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Re: beta status

On Fri, Nov 04, 2005 at 11:38:07PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > > So why not include aminet, and what ever are the counterparts for atari,
> > > mac, maybe C64, Pet2001, those were nice machines as well, and maybe we
> > > still use something that was first developed on one of those machines.
> > > Would be a big boost for the emulator packages that are already in
> > > debian, and free software is free software...
> I don't think argumentum ad absurdum is helpful in this discussion.  Debian
> doesn't just distribute "Free Software"; we distribute a Free *Operating
> System*, and the first clause of the Social Contract says "we will never
> make the system require the use of a non-free component", which is exactly
> what we're doing if we're shipping bootloaders that cannot be fixed or
> changed without the use of a non-free compiler.

This is rather hypocritical, since we started again distributing non-free
firmware in the kernel, or part of them that are not undistributable at least.

> > The problem with miboot is that there are 200 or so m68k instructions in the
> > boot sector, which have not been changed since over 10 years probably, and
> > probably nobody at appple even remembers them, and thus we are not shipping
> > miboot even in non-free, while at the same time distributing it from
> > people.debian.org.
> FWIW, I think that asserting that "we" are distributing miboot from
> people.debian.org is nothing more than an invitation for someone to ask you
> to remove the binaries.  But is there actually any reason why miboot can't
> be distributed in non-free?  If there is, then that reason also applies to

Well, non-free is not enough to build d-i images with it. It could be done but
it is a pain. The main issue seem to resolve around 200 or so m68k asm
instructions which are part of the apple bootloader, and which nobody has had
any interest to reverse engineed. The second (less strong) issue is that you
need macos <x and codewarrior 4 to build them (and i have actually got a copy
of codewarrior 4 from the metrowerk guys themselves, before they went puff and
got absorbed into freescale propper), but this is less important and would
make it only contrib.

The reason why miboot is not being distributed as part of non-free is because
those few asm instructions, which are nothing more than rom mac function
calls, have no explicit distribution rights attached, but as no doubt apple
has tools in their os to create and distribute bootable floppies (well, back
in the days when they had floppies), i really doubt this is a problem.

> distribution from people.d.o, but I don't know of any such reason.  I think
> miboot is not in non-free only because it's not useful to have it packaged
> there so long as there's no d-i-non-free package to make use of it.

Because of the above too, but if we are going to remove miboot from p.d.o, we
should also remove it from all past archives.


Sven Luther

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