Debian Bug report logs - #513973
RFP: b43-asm -- assembler and disassembler for Broadcom BCM43xx firmware

Package: wnpp; Maintainer for wnpp is wnpp@debian.org;

Reported by: Stefan Lippers-Hollmann <s.L-H@gmx.de>

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 21:30:04 UTC

Severity: wishlist

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, "rene engelhard" <rene@debian.org>, <wnpp@debian.org>, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973; Package wnpp. (Mon, 02 Feb 2009 21:30:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefan Lippers-Hollmann <s.L-H@gmx.de>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to "rene engelhard" <rene@debian.org>, <wnpp@debian.org>, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. (Mon, 02 Feb 2009 21:30:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefan Lippers-Hollmann <s.L-H@gmx.de>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: ITP: b43-asm -- assembler and disassembler for Broadcom BCM43xx firmware
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 22:27:53 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Package: wnpp
Owner: "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>
Severity: wishlist
X-Debbugs-CC: "Rene Engelhard" <rene@debian.org>

* Package name    : b43-asm
  Version         : 0~20080619
  Upstream Author : Michael Buesch <mb@bu3sch.de>
* URL             : http://git.bu3sch.de/git/b43-tools.git
* License         : GPL-2
  Programming Lang: C
  Description     : assembler and disassembler for Broadcom BCM43xx firmware
 b43-asm is an (dis-)assembler for Broadcom AirForce BCM43xx wireless lan
 chipsets with a core revision >= 5.
 .
 It is capable of compiling and disassembling the opensource 'OpenFWWF'
 firmware used by Linux' b43 driver.

This package is a build-dependency of OpenFWWF
	http://www.ing.unibs.it/openfwwf/
an opensource (GPL-2) firmware for Broadcom AirForce BCM43xx wlan devices, 
while this firmware is still in an early development stage, it allows to
drive BCM4306 (tested), BCM4318, BCM4311/1 and BCM4320 in combination with
the b43 (kernel >= 2.6.20) without non-free components.

A preliminary packaging (which successfully compiles OpenFWWF 5.0/ 5.1) 
can be found at:
	Vcs-Svn: svn://svn.berlios.de/fullstory/b43-asm/trunk
	Vcs-Browser: http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/fullstory/b43-asm/trunk/
	             http://svn.berlios.de/wsvn/fullstory/b43-asm/trunk/
At the time of this writing, particularly the manpages and a (manual) 
"get-upstream" target (to fetch future updates from the upstream git 
repository and to assemble an orig.tar.gz) need some further attention; 
there is no released version of b43-asm yet, which explains the strange 
version number referring to the last commited patch. The, so far included,
disassembler is not required to build OpenFWWF and could be omitted from 
the preliminary packaging (it is currently only used for running a test 
suite during the package build and may be useful for firmware debugging).

Even though there isn't much development going on for b43-asm, I would 
prefer to maintain this and OpenFWWF in a team. CC'ing the b43-fwcutter 
maintainer as requested.

Regards
	Stefan Lippers-Hollmann

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 5.0
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, <wnpp@debian.org>, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973; Package wnpp. (Thu, 09 Jul 2009 12:45:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.L-H@gmx.de>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to <wnpp@debian.org>, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. (Thu, 09 Jul 2009 12:45:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 513973@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.L-H@gmx.de>
To: control@bugs.debian.org
Cc: 513973@bugs.debian.org
Subject: OpenFWWF requires kernel 2.6.31
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 14:42:04 +0200
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
block 513974 by 533357
thanks

While most of the patches erquired for OpenFWWF have been merged upstream for 
2.6.30, 
	b43: Add fw capabilities" 403a3a136122457165321e90b7569a321cc9ac12 [1]
to automatically disable QoS support for b43 in case of using OpenFWWF is 
still missing from Debian's kernels (it's upstream for 2.6.31). Without
this patch, OpenFWWF would have to install a module-init-tools override [2]
for a mere ~6-8 weeks in unstable and handle the subsequent removal of a 
bogus Debian Conffile, which has negative side effects on the alternative 
proprietary firmware (or future QoS supporting OpenFWWF versions).

What holds the future:
- lenny, kernel 2.6.26 + potential backports.d.o:
  - OpenFWWF is ignored by the kernel
  - it's technically possible to use OpenFWWF by coaxing the kernel into 
    believing OpenFWWF were the proprietary firmware (installing to 
    /lib/firmware/b43/ + module-init-tools overrides), see [2].
- sid/ squeeze, kernel <2.6.30:
  - OpenFWWF is ignored by the kernel
- sid, kernel == 2.6.30 (not available for squeeze):
  - without the proprietary firmware installed, b43 can associate with 
    OpenFWWF, without the afforementioned patch (#533357) or a 
    module-init-tools override, and goes into a futile cycle of probe 
    timeouts, MAC suspend errors and firmware restarts (netdev watchdog 
    triggered)
- sid/ squeeze, kernel >=2.6.31 (or with the patch in [1]):
  - working out-of-the-box
- lenny-and-a-half, assuming kernel >=2.6.31 + potential backports:
    - working out-of-the-box, not active backporting necessary (OpenFWWF 
      has no declared runtime dependencies, it just needs a kernel 
      supporting it)

This indirectly also blocks b43-asm from being useful in the archive.

