PCMCIA .cis files

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at fsfla.org
Sun Jan 2 09:01:13 UTC 2011

On Jan  1, 2011, Richard Stallman <rms at gnu.org> wrote:

> Maybe we can keep the binary files without adding the textual files.
> I think it would be right to do that if the binary files are
> just as good as the textual files for all development.

> Are they?

I used to think so, because there is a program (dump_cis) that
supposedly converts them to textual form.

I later noticed that the program, part of the ancient pcmcia-cs package,
AFAICT only works if you're running linux 2.4 with the pcmcia-cs module.
I couldn't get it to work otherwise, for it issues requests to the
module to decode the binary.

The program to convert from text to binary, OTOH, works fine.

This makes me undecided as to whether the binary file is indeed just as
convenient as the source.  I wouldn't know how to modify it.

Now, if there are programs that enable the binary format to be directly
modified, or that convert them from binary to text, then it would indeed
be just as convenient.

> Would you feel good about treating the binary files
> as the source code, using them for all editing, and so on?

If I could figure out the binary encoding, yes.  It's probably not hard,
and we have a reference programs to do that both ways, so in theory it's

> Another possibility is to separate all this from Linux,

This is what's going to happen in upcoming releases of Linux.  We might
as well do that right away.

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter    http://FSFLA.org/~lxoliva/
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! -- http://FSFLA.org/   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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