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Re: [gforth] setting up a linux system so to learn gfroth and GNU/linux

From: Anton Ertl
Subject: Re: [gforth] setting up a linux system so to learn gfroth and GNU/linux
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:28:22 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 12:52:00AM +0200, Bernd Paysan wrote:
> FSF's issue with OpenSuSE are the firmware blobs.  I'm not convinced of that 
> issue: This is just technical, the manufacturers of these chips use RAMs to 
> store the firmware so that they can develop that stuff without many long 
> turnarounds.

That would also be possible with flash.  They probably do it because
it saves them money, e.g., by using lower standards for the
development, because bugs are cheaper to fix in the field.

In any case, that does not matter for the question of free software.
This is not immutable hardware, this is plain software.  All the
arguments for freedom of software apply.  Indeed, the FSF started with
something quite close to these things: with a proprietary printer

> Therefore, you upload the firmware by the OS.  This is state of 
> the art;

So is other proprietary software.

> If you use a system that is free in the FSF sense, you will have troubles 
> with 
> many hardware components, except those already initialized by the BIOS (which 
> does the blob uploading for you then).

Yes, so if you want to run a 100% free software system like gNewSense,
you will have to select the hardware even more carefully than otherwise.

- anton

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