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Re: kernel firmwares: GR proposal

Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr> writes:

> 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.

Do you really not see why this is hopelessly vague?  

>> 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.

What is the "lower level" and why should our principles depend on

> 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.

Guess what: microcode is executed with a program counter which loads
instructions into the CPU gates.

The difference is that microcode is stored in very fast memory in the
processor chip itself and that the "main code" is stored in regular
DRAM.  So now we're back to one of your previous definitions: that
firmware is defined by what kind of memory it is stored in when it is

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

Actually, microcode is normally loaded into the *central* part of the CPU.

> 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
> non-free.

Really?  Steve Langasek thinks they aren't programs at all, and
therefore they are free if they can be distributed, since, not being
programs, they don't need source.  I find this crazy of course: the
question is whether they *have* source, and everyone agrees that they

> 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
> about.

You keep changing the definition, so please don't speak of a
"classification proposal" in the singular.  Which one do you want me
to address?  Please write the whole thing down, in the language you
think it should be in the GR.  I'm not interested in looking at a
vaguely stated "you know what I mean" where I have to figure out which
of your statements to put together and how.  Just let me know, in the
form you think is satisfactory.


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