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Re: Proposal - Deferment of Changes from GR 2004-003

Xavier Roche writes:
> You can get it in the driver disk.

Fine.  The vendor can supply a Linux version, or the Debian maintainer can
supply a program to extract it from the Microsoft version.

> Well, It is a hardware-embedded software.

No it isn't.  That's firmware, and it comes with the hardware in
nonvolatile memory.

> The difference is not software/hardware, it is a matter of where the
> piece of code is executed.  The firmware is never executed in the
> machine.

Yes it is.  It is just executed on a secondary processor.

> Never executed on the OS, but on the hardware, which is not "free".

The main cpu is also hardware and also not "free".

> The question is: is software meaning "any turing-machine-derivated data",
> or "binary code executed on the machine where Debian is installed" ?

The stuff we are talking about is "binary code executed on the machine
where Debian is installed".  Peripheral processors are part of the machine.
The question is not where it is executed, though.  It's should Debian
distribute it.  Would you support distributing packages containing
closed-source binaries intended to be installed on proprietary PDAs?

> In the second case, firmwres can be tolerated (this is a compromise, as
> we use 'proprietary hardware').

Debian does not distribute hardware.
John Hasler
john@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

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