Aeluros 2005 PHY support in Linux-libre

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at
Thu Dec 4 22:27:31 UTC 2008

Hello, Divy,

Thanks for your response.  Unfortunately, I'm still confused as to the
status of that code.

On Dec  4, 2008, Divy Le Ray <divy at> wrote:

>> Unsure whether redistributing those bits under the GPL is even legal,
>> I'm taking them out of linux-libre for the time being, but I'd be glad
>> to put it back in once I'm convinced the four freedoms are available as
>> to that piece of code.

> This sequence number represents a series on MDIO register writes to
> the PHY block.

> The sr_edc and twinax_edc tables are organized in (register,value) pairs,

That much I can tell by looking at the code.

However, I can't tell enough to be able to modify those numbers in any
meaningful way (e.g. to adapt the software so that it does whatever I
want, as in Free Software freedom #1).

I'm not even sure what's there is the source code for one to study,
and distribute in compliance with the conditions set forth in the GPL,
selected by Chelsio for that piece of code.

In fact, it is very much unlike other sequences of (register,value)
pairs I've got used to seeing in Linux drivers.  Some of them are easy
to figure out just by the name of the variable.  Others are harder,
and they accompany comments or mnemonic macros.  The patch you posted
has neither, and it numbers look a lot like machine code, which is why
I ask you to please state, for the record, that they don't represent
machine code, and that there isn't any other more adequate form to
make changes to those numbers, so as to configure that device to
behave differently.

Say, if they're just numbers one comes up with out of thin air (or
perhaps consulting NDAed documentation), that's one thing, but if it's
machine-generated from some other form, then distributing just the
numbers wouldn't bode well with the GPL.

Could you please clarify how you folks got to those sequences of
numbers, in terms that don't leave margin for doubt as to whether it
was hand-crafted out of documentation or computed out of some other

Thanks in advance,

Alexandre Oliva 
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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