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

From: jeff
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] GPL'd kernel blobs removed from gnewsense
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 17:23:21 -0300
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071115)

Paul O'Malley wrote:
Don Parris wrote:
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?

Because it is machine code, i.e. a binary blob, not penetratable in the way of the C language, Perl, Python, PHP, or the Bash shell.

They are for want of a description precompiled and then published with permission to alter them in their compiled format.

Not the most user friendly  thing in the world.

They are free in spirit but non free in practice.

Actually, in these particular cases, I was arguing that they *are* free in SPIRIT and they are free in PRACTICE. This seems especially the case in drivers/scsi/aic7xxx/aic79xx.seq.

As we discussed in IRC they do look like possible candidates for re-inclusion, but unless there is a particular need for them as requested by a user, it is low priority for gnewsense to re-add them. These are somewhat obscure drivers. Basically gnewsense is playing it on the safe side here.


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