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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



jeff wrote:
Hans de Goede wrote:
If I get Alex correctly he is saying that, to his goal, which is 100% Free software everywhere (including in his toothbrush), this is counterproductive, as it may make it easier to distribute binary firmware along with the kernel, as it now could be put in a seperate tarbal removing GPL worries etc.

As much as I admire Alex's goal's I'm very glad with the current pragmatic approach Fedora has taken with regards to firmware.

And when combining both these perspectives, David, you patch is excellent and I'm very gratefull for all the work you've been doing on it.

If the firmware truely gets put in a different tarbal (and thus eventually in a different srpm), then it will be feasible to do a no blobs included Fedora spin like gnewsense, which would be great.

If you have to do a *SEPARATE* spin to do a free CD, why does the Fedora project spew crap like this everywhere:

"We try to always do the right thing, and provide only free and open source
software." [1]

It's simply not true and the author of that (Rahul Sundaram I think--he writes it everywhere else too), *MUST* know that isn't true. It's one thing if the non-free software that fedora shipped was considered a bug that just hasn't been eradicated but shipping non-free software is fedora *policy*.[1]

It's one thing to include some firmware, call a program GPL when it's not, ship non-free binaries etc., but at least don't lie about it on all your literature. Sheez.

It depends on your definition of software, according to Fedora's definitions firmware is not software it is content. I know this is a word game, but think about it, what is the definition of software?

Are the bits included in a serial eeprom, which on powerup get read by an fpga, to make that fpga become a specific bit of hardware soft or hardware, what about the vhdl / verilog sources from which those bits were generated. What about a cpld, is that a processor running software or is it hardware? But it is coded in the same verilog / vhdl, which both are very much programming language-ish.

What about a pcb, nowaday its fully automatic generated (compiled as you which) from instructions which take the form of a bunch of bits.

Really you everything must be free people need to:
1) get a couple of years experience in electronics engineering and start to
   realize how deep down programmable hardware is going these days. Most
   hardware won't do  anything without atleast having put the proper bits in a
   cpld somewhere.

2) Then stop making this weird difference between firmware which is in a
   rom shipped with the device, and firmware which is on a cd shipped with the
   device, what if the rom is on a socket and can be removed without soldering?

3) When you stop making the weird difference between different firmware
   distribution mechanisms, either realise that firmware is part of the
   hardware, or keep calling firmware software and demand that it is _all_
   free, so also remove any drivers for hardware where the firmware is shipped
   with the hardware instead of with the OS, such as any motherboards which
   come with a non free BIOS, any CPU's which use microcode, etc. Good luck
   with that.

Really, arguing that Fedora's stance is inconsistent, while in reality yours is doesn't gain you much respect. Either:

1) all firmware is software and must be free in which case support for evil hardware which comes with the firmware embedded must be removed from linux-libre!

2) all firmware is considered part of the hardware, independend of the distribution mechanism of that firmware (the Fedora pov).

Regards,

Hans


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