Weekly Engineering News 37/2008

Andy Green andy at openmoko.com
Thu Sep 18 22:42:52 CEST 2008

Hash: SHA1

Somebody in the thread at some point said:
| On Thursday 18 September 2008, Werner Almesberger wrote:
|> Mike Montour wrote:
|>> For what it's worth, I would rank your #3 ahead of #2 by a large
|>> margin. It is very important for users to be able to upgrade their
|>> firmware.
|> I fully agree. That policy never made sense to me.
| snip...
|> I actually wonder if there wasn't some miscommunication at its origin.
|> After all, many a hard disk's firmware and even the microcode of many
|> CPUs can be upgraded, and I haven't heard the FSF call for a ban of
|> processing or storage ;-)
| The FSF has an issue with firmware uploaded by the driver, and this
reply to
| fedora seems fairly unequivocal.
| http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FreeSoftwareAnalysis/FSF

''At present, essentially all GNU/Linux distros include the non-free
firmware, because it was too hard to remove.  So we decided to
overlook the issue for the time being, and not reject distros on this
account.  This applies to Fedora the same as to other distros.

However, progress is being made on removing non-free firmware from
Linux.  As this becomes feasible, and after some more time goes by, we
will no longer want to make an exception for this category of non-free

They basically say they will turn a blind eye for now to closed but
redistributable firmware for considering the distro 'free software'.
And indeed, Fedora distributes firmware for stuff like iwl4965 from its
own main repos and I am sending this using it.

Obviously there is no real difference between iwl4965 firmware blob for
Intel WLAN distributed in Fedora, and some Atheros or Marvell firmware
blob for their WLAN as we would find ourselves shipping (and indeed do
currently ship hidden on the module right now).

- -Andy
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Comment: Using GnuPG with Fedora - http://enigmail.mozdev.org


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