Re: Proposal: The DFSG do not require source code for data, including firmware
On Tue, Aug 29, 2006 at 09:28:56AM +0200, Mike Hommey wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 29, 2006 at 12:47:42AM +0200, Sven Luther <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 28, 2006 at 03:25:05PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> > > Sven Luther <email@example.com> 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.)
> > The BIOS is, not windows, since it is coming from a third party, namely
> > microsoft, and furthermore, the drivers are also not it.
> The BIOS is usually coming from Phoenix or some similar company, i.e. a
> third party.
The framework of it maybe, but it is tailored to the board, doing the low
level initialization of things like the ram controler, the layout off the
different buses in main memory and stuff like that.
The important thing is that even if there is a common base for the code, it is
modified to fit the board, and contains information about the boards layout
(what chip is connected where and so on), and that it will come from the board
vendor and not from a third party.
For example, if you want to upgrade your bios on your random motherboard, you
don't go to microsoft, and you don't go to phoenix or similar, but you go to
asus or whoever made your board to download the upgraded firmware and its
The firmware is linked to the layout of the flash chip holding it, and the
boot method chosen for the board, and is thus done by the same folk who do the
schematics for the board, and produce it.