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Re: [gNewSense-users] GPL'd kernel blobs removed from gnewsense

From: Don Parris
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] GPL'd kernel blobs removed from gnewsense
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 22:25:54 -0500

On Dec 21, 2007 11:32 AM, Kevin Dean <address@hidden> wrote:
Jeff, good to see that you're interested in the gNewSense project!

gNewSense has a policy of actively auditing all of the software in our
repositories and comparing them to the four freedoms.


For instance, several of the drivers in the Linux kernel are licensed
under the GNU GPL but since the sources themselves do direct memory
accesses - preventing the user from understanding the process of WHY
these edits do a given thing - we feel that they do NOT respect
freedom 1. Furthermore, without understanding what the direct memory
edits are doing, you really don't have freedom to change how they


Not being a programmer, your comment aroused my curiosity.  If you have the sources, how can the sources prevent a user from understanding the WHY in this case?  I wouldn't likely understand it unless it was documented as to 'why' to begin with.  I really would like to get a little deeper insight.  I have dabbled a little with programming in PHP/Python, but my practical knowledge is very limited.  I do understand many of the basic concepts however.  Wouldn't a programmer who is interested in hacking on the kernel be able to analyze/discern the 'why'?  Why or why wouldn't (s)he?

D.C. Parris
Minister, Journalist, Free Software Advocate
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