[yavor at doganov.org: Re: Defining Free Software Business]

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at gnu.org
Tue Jun 27 10:12:21 UTC 2006

   > In our Free World there is no place for non-free software.  We
   > will

   The first technical moves of the FSF was to implement an libre
   editor, and libre compiler on top of a proprietary operating system
   (UNIX). The goal was to replace it, piece by piece.

This was a necessary evil, since no free system existed at that point.
Now we do, so we don't need to use non-free software any more.

   Also, remember that most today's processors are proprietary, and
   that they have software in them, which executes x86 or x86_64
   instructions (the CPU microcode).

Can you change the CPU microcode (I'm not familiar with new CPU's)?
If you can't, then there is little point in having it as free software
since you wouldn't be able to update your microcode.  Kinda like
wanting the source code to your toaster, but the software is on a ROM

   Also, the BIOS of every machine is proprietary. There are efforts
   to develop a libre BIOS, however I didn't see any partnership from
   the FSF with a hardware manufacturer in order to deploy it
   somehow. That could be interesting, for many reasons.

I suspect that no hardware manufacturer _wants_ to have such a
partnership.  Check http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/free-bios.html for an
interesting encounter between the FSF and IBM.  The manufacturers
simply don't even want to cooperate in anyway.

   Why is the FSF not pushing the design and release of a new
   microcode processor, fast and efficient, instead of letting people
   run libre software on top of a so proprietary architecture ?

I belive that the FSF will do so as soon as you can actually update
the microcode without switching your CPU.  I don't know of any CPU
that has updatable microcode today, on "old" computers like the VAX
and PDP's you could do this, and it was part of the boot process.  I
think the VAX raed part of its microcode from a tape before actually
booting the system.

   > I am expressing personal opinion only.

   same for me.

I think it applies for anyone here unless stated otherwise. :-)


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