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RE: [avr-chat] µC/avr crypto lib

From: Weddington, Eric
Subject: RE: [avr-chat] µC/avr crypto lib
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 22:37:52 -0600


> -----Original Message-----
> From: address@hidden 
> [mailto:address@hidden
>  On Behalf Of Bob Blick
> Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:23 PM
> To: avr-chat
> Subject: Re: [avr-chat] µC/avr crypto lib
> I'm not intending to raise anyone's ire here (although I 
> guess I have).

Actually you haven't. This has been a very reasonable discussion.

> I merely want to point out that the GPL tilts toward community and
> education more than other licenses which tilt toward 
> business. So that's
> why some people prefer it.
> The fact that there are already crypto libraries with other licenses
> says to me it's about time we have one that's GPL. Because whether you
> like it or not, it's the preferred license for many people. Who write
> code. Code that you probably use every day. Maybe some written by
> Richard Stallman.

Here's the difference: AVR software is tightly coupled to the underlying 
hardware used in embedded systems. The type of software that is typically GPLed 
and used by millions is for general-purpose computers: PCs running Linux, with 
all the various GNU software. Embedded systems are typically proprietary, and 
they're certainly not very general purpose. These proprietary systems are 
typically built by commercial entities which has interest in certain part of 
the software, whether for intellectual property (IP) or trade secrets, or at 
the least for competitive advantages. They won't use GPL software. The 
potential user base for GPL crypto code for the AVR is tiny, at best. It will 
very likely stay a curiosity. It certainly will not foster "community 
development". The community will consist of students and hobbyists.

But as it has been pointed out, there are alternatives such as LibTomCrypt, 
though AFAIK it has yet to be ported or vetted for the AVR.

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