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    Subjectfree software
    after growing tired of trying to sift through the emails for tidbits of 
    useful code, i have come to the conclusion that this thread should be
    geared towards something more constructive, otherwise i fear people will
    begin to find `open source' and `free software' distasteful.

    in an ideal world (star trek comes to mind), everything would be free, not
    just software. everything has stemmed in some way from an idea, or group of
    ideas, even if it is a piece of furniture. money would not exist in such a
    free world, and people would work for incentives based upon the type of job
    they perform (i.e. a trash collector is only required to work one day a
    month while a corporate ceo which must work 7 days a week) and/or their
    abilities. such a system would be formed from a 100% pure democracy with 0%
    capitalism. if you choose not to work (the choice is yours), you starve and
    die on the street, simple as that. but the choice is yours. freedom is
    about personal choices that do not impact others in a negative way which
    removes their freedom. open source software (democratic software + possible
    capitalistic gains), such as the linux kernel, is the first step needed
    towards free software (democratic software ~period~). mr stallman, please
    think of open source as a step towards what it is you are working for. the
    world will not change in a few short years. but, it does change, and change
    it has towards free software.

    two separate arguments to show the counter productiveness of this whole
    thread (open source against free software):

    in regards to the whole cam issue allowing modules to be used bypassing the
    include of the headers, it was mentioned that firmware is not software, and
    hence, is not subject to the gpl as such. i could argue against this point
    and win in court. it is quite simple. software and firmware are both
    generated via instructions that are compiled into a machine readable form.
    the only difference is that at runtime, the storage mechanisms are
    different. today, i inserted a floppy disk into a computer and updated the
    firmware on the system board. during the time that firmware was on the
    floppy, was it not a binary object no different than any other program?
    shouldnt it be conceived that all binaries within in a computer are equal
    under the vision of the law, regardless of storage type? or does a
    particular storage format encapsulate the contents to make them
    unsusceptible to certain types of law, and hence could be deemed as
    inadmissible in court. if such is the case, then who determines the
    containers that are admissible? what characteristics make a container
    exempt? could i program an eprom with the linux kernel + gnu system and
    close source it since it is in firmware? the question is quite ridiculous.
    a container would never make something contained within it exempt from law.
    hence, it is obviously legal for mr torvalds, mr stallman, and all the
    other copyright holders of linux and gnu to sue someone that uses it in a
    chip and does not make available the sources.

    at the same time that the cam argument for closed sources can be shot down,
    it can be shown that the kernel can be opened up to allow closed source
    binaries to coexist with the gpl. a kernel patch, call it `sys_binary' can
    be created that is released under the gpl. it exports a very simple api
    with one function taking one parameter: kernel_request(struct_req *req),
    such that closed source binaries used as modules call upon it. based upon
    the values within the struct_req struct, the sys_binary patch (module?)
    calls one of the kernel sys functions passing it parameters retrieved from
    other members of the struct. the header file for this module is then
    released to _public_ _domain_. even if the patch is not included in the
    main kernel, hence not distributed with the kernel sources, the patch could
    be maintained somewhere accessible to the public with a version for each
    kernel. the closed source binary that calls upon kernel_request() could not
    be shown as a derivative of the kernel as _all_ programs request kernel
    functions, and this function is vague and general. furthermore, since the
    header file for sys_binary is released as public domain by its author, the
    header file can be used without discretion.

    now, where have we gotten with all of this argument? what is accomplished
    is nothing. the drive towards a free software society does not gain from
    arguments within the community itself, even if the sides involved could be
    segregated into `cousins'. free software _needs_ the open source movement
    to allow society as a whole to come to terms with what free software stands
    for, and the benefits it can create. in years to come, perhaps truly free
    software will result from all of the efforts made by everyone working under
    the umbrella of `free software' today.

    with the high level of energy i have seen coming from people about all of
    this, just imagine what could be accomplished if you teamed up and started
    working towards a truly free world of software? imagine not being able to
    access any software on your computer because a law was passed declaring the
    `hard drive' as a cam device. again, i ask you to please think about it...
    there are people with very large incentives trying to break apart this

    billy rose

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