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Re: Don't understand the trouble with firmware !

On 26/05/2004 Francesco P. Lovergine wrote:
> > There is the same solution there always has been: keep the non-free
> > material out of Debian.  Let the users make the choice.  If they want to
> > use non-free, let them.  But as for Debian main, it remains entirely
> > Free.
> That's great in theory. But, please explain how the poor John Newbie could 
> install debian without a cdrom, a floppy (we have not a non-free edition 
> of the installation media indeed) and using an unsupported on-board tg3 eth 
> on his new great PC. Or explain why a company should prefer a truly free distro 
> which is a pain to install on its new HP servers. 

hey, the discussion will not end without compromise solutions that
accept both sides arguments and purposes.

If I got it right, the main problem is, that there's firmware that is
not open source in any way but may be essential for the debian's project
existence as it lives now in the free software community.

so the problem best should be solved by replacing the firmware with
equivalent free software, what is impossible at the moment in some
cases. For some firmware in the kernel no open replacements exist, so in
my opinion we definitely should keep the firmware in debian/main, but in
own packages, ready to be moved to inofficial mirrors as soon as there
exist equal open replacemnts for them.

maybe a new section should be created for temporarily provided packages
that need an open replacement soon. Debian should make the development
of these essential open replacements to one of its main goals, and
always keep rc bugs for every firmware package in main.

this way we would do all we can to support the development of replacement
on the one hand, but wouldn't discourage new users with hardware that
needs firmwares to use debian.

and we would enable easy access to the firmware for all the tiny people
who work with the utmost care on open replacements to make debian a
better distribution ;)

just my few (inconsequential) thoughts ...


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