Regards
	Stefan Lippers-Hollmann

[1]	http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux-2.6.git;a=commitdiff;h=403a3a136122457165321e90b7569a321cc9ac12
[2]	http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/fullstory/openfwwf/trunk/debian/README.Debian
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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, <wnpp@debian.org>, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973; Package wnpp. (Mon, 11 Jan 2010 10:03:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Sven Joachim <svenjoac@gmx.de>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to <wnpp@debian.org>, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. (Mon, 11 Jan 2010 10:03:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #15 received at 513973@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Sven Joachim <svenjoac@gmx.de>
To: 513973@bugs.debian.org, 513974-quiet@bugs.debian.org, 513973-submitter@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Any chance to get b43-asm and openfwwf into Debian?
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 11:01:30 +0100
What is the status of these ITPs?  Now that sid has Linux 2.6.32, lack
of kernel support should no longer hold back these packages.

Regards,
        Sven
    




Message sent on to Stefan Lippers-Hollmann <s.L-H@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973. (Mon, 11 Jan 2010 10:03:09 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, wnpp@debian.org, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973; Package wnpp. (Wed, 16 Feb 2011 14:39:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.L-H@gmx.de>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to wnpp@debian.org, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. (Wed, 16 Feb 2011 14:39:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #23 received at 513973@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.L-H@gmx.de>
To: control@bugs.debian.org
Cc: xavier <xavier.cartron@etu.univ-nantes.fr>, 513974@bugs.debian.org, 513973@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#513974: any news?
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:38:07 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
retitle 513973 RFP: b43-asm -- assembler and disassembler for Broadcom BCM43xx firmware
retitle 513974 RFP: openfwwf -- Open Firmware for Broadcom b43 wlan devices
thanks

Hi

On Wednesday 16 February 2011, xavier wrote:
> Since last time, is there any news about openfwwf in debian? With the
> new squeeze, will it be included in sid? A free package should be
> better than nnon-free broadcom-sta, don't you think?

[ Most of the talk below is about OpenFWWF and doesn't apply to 
  b43-asm, but the only reason to upload b43-asm is in order to build
  OpenFWWF - so it's closely related ]

The big problem I see with OpenFWWF, is upstream maintenance, which 
appears to be almost dead. One of the main reasons why I didn't push 
for getting it uploaded to Debian yet, is "We received reports about 
firmware problems with PCMCIA 4306/18 based cards. We are working to 
support them." [1], [2], which was acknowledged as a bug at 2009-05-08,
but nothing has happened since... (and no, the Maranello firmware 
release is not a solution and doesn't work for "normal" IEEE802.11 
operations and is neither usable by an unpatched linux kernel). While 
I personally haven't noticed these issues on my BCM4306/3 based
devices (also in actual use as an access point) in practice and have 
gotten good feedback for bcm4311/1 (just like with some light testing 
on BCM4318/2), there have been according bugreports on the b43 mailing 
list and b43 upstream still doesn't accept bugreports in combination 
with OpenFWWF because of these known bugs.

This means for uploading OpenFWWF to Debian, that the potential 
maintainer has to effectively become upstream in order to react to
inevitable bugreports, which is everything but simple for OpenFWWF.
Yes, OpenFWWF really is "the preferred form of modification" and it's
commented exceptionally well. Yes, there are high level design 
specifications on [1] and in depth reverse engineering specifications 
at [3]. But the problem remains that actually changing this firmware is
everything but easy and requires an intimate familiarity with those 
specifications and access to spectrum analyzers and related gear, to 
retain a minium of conformance testing - which is rather important for
transmitting devices. 

At this moment, I unfortunately don't feel qualified to take that 
burden without an active upstream, who could take a look at eventual 
(and known buggy) issues. Therefore I can't be a responsible maintainer
for OpenFWWF in Debian. b43-asm is actively maintained, but my only 
reason for maintaining b43-asm is in order to build OpenFWWF, so it 
doesn't make a lot of sense to upload it without OpenFWWF on the 
horizon.

