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Re: kernel firmwares: GR proposal

On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 01:10:35PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr> writes:
> >> So how do I know whether something is "firmware" instead of just
> >> ordinary sourceless code?
> >
> > Ah, well, i would say that the definition you search here are :
> >
> >   hexdump sourceless blobs which are uploaded to a peripheral device.
> So you would say that it is logically impossible to have source for
> firmware?  

No. The "sourceless firmware blobs" mentioned in this GR, are identified as
those programs or register dumps or fpga config files, which are uploaded to a
peripheral processor, and are part of a linux kernel driver in some way,
usually an array of chars or some other binary embedded in a variable kind of
things. We could also here include the main processor micro-code, since
altough it runs on the same processor, it is not running in the same layer of
the processor as the one running normal code.

A preliminary audit by Larry has given a list of those affected firmware, as
well as some clasification of their situation, but there may be some he
missed, but which are in the same categories as those.

Does this satisfy you as a definition ? 

> > Comon sense and good faith should do just fine, but the above, hinted at in
> > the overview, should help out, no ? 
> No, it doesn't.  You've now given *another* definition of firmware,
> different from all the previous ones, and problematic in its own
> special way.

If the above is enough, maybe we could add this or a nicer rewording of it to
the GR ? 


Sven Luther

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