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Re: LCC and blobs

El dom, 12-12-2004 a las 04:52 +0100, Goswin von Brederlow escribió:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> writes:
> > On Sun, Dec 12, 2004 at 12:34:10AM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> >> Yes. Once you eliminate the dependency on the non-free file the driver
> >> becomes suitable for main.
> >
> > The driver does not have /any/ dependency on a non-free file. It will
> > function perfectly without the non-free file.
> >
> > The device, that's a different story; but Debian is not in the business
> > of distributing hardware, so there is no 'Depends:' header for that bit
> > of the problem.
> We have to disagree on that then.
> I think something like "Failure: firmware not loaded" or "Failure:
> path/firmware: No such file or directory" counts as a dependency.

  But you will get basically the same error if you hax0red your Flash
when trying to upgrade the firmware in the device.

>  I
> would want apt-get to pull in the firmware deb when I install the
> driver deb.

  Yes, and me too. But you usually can't do that even with having a
package in non-free for doing that or using a downloader, as
manufacturer is asking to click-through before downloading anything (see
ipw2100 driver). So basically you cannot state that dependency... it
becomes the same: you need to have firmware around (in device or in a
file) and user need to perform some actions to accomplish that.

  Of course I can agree with you that for drivers that are not part of
the kernel being in contrib is not bad (as forementioned ipw2100). But
slicing kernel and moving most of it to contrib because of this is bad.
Kernel works without that drivers, and those have still a feature though
not having the firmware: they allow you to detect your hardware (by
using hotplug or something like that). After that the hadware probably
will be nonfuctional, but we are not in worse state than in any other
commercial OS where here you are asked to load the firmware from
hardware vendor CD. This is not optimal, but not being able to see what
you needs and what hardware hurts our users more, IMHO. And, after all,
we are not distributing any piece of non-free software, which is what
should concern us.


Jose Carlos Garcia Sogo

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