Re: LCC and blobs
Måns Rullgård <email@example.com> writes:
> Brian Thomas Sniffen <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>> Anthony DeRobertis <email@example.com> writes:
>>> Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>>>> That's not software. That's firmware, at best -- you can look at it
>>>> as software, but then you don't get to distribute any drivers. It is
>>>> also internally consistent to think of chips as hardware and
>>>> distribute drivers appropriately. It is never consistent to think of
>>>> files on disk as anything but software.
>>> Hmmm, I have a CF card. Upon it are files, and in every meaningful way
>>> it is a disk. Therefor, that data is software.
>>> Yet, CF is actually chips --- often the same chips as used to hold
>>> firmware distributed with hardware. Thus, it's all hardware.
>> Sure. It's on a medium for software exchange, thus it's software. If
>> it were an integral component of a device, it'd be hardware.
> If it is glued to the socket, does it become hardware?
Is what hardware? The card always was: a physical device which
happened to be a medium for software exchange. The bits on the card?
I figure they're software as much as the bits on my hard drive are;
it's essentially glued into the case.
>> I've never been confused when looking at such things; the closest
>> case I've found to confusing is the MP3 player, which has its OS on
>> disk. I'm inclined to say that it's software to the MP3 player, an
>> architecture which Debian does not support. It's hardware, a drive,
>> to the (Intel?) Debian-supported PC to which it's connected.
> Why is this different from the SCSI controller board, whose CPU (and
> related components) is also an architecture not supported by Debian?
> Does it matter whether it connects to the PC by the PCI bus directly,
> or over USB?
No; how is such a controller board handled in Debian today? Does it
have a driver on disk? Firmware loaded from disk? My poor
understanding, to which I would appreciate correction, is that we ship
drivers in the kernel, and the firmware is somewhere in the hardware I
bought from Dell. So Debian's shipping free software, which depends
only on hardware with a clean interface. That's no problem, is it?
Brian Sniffen firstname.lastname@example.org