[Sfd] FOSS, Science, and Public activism

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at infradead.org
Sat Sep 9 09:05:52 EDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-09-08 at 08:03 +0930, Paul Schulz wrote:
> Greetings,
> On 7/2/06, proclus at gnu-darwin.org <proclus at gnu-darwin.org> wrote:
> > It is important to alert the whole FOSS community that Darwin
> > cannot be classified as a free or open source operation system
> > as of the Darwin-8 revision, because AppleACPIplatform-39 which
> > is required to boot the system is proprietary.  It is notable that
> > only the current version of Darwin from Apple is a non-free OS.
> > GNU-Darwin has a free version, an earlier revision that includes
> > the source code.  It is FOSS, and we call upon Apple to maintain
> > Darwin as such, as it has been in the past.  We hope that the
> > current situation with the kernel and ACPI driver will soon be
> > remedied so that Darwin will continue as a FOSS OS.

If it's only ACPI, does it really matter? ACPI exists mostly for the
same reason as proprietary kernel modules -- to allow manufacturers to
obscure the details of the hardware.

Instead of having a free interpreter which runs their proprietary
bytecode in kernel mode, you have a closed interpreter which runs their
proprietary bytecode in kernel mode.

I would argue that even if your interpreter was open source, once you
submitted to using ACPI you'd already lost the Free Software game.


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