[Dev] [GNU-linux-libre] MAME

Luke g4jc at openmailbox.org
Wed Mar 30 13:09:08 GMT 2016

I'd like to weigh in by mentioning there are still many uses for
emulators which people think should be removed.

For example, there are still GPL Windows programs that ONLY work on
Windows. There is no reason WINE would need to be removed if the purpose
is to learn how to make fully free Windows programs. These programs can
one day run on a free OS, such as ReactOS.

The same goes for DosBox and FreeDOS where there is still a small
community learning and improving DOS using fully free software.

When it comes to console emulators, there is 95% of the time a homebrew
scene with GPL source code where users can learn to code and play fully
free games. ** There is no reason to remove these if the user is
learning and using free software. **

In the case of MAME, I agree that these do not exist YET. However, if
someone were to make a PoC it too should be included. There is no reason
someone could not develop fully free software for an arcade machine. In
addition to this, if users begin developing free software that runs on
MAME, it may be possible to one day flash a real Arcade Machine with
fully free software. Such unforeseen creative possibilities exist due to
the nature of free software.

I also personally feel that archival backup of games should be allowed,
especially if the user owns the game on a console. It is actually more
ethical and generally more quality to play older games you own on a
fully free emulator than it is your own console which does not contain a
fully free distro. In the case of PSP and PSX, it is now possible to
play the games fully free without a non-free bios.

Regarding Gnash, yes, there are fully free Flash authoring tools and
projects too:

Before we start removing access to free software, we should consider the
unintended consequences.

Sad scenarios that come to mind for users running fully free distros
with these new guidelines being suggested:

- The free software developer who was in the process of freeing an
arcade machine was unable to do so because he was unaware of MAME.

- The GNU/Linux kernel hacker never tried to running GNU/Linux on the
PS2, because he didn't have access to a fully free emulator to do his work.

- Creativity and the free culture does not thrive because users did not
have access to the tools needed to do the job.

In each scenario, it is the user that uses a tool for good or evil. We
should not be thought police on how they intend or do not intend to use
their software by removing access to the tools. I do agree that there
should be a warning that these programs may offer access to non-free
software, but it is up to the user on how they intend to act on that

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 801 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <https://lists.parabola.nu/pipermail/dev/attachments/20160330/793b9937/attachment.sig>

More information about the Dev mailing list