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Re: Proposal: The DFSG do not require source code for data, including firmware

On Tue, Aug 29, 2006 at 03:07:11PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 29, 2006 at 11:00:44PM +1000, Hamish Moffatt wrote:

> > To those who consider ROM-less hardware cheap and nasty I suggest the
> > opposite is true. I design hardware (FPGAs) professionally for expensive 
> > communications equipment. We avoid ROMs as much as possible, because
> > they are difficult to upgrade reliably and they are a waste of money.

> Do you consider FPGA config files as programs, or would you say that the
> normal DFSG requirement for source applies to those also in order to be
> considered fit for debian/main ? 

> I am interested in your profesional opinion on this, since you clearly seem to
> either be, or in close contact to someone who is, an upstream author of such
> firmwares.

Speaking as someone with experience of the software rather than hardware
side of this I'd call FPGA images hardware.  From the point of view of
working with it it looks very much like hardware.  That's just my
opinion, though.

I'd also observe that newer FPGA chips often feature encryption support:
the hardware has a secret key blown into it during manufacturing which
must be used when building FPGA images to be loaded onto the hardware.

"You grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream - or a fever."

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