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

From: alírio eyng
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free software
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:31:33 +0000

>This may prove useful in the event of further research/discussion.
this was mentioned, and it's missing crucial information.

let's add ndiswrapper to it.
it would be classified as "free + free use", but it is still rejected;
because [0] classifies it as "free + useless free use" or "useless in freedom".

proposed definition of "usefulness" for emulators:
 free software _needs_ it as a runtime dependency; or
 development tool acting as hardware replacement.

ndiswrapper fails both, so it's useless in freedom.
qemu emulates current hardware, so it succeeds the second.
wine is needed for notepad++[1], so it succeeds the first.

wine fails the second, so we could provide it just as a dependency not
directly installable.

hatari (atari st) and ppsspp (psp) fail the second.
psp was discontinued in december 2014[2], so it is possible to argue
it is not obsolete; but we probably should not support it for
development anyway[3]

these information and others already there is not really about an
emulator, but about the architecture/board ("driver" in mame[4]); we
could have separate tables describing architectures/boards and

mame is so flexible [4] it's really tricky.
a current main processor architecture can have all boards failing the
above criteria, directly.
how much main processor emulation needs board emulation?
if a board is needed and there are no other similar
emulators/disassemblers/debuggers for that architecture with boards
succeeding the criteria, the most recently discontinued board should
get an exception.

answering [5], mac-on-linux was removed from debian/trisquel by being
unmaintained [6].
[0] and [6] should be refactored or merged.

[1]needs checking

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