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

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> If it's the latter, I maintain that this is precisely the subject matter of
> the proposed GR; we obviously *don't* have agreement in Debian over what
> should or should not be considered a "program", so I think that's begging
> the question.

However, your proposed amendment declares that "firmware" should not
be considered a program.

Can you please tell me what "firmware" is?  I've seen a half dozen
definitions tossed around recently, and I haven't a fig of a clue
which one you mean:

1) A program which runs on a peripheral processor
2) A program which is distributed by the hardware manufacturer
3) A program which is controlled by the hardware manufacturer
4) A program which runs out of NVRAM or ROM instead of RAM
5) A program which, if you change it, voids the warranty for the
   hardware on which it runs,
6) A program which is necessary to support a piece of device hardware
   and for which we don't happen to have source

I can't properly evaluate or think about this amendment while this
rather crucial element remains unresolved.

Also, it would seem very bizarre to say "a program which ... is not
really a program", so can you find a wording in which you don't define
firmware as a particular sort of program, only to then declare that
programs of that sort aren't really programs at all?

> Yes, these are reasonable definitions of both "program" and "firmware."

What is the definition of "firmware" which you are using?


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