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Re: LCC and blobs

On 11 Dec 2004, at 12:24 am, Ron Johnson wrote:

On Fri, 2004-12-10 at 15:21 -0800, Brian Nelson wrote:
Matthew Palmer <mpalmer@debian.org> writes:

On Fri, Dec 10, 2004 at 01:20:32PM +0100, Marco d'Itri wrote:
On Dec 09, Bruce Perens <bruce@perens.com> wrote:

Then we might as well remove the whole kernel from main, since most
devices depend on a non-free firmware blob to operate.  Why does it

Most ?????

Maybe not most, but many, and the proportion is increasing. If we force these into contrib, then a lot of hardware will not work out of the box for people trying to install Debian. Especially wireless cards on laptops.

This is likely to put people off the distribution. Firmware was given that name to distinguish it from regular software. It's more akin to the hardware than it is to regular software, in my view, and should probably be given an exception from the normal dependency on non-free software rules. Think of it this way:

It's not the driver software depends on the firmware to function; it's the hardware that depends on the firmware to function. The software dependency is a side-effect.

If the firmware were burned into flash ROM on the card, we wouldn't have a problem, so why is it different when it's held in volatile memory on the card?


Dr Tim Cutts
GPG: 1024/D FC81E159 5BA6 8CD4 2C57 9824 6638  C066 16E2 F4F5 FC81 E159

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