Resolved: firmware is not software
Posted Aug 24, 2006 8:04 UTC (Thu) by ekj
In reply to: Resolved: firmware is not software
Parent article: Resolved: firmware is not software
Well, yeah, from the point of view of the main CPU it's not code -- it's not something *it* can execute, all it can do with it is hand it over to someone who can.
Problem is, if you use that distinction to separate "data" from "code" then a lot of stuff suddenly is just "data" rather than code.
A python-program is just data. Same for a shell-script. Also a java-program, or indeed any program run trough an interpreter rather than directly on the main CPU is "just data".
Thus, I personally think the only sensible choice is for Debian to require the source-code for everything they ship. (as already defined in the GPL: source-code means the prefered form for making changes)
This means, for a jpeg-icon they migth require the SVG-file from which it is rendered. For a pdf-document they migth require the docbook xml-file from which it was created. For a ogg-soundtrack they migth require the original wav-recording.
That's actually pretty close to what they *are* doing.
Saying "it's just data, so therefore we don't require the source" is silly.
Much more honest to make an explicit permission: "Allthough we do not have the source for this BLOB, we allow its inclusion in Debian as that is still preferable to a device with its driver-BLOB embedded in ROM"
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