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Re: LCC and blobs

Brian Nelson <pyro@debian.org> writes:

> Goswin von Brederlow <brederlo@informatik.uni-tuebingen.de> writes:
>> Brian Nelson <pyro@debian.org> writes:
>>> On Sat, Dec 11, 2004 at 03:07:56PM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
>>>> Brian Nelson <pyro@debian.org> writes:
>>>> > As far as I'm concerned, distribution of the firmware is the
>>>> > manufacturer's realm.  Whether the manufacturer distributes it on an
>>>> > EPROM on the device itself, or on a CD shipped with the device, or just
>>>> > provides it for download from a website, I don't care.  That's their
>>>> > decision.  Debian should not care one bit how the firmware is loaded on
>>>> > the device, and the method used should not dictate whether a driver is
>>>> > DFSG-compliant.
>>>> It doesn't. What matters is if the firmware itself is distributable at
>>>> all and if it is DFSG-compliant.
>>> You aren't reading what I've written.  Virtually 100% of firmware
>>> out there (included on the device or loaded externally) is non-free.  By
>>> your reasoning, the entire kernel should be moved to contrib since no
>>> free hardware exists on which it can run.
>> Sure it runs on free hardware. On 100% free hardware. Take a pen, a
>> paper and the boch source code and run your own linux on the pen+paper
>> system. :)
>> Ok, it's a bit insane, but possible.
> While you have your pen and paper out, go ahead and write some hardware
> that a contrib device driver can use without needing firmware loadable
> by the kernel.  Put the firmware on the device itself.  That contrib
> driver is now completely suitable for main by your definition.

Yes. Once you eliminate the dependency on the non-free file the driver
becomes suitable for main.

> There is no direct relationship between a device driver and a binary
> firmware blob.  The driver simply drives a device.  It does not and
> should not care how a device gets the firmware loaded.

Write a bootimage that first loads the firmware and then boots linux
and you have a point.

> That the currently available hardware requires firmware loaded by the
> kernel is a hardware implementation detail.  If you don't like it,
> complain to the hardware manufacturer, or buy your hardware from
> somewhere else.  Hardware is not Debian's realm.

I don't have any hardware that requires firmware to be loaded. :)
Hardware isn't Debian's realm. But if Debian distributes firmware then
that firmware enters Debians realm same as drivers that require you to
first install firmware in the filesystem.


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