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

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 09:48:52AM +0200, p2@mind.be wrote:
> Hi,
> > 
> > Well, the point is the following. From the driver point of view, it speaks to
> > the device, with a given protocol, over a given hardware interface (pci,
> > random set of GPIO pins, etc).
> > 
> No. It talks to the firmware. Or do you really believe anything else
> then the firmware can give a sensible answer to commands like 'get
> version' ? And why do the commands remain unanswered before the firmware
> is loaded ?

sure, but embedded or hardcoded firmware could do just as well as the
downloaded firmware.

Also, there are processor version registers which you could also speak to do a
'get version'.

> > But there is no way the device driver can make a difference between speaking
> > to said firmware program running on the device, or to a firmware version not
> > uploaded but hold in flash, or to a hardcoded non-firmware device.
> It can. Requests remain unanswered or return an error when the driver sends them 
> before the firmware is loaded.  Requests do get answered properly after the firmware 
> has been loaded and started. 
> In short don't try to deny reality...

Well, as said, it depends on the chip, but there is really no difference
between an incarnation of the chip where the firmware resides in on-chip
flash, and you can upgrade or something by software, or one where you have to
upload the firmware in question, or one that has no firmware at all. 

As far as the driver is concerned, he speaks to a ship, with a given
pre-defined upon protocol, and the presence or not of firmware is irrelevant
to this.


Sven Luther

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