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

Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr> writes:

> The idea is that the firmware is all the software and other softwarish
> information which the vendor provides to make use of the board he sells you.

I see.  If I buy a standard-issue Dell computer, then Windows is
firmware, right?  (Dell does provide it, for the purpose of making
full use of the computer.)

> He has full control of it, in the sense that it is often binary
> only, and that he produces it, and not some third party (like the
> operating system vendor).  Also, i believe that modifying the
> firmware, like you propose, usually voids the waranty.

Oh, so because the OEM can't modify Windows it's not firmware.  But if
I buy a Dell PC that comes with Red Hat installed, it *is* something
Dell can modify, so then it is firmware?

>   all software support part that comes from the hardware vendor, to enable or
>   drive or whatever the hardware he sells you, and which is not part of the
>   operating system.

Um, this is not a definition.  The whole point of a definition is to
describe what is "firmware" and what is the "operating system".  When
I suggest that there is no good principled definition, you can't
counter by definining firmware as essentially "whatever is not part of
the operating system."

Pretend I don't have any idea what this word "firmware" is or
"operating system".  I'm familiar with programming and all that, just
not with these words.  Can you explain the distinction in a
noncircular way?


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