[Freedombox-discuss] WLAN firmware soldered onto hardware

Ted Smith tedks at riseup.net
Mon Sep 19 19:06:22 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-09-19 at 20:44 +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> On 11-09-19 at 01:04pm, Felipe Sanches wrote:
> > This is so sick! They seem to be trying to hide the trash...
> Sickness is on FSF for suggesting and encouraging that approach.

The FSF position on this, for those who aren't familiar, is that it's
better to have hardware implementations for things like WiFi standards
than it is to have software (sometimes called "firmware")
implementations that are not free.

The reasons for this are obvious. Most hardware is not free or "open",
and people have accepted this. Eventually, this will have to change, but
it isn't the focus of the Free SOFTWARE Foundation.

If the implementation is in software, you can do lots of neat things
with it, like add features after buying it by installing new code. The
bad news is, if the software is non-free, so can the manufacturer or
whoever else controls that software that is running on your network

As such, I agree with the FSF's position that it's better to, in the
event where the options are non-free software and non-free hardware, go
with the thing you've already been accepting: non-free hardware.

If you think this is "sick," you're free to switch to OpenSPARC on your
FPGA. But it's probably not appropriate to post an unrelated political
argument to the Freedombox mailing list, unless you want to make it
difficult for people to work together.
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