The packaging for both b43-asm [4] and OpenFWWF [5] themselves should 
be in a good state. OpenFWWF is up to date and the packaging should be
basically complete, b43-asm just needs a few minutes of work to add a
"get-orig-source" target (it's maintained solely in git and there are 
no upstream tarballs or formal releases) and to update it to current 
git HEAD. Given that I'm successfully using OpenFWWF myself, I will 
continue to maintain the packaging for both packages and would be 
willing to co-maintain both in Debian, but I simply can't effectively 
provide upstream maintenance for OpenFWWF - which prevents me from 
being a responsible maintainer for it in Debian. It's a pity, but I 
can't upload anything with known bugs - even if I've never noticed them
myself - to Debian.

Regards
	Stefan Lippers-Hollmann

[1]	http://www.ing.unibs.it/~openfwwf/
[2]	http://www.spinics.net/lists/linux-wireless/msg57293.html
[3]	http://bcm-v4.sipsolutions.net
[4]	Vcs-Svn: svn://svn.berlios.de/fullstory/b43-asm/trunk
	Vcs-Browser: http://svn.berlios.de/wsvn/fullstory/b43-asm/trunk
[5]	Vcs-Svn: svn://svn.berlios.de/fullstory/openfwwf/trunk
	Vcs-Browser: http://svn.berlios.de/wsvn/fullstory/openfwwf/trunk/
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Changed Bug title to 'RFP: b43-asm -- assembler and disassembler for Broadcom BCM43xx firmware' from 'ITP: b43-asm -- assembler and disassembler for Broadcom BCM43xx firmware' Request was from "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.L-H@gmx.de> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Wed, 16 Feb 2011 14:39:12 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, wnpp@debian.org, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973; Package wnpp. (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 14:12:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Dominik George <nik@naturalnet.de>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to wnpp@debian.org, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 14:12:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #30 received at 513973@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Dominik George <nik@naturalnet.de>
To: 513973@bugs.debian.org
Cc: tg@mirbsd.org
Subject: Intend to package b43-tools
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 16:03:10 +0200
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Hi,

I am taking care of packaging this as I am currently also packaging
ssb-sprom from the same source (#666527).

I am negotiating with the maintainer of b43-fwcutter about how to layout
all the packages derived from b43-tools.

As b43-fwcutter is packaged together with the b43 firmware, I think it
might be most reasonable to keep b43-fwcutter seperated and build the
other tools from a b43-tools source package.

- -nik
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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, wnpp@debian.org, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>:
Bug#513973; Package wnpp. (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 21:36:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Thorsten Glaser <tg@mirbsd.de>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to wnpp@debian.org, "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 21:36:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #35 received at 513973@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Thorsten Glaser <tg@mirbsd.de>
To: 666527@bugs.debian.org, 513973@bugs.debian.org
Cc: Dominik George <nik@naturalnet.de>
Subject: Re: Intend to package b43-tools
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 21:32:04 +0000 (UTC)
Dominik George dixit:

>* URL             : http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43

I was involved in the discussion of this ITP in IRC and approached
as a sponsor. We had several issues with this.

>As b43-fwcutter is packaged together with the b43 firmware, I think it
>might be most reasonable to keep b43-fwcutter seperated and build the
>other tools from a b43-tools source package.

Personally, I think it would make sense to throw these two together
iff it is possible to build binary packages for both main and contrib
from one source package in main. Policy does not say this can’t be
done, so I’d try. But since the b43-fwcutter maintainer agreed with
Dominik on this, I cede this point.

I think the .orig.tar.gz of an eventual b43-tools source package
should be the unmodified entire content of the git repository at
the aforementioned URL (especially as it would make management
easy since it can be imported into the upstream branch easily).

The current source package does not build from the debug/ directory,
but it was said it eventually could. To avoid package proliferation,
I think it ought to not be packaged separately.

DevRef §6.7.8.2 has SHOULD clauses for repackaged .orig.tar.gz files
which apparently dh-make does not satisfy. From that follows that a
debian/rules gen-orig-source target must do this job manually. (Tools
such as git-buildpackage come to mind.)

When presented with a const cleanliness warning, Dominik confessed
he neither has any C skills nor intends to learn them. (He even
suggests to grep -v the compiler warning, later…) Therefore, we
(at least one other DD and me) agreed he should not be the person
to maintain this package. He is of course invited to provide the
initial packaging (even if it does not quite follow my standards,
there are few reasons to not accept it) and co-maintain it, if any
other comaintainer can do such a job. But this does disqualify the
package from being eligible for sponsorship by me.

bye,
//mirabilos • tg@debian.org
-- 
22:20⎜<asarch> The crazy that persists in his craziness becomes a master
22:21⎜<asarch> And the distance between the craziness and geniality is
only measured by the success 18:35⎜<asarch> "Psychotics are consistently
inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent




Removed annotation that Bug was owned by "Stefan Lippers-Hollmann" <s.l-h@gmx.de>. Request was from Bart Martens <bartm@debian.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Wed, 06 Jun 2012 00:39:26 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

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