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Bug#69023: www.debian.org: What is "free hardware"? (in distrib/packages.wml)

Josip Rodin writes:
 > On Wed, Aug 23, 2000 at 05:18:19PM +0200, Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona wrote:
 > >  > > In The CVS file webwml/english/distrib/packages.wml you can read,
 > >  > > when describing the "contrib" area:
 > >  > > 
 > >  > > "Packages in this area are free themselves but depend on other
 > >  > > software or hardware that is not free"
 > >  > > 
 > >  > > I wonder what is free hardware in this context... I'm not completely sure,
 > >  > > but I guess this is a bug. Otherwise, some comment on what is considered
 > >  > > "free hardware" should be provided.
 > >  > 
 > >  > Why? The page mentions hardware that is _not_ free.
 > > 
 > >      ok. What is meant by "non free hardware"? I guess its equivalent
 > > to put a note on what is "free hardware" or what is "non free
 > > hardware" (its just a matter of applying a boolean not, isn't it?
 > Most hardware isn't free. :) And everyone knows that, so further explanation
 > isn't needed. :)

     If you are talking about price, of course ;-) If you are talking
about freedom, of course too. But that applies to any program which
runs on almost any CPU, on almost any computer architecture (almos any
CPU, amost any architecture, are not free hardware). That's
why I'm thinking you are talking about something else...

 > The "hardware" in the contrib explanation is meant to indicate there are
 > programs there for which you need to use foreign hardware, like ROM images.
 > But the explanation would be too lenghty if I wrote all that.

     Now I see. But ROM images, for instance, are not
hardware. Perhaps firmware, but in the context used, they are mainly
"data". I wonder whether it would be better to say "non free data", or
perhaps "non freely available data". The sentence could be:

"Packages in this area are free themselves but depend on other
software that is not free, or on data that is not freely available
(like proprietary ROM images)."

     Just my opinion,


Jesus M. Gonzalez Barahona                | Grupo de Sistemas y Comunicaciones
jgb@gsyc.escet.urjc.es / jgb@computer.org | ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos 
tel: +34 91 664 74 72                     | c/ Tulipan s/n
fax: +34 91 664 74 90                     | 28933 Mostoles, Spain

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