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Re: calling firmware code data is not being honest with ourselves, includes counterproposal and RFC on a possible Amendment (Was: Proposal: The DFSG do not require source code for data, including firmware)



Hi Sven,

On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 09:09:31AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> There is no way you can just decide that firmware is not code, especially as
> there is overwhelming evidence in some case that it is indeed code (or
> microcode as some call it), ranging from declaration on the LKML mailing list
> by the drivers author, or when the peripheral processor holds a mips or arm or
> whatever core. Sure, other firmware cases consist of only register dumps, but
> my own involvement in hardware development shows me that the trend is more and
> more for peripheral hardware with embedded processor cores, and the firmware
> of those being actual processors, some of them could run some variant of linux
> (or uclinux at least) in their own right. This is especially true for high-end
> raid cards and wireless applications.

Would you, or someone else, mind pointing out some examples of firmware
with source? Preferrably with some of the breadth you refer to above? I
understand firmware in concept, but beyond seeing it as a binary blob I've
not really come seriously in to contact with it. If I'm going to vote on
this issue, I'd really like to actually understand what I'm going to be
voting on.

 - David Nusinow



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