> It's also a different thing. Your point being?

It is?  Sitting out on some wire, how can you tell them apart?

But look at it this way:  maybe the device has its firmware
implemented as clockwork -- gears and springs.  If I open that up and
take a picture of it, that picture is software.  I could even build a
program to execute that picture, by detecting gears and simulating
their mechanical interaction.  Similarly, I could take a device with
firmware in ROM and read off the firmware.  It's no different from the
picture.  So clearly they're both software, and it's perfectly
consistent to think of the preimage as hardware.

By the way, it's difficult to read your messages without blank lines
between the quotation and the body.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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