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Re: kernel firmwares: GR proposal

On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 04:50:47PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr> writes:
> >> Microcode for the main processor does not match (2) or (3).  So no,
> >> there is no obvious likeness between microcode for the main processor
> >> and the "rest of the stuff".
> >
> > Microcode does run in a lower level of the cpu than the main code, as thus you
> > could see it as a program (actually a set of small programs probably), which
> > are uploaded to the main cpu in order to make it work as expected. 
> Of course it's a program uploaded to the main cpu to work as
> expected.  Do you think that this definition fits your description as
> being on a peripheral processor and part of a device driver??

Well, it would be part of a driver aimed at driving the main cpu, yes, it is
not a peripheral processor, but the role played by the microcode is peripheral
to the main flow of the kernel code.

> Are you now saying that anything uploaded to the main cpu should be
> excluded from the DFSG?  Wow.

You did notice where i explained that microcode is loaded into a lower level
of the cpu, and not in the same level as the code normally runs, right ? Why
do you then deliberately misinterpret it in the above.

In particular, when a normal program is loaded, the main processing unit of
the cpu has a program counter which loads instructions into the cpu, and those
are then executed and so on.

The cpu microcode doesn't follow this selsame route, and as thus, are loaded
into a peripheral part of the cpu.

> > So, please come up with an actual case of the above definition not being
> > enough for classification, and once you find something such, we will adapt the
> > definition to clarify its classification.
> "Debian will remain 100% Free Software" is the classification I like.

Sure, but we are speaking clasification of the the firmware blobs. We all
agree that those who are sourceless and not just plain register dumps are

> I am of the opinion that there *is no* principled classification
> beyond this one which is anything other than "we don't really want
> 100% Free Software".

Bah, you are changing topic because you don't want to admit that my
classification proposal of what we want to describe as firmware in the context
of this GR is indeed enough to remove all doubts about what we are speaking


Sven Luther

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