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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free

From: Felipe Sanches
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free software
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2016 18:22:33 -0300

I will attempt to stop posting to this thread because I think I
already presented all of my points here.

To summarize my conclusions:
I think MAME is likely not compatible with the free sw distro
guidelines. And I think shipping a prebuilt binary package of MAME is
not really useful for **most** of the things that MAME is useful other
than playing non-free games. Whether it should or shouldn't be
acceptable on such distros policies is still an ongoing debate,

I still think that MAME is a very useful asset for education on
electronics, hardware design, reverse engineering techniques, and
similar topics as well as for the historical preservation of our
technological legacy (even if it's a legacy of mostly non-free
programs, we still must not "burn books", right?). But the way to
**truly appreciate** all of that is probably by really fetching MAME
from git and inspecting its source code. So, the whole packaging
debate is of not much value in that context (in my opinion), even
though it is nice as a sort of brainstorming or some sort of
intellectual exploration of ideas.

Having said it all, I will try not to talk here any more, unless I
have something really new to say.
Happy Hacking
Felipe Sanches

On Sun, Apr 3, 2016 at 6:02 PM, alírio eyng <address@hidden> wrote:
> Felipe Sanches:
>>On Sun, Apr 3, 2016 at 3:36 PM, alírio eyng <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Tobias Platen:
>>>> Emulators can be useful for reverse engineering
> ...
>>> emulators are the _result_ of reverse engineering, not tools to do it.
> ...
>>I completely disagree!
>>I have been actively using MAME to perform reverse engineering of
>>non-free firmware for a bit more than a couple years.
> this is missing the point.
> you are using mame to _run_ non-free firmware and performing reverse
> engineering on a running non-free firmware.
> but if we support running non-free software (or firmware) on an
> emulator there's no point in not supporting non-free software outside
> it. e.g. skype
> because i can say its useful to run skype to reverse engineer it, and
> this is true.
> free distros choose the compromise of making this a little harder by
> not supporting nonfree software so people are not mislead in using it.
> but it is still reasonably easy to opt-out of the free distro
> whitelist and use nonfree software if wanted.

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