goals of the FSF
Posted Oct 3, 2011 8:52 UTC (Mon) by jzbiciak
(✭ supporter ✭
In reply to: goals of the FSF
Parent article: Papering over a binary blob
Do these technical acrobatics with the microcontroller do anything about the fact that the manufacturer still has the source code and isn't sharing it? No.
Why should these antics appease anyone's notion of "software ethics," then?
When I said the blob is effectively read only, I mean it's unmodifiable by the end user. That's true whether it's a firmware blob on disk, bits blown in a ROM, or this technical charade that makes a blob that was once stored on disk behave more like bits blown in a ROM.
The ROM exception in general just feels like a cop-out. "Oh, it's in ROM, so it's no longer software. It's OK to ignore it." What if the device has a test mode or ROM bypass that allows it to run the equivalent code from some loadable location? Now what? That ROM had source code somewhere, and there may be a way to execute a modified version of it on your end system even if you can't replace the ROM itself.
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