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Re: LCC and blobs

Tim Cutts <timc@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> 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:
>> [snip]
>>> 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.

People trying to install Debian are left without docs to many programs
because they are GFDL and go to non-free. Yeah, beeing a free software
fanatic is hard. By all means seek out a majority to change policy.

> 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.

With the driver software loading the firmware I think it is pretty
clear that it depends on it. And if you have some other software load
the firmware the driver would depend on that and it in turn would
probably still be in contrib.

The only way out would be firmware in main but see below.

> 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?
> Tim

Before the GR to change the SC we had:

| "Social Contract" with the Free Software Community
| 1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software 

but now:

|The Social Contract text shall be replaced with:
| 1. Debian will remain 100% free

The SC does not allow non-free firmware to be included. period.

You voted? And now you complain?


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