fjr
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: pi 2 what software changes to get fsf approval?

Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:42 pm

Sometimes when you hear people say, they got surprised because they had not expected that many sharp reactions on something they said or wrote. And you say why not? I did not expect it about my post. It shows that somehow this subject matters. Maybe I contributed because I refereed to fsf and wrote free software, although I could have done without. Instead I should have written source code.
I am not against the pi or pi 2. Pi is not deceptive about using non free software. That more os systems can be installed on the pi 2, I consider an improvement. I want to know if pi 2 can get the source code option?

I want to clarify, I wanted to ask these technical questions:
What pieces of software must be altered, in fact I believe the term is reverse engineered, to get a pi 2 where the user can read all the source code?
If it can be done, how difficult will it be?

If an individual or a group says, the source code can be made and making it will cost a given amount of money. I imply that the user will be free to alter the source code. A crowd funding would be a solution, because raspberry pi expects to sell millions of pi2s. Surely more than 20000 of the buyers would pay 5usd for the pi 2 source code. Likely much more money could be gathered. To me it is only a matter of, does anyone have the skills, can it be done?

Why is that so?
If control, freedom and security matters, you could get an all source code mainboard for about 30usd and running desktop software. Compare that to gluglug. There are no other options. If there where I had bought one.

A few of the arguments about fsf free software posted here are valid, most of them are not. I will respond to them. From forums the controversy and arguments about free software are wellknown to me. It can get harsh.

I know about Stallman and fsf. I do not agree with all his points of views. You got to have access to all source code, I agree on that. Open software is to me better than non free software. If you write that on a free software forum then, you know. I believe its fine if someone wants to get paid for making software available. And if the programmer wants to rule how you can use an alter the software. It is a matter of can you audit the software? Can you get paid if the code is open source? Probably not. Crowdfunding appears to be the best option. For me auditing for spy ware, backdoors is more important.

Ravenous says >if you fear "backdoors" introduced by dodgy governments, etc. Doesn't bother me.
His decision. To me that is submissive. Governments, big companies let them have it their way.
I will take any adequate step to obstruct their capabilities. They may get my info and I may not get theirs? No. Make it difficult and as expensive as possible for them to gather information. Use non free software and in effect you cannot audit what is going on on your computer. Maybe no spying is going on, maybe spy software will get installed, maybe it is installed? You do not know. I want a choice to buy hardware with free software. I do not think fsf wants anything more either.
Ravenous says >I'm not doing anything they would be remotely interested in
You do not know what they are interested in. You do not know, what info they gather today, that at some point will be held against you. You do not know who is gathering info. You do not know how regulation will change, so that you would want to start using hardware that uses free software. And if the hardware is not present, you cannot get it. Can you name any mayor intelligence organization, which have not been abusive about those who they watched? In uk and usa you have rulers and officials who want to prohibit unbreakable encryption. Do you understand the scale of that? What is next? Forbid people to talk in public? In their houses? As long as pgp software is available their best move is to attack using software. All free software on hardware makes that move more difficult.
What about people in downright tyrannies? Do you get the importance for them to get a free software pi 2 that can handle encryption, has desktop software, is low priced and has a manageable size?
Macbreak says >he'd have to personally monitor the sourcing and production of EVERY SINGLE chemical and process used to make every single constituent part of the Pi
What you do is an well tested rhetoric trick. You take something said, distort it and then exaggerates it. Has nothing to do with with the free software part.
> prah-pryatary softweeeaaaaarr
That is great humor.

Jamesh says >Because the firmware is changeable, its regard as software by the FSF, so the make the board FSF compliant we would need to make the firmware non-upgradeable.
I want a pi 2 where all software is open source and it can be alternated by the user. If the option was to install the open source code yourself, also acceptable.
I do not know if non upgradeble firmware would be a solution that could get the pi 2 a fsf approval.
If the pi 2 would come with only source code installed that comply to fsf requirements then it would be able to get a fsf approval. I think fsf would prefer that solution. Every user could then install the software he wants to. The hardware manufacturer has the power to make the source code free software. Why doesn't he?

>Pi remained a fairly niche product, it would be more open than it is, but given the commercial success, there now needs to be a certain amount of 'protection' to maintain the revenue stream (which goes entirely to education). As things become more popular, you need more protection against cloners etc.
My reading about the pi has been, that the most important priority was the price. Had he wanted to make an all source code computer, I do not think he could have. There are no solutions on the marked. Wandboard cannot make an all source code computer either.
He could have made a more source code computer. But that would have meant a higher price.
> As things become more popular, you need more protection against cloners
A pi main priority was to make it an educational computer. Making parts of the software non free, means removing them from teaching.
How is non free software a >protection of the pi?
Jamesh, I have a question to you. You had decided to buy a computer. You would get the computer with windows, apple, gnulinux, what you want installed. The seller would give you a choice between two versions of the computer. One version would be free software before getting the os installed. The other version a non free software before getting the os installed. Which one would you choose?
If more computer users were informed about the matter about free software, much more users would get free software computer. At least if gnulinux software were not more difficult to use than non free.

DaugieLawson says > Clearly there either needs to be a new definition of "Free"
or perhaps just ignoring FSF like everyone else does is the best course.
You can define free how you want to. You cannot define how fsf defines free. Not everyone else ignores fsf.

Heater says >I'm with jamesh on this …
Everything you write is valid on a technical level. I did not know that keyboards and pc mice can be flashable. I have been informed that appearently hdds are upgradeble and there is no free software solution? I do not understand the matter about flashable and non flashable hardware. How can non flashable hardware without an option to audit the source code be acceptable?
I use gnulinux. I do not use a gnulinux system approved by fsf. I consider installing debian 8 when released. And I consider installing debian such that it complies with fsf standards. I am not convinced that gnewsence or trisquel support is good enough. My desktop's bios is non free. Graphic card software is non free. I have not found a wifi card that will work on the required distance.
I have not bought the gluglug x60 because of the price performance matter. The gluglug x200 does not make it much better. If the librem 15 gets fsf approved, I may buy it.
I use google earth. Which is very unacceptable. Fact is, if there were adequate hardware with free software and sofware solutions available, I would get them. Because I use non free software does not mean I should stop trying to get free software solutions. If the pi 2 becomes free software it will make another option available.

Thinkpenguin told me, that graphic card drivers are non free because that makes it easier for media and game providers to protect their content. If that is correct and the media and game industry are strong enough to pressure hardware manufacturers to incorporate these software protections into their products, then I understand that graphic card drivers are non free. Why does bios and cpu software have to be non free? What is the manufacturer protecting? A hardware manufacturer wants to sell devices, he is not about the software?

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