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Resolved: firmware is not software

Resolved: firmware is not software

Posted Aug 24, 2006 21:00 UTC (Thu) by mightyduck (guest, #23760)
In reply to: Resolved: firmware is not software by ekj
Parent article: Resolved: firmware is not software

> 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.

What you are proposing is just silly. What is the real original source of a sound recording for instance? Do you want to ship the master tapes from a record company just because you ship some free song? Or the sketches from an artist just because you ship his/her icon or wallpaper? For instance, if I draw an icon on paper and then scan it, do I have to ship the piece of paper? Get real and come down from you ideological high point. kk


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Resolved: firmware is not software

Posted Aug 26, 2006 0:51 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

When you put it that way, it's silly, but I'm sure he meant to restrict the requirement to software source. That's not silly. A master tape and artist's sketch is not software, but every example in the original post (SVG, wav, docbook) is software.

The reason to make a special case of software source is that it can be distributed just as easily as the software object code.

Remember that the free software movement is primarily interested in separating out that software whose publisher withholds source for the sole purpose of preventing people from modifying the software. Someone who holds back SVG source is in the same category as someone who holds back operating system source.

Resolved: firmware is not software

Posted Aug 26, 2006 16:50 UTC (Sat) by oak (guest, #2786) [Link]

> Do you want to ship the master tapes from a record company just because
> you ship some free song? Or the sketches from an artist just because you
> ship his/her icon or wallpaper? For instance, if I draw an icon on paper
> and then scan it, do I have to ship the piece of paper?

I release all my graphics as GPL and they come with the (POV-Ray) source
code. When you want e.g. to change the appearance of some of the objects
generated automatically with a tiny Python script producing POV-Ray
snippets, it's mightily easier done by changing the source code of the
3D scripts instead of by using e.g. Gimp. Especially if one at the same
time would like to change the camera placement and lightning too (which
are trivial to do from the POV-Ray source)...

Doing the modifications with a graphics editor is about as easy as using
hex editor to do modification on a binary produced from C-source code.

Re-usability of 3D-objects in other pictures is also much higher than
of the image clips because it's so much easier to change their relative
size etc. without losing details.

Resolved: firmware is not software

Posted Aug 29, 2006 13:32 UTC (Tue) by branden (guest, #7029) [Link]

What you are proposing is just silly. What is the real original source of a sound recording for instance? Do you want to ship the master tapes from a record company just because you ship some free song? Or the sketches from an artist just because you ship his/her icon or wallpaper? For instance, if I draw an icon on paper and then scan it, do I have to ship the piece of paper? Get real and come down from you ideological high point. kk

By this logic, Debian must also be demanding that the brains of programmers be shipped along with the compiled object files they distribute.

Except that's not the case, and never has been, which suggests that your analogy is blowhard hyperbole.

Debian, like other OS distributors, is in the business of moving bits. The point at which a work is captured into digital form is the earliest possible point at which it could be considered "source form". A later form may qualify instead, if the author does not intend to use the originally captured digital form as the form for modification/editing.


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