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Re: Bug#285518: misdn-utils includes a firmware loader

Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 16, 2004 at 10:51:39AM +0100, Frank Küster wrote:
>> When the issue of binary blobs in the kernel was first discussed here,
>> if I'm not mistaken the proposed solution was to rewrite the respective
>> drivers to be able to load the blob at runtime from "somewhere", and
>> that somewhere would then be populated from non-free or an external
>> source. And it was said that if the hardware device generally works
>> without firmware loading, just with worse performance, or if most
>> devices supported by the driver worked without, and just a minority
>> depended upon it, then the driver (the kernel module or monolitic
>> kernel) would be Free. 
> Just to be a little clearer: drivers that require non-free firmware,
> but are under a Free license, are Free.
> Software which is not Free always goes in non-free.  Software that
> is Free goes in either main or contrib.
> The active question, here, is not whether these drivers are Free; we're
> assuming they're Free, and asking whether they should go in main or
> contrib due to the firmware being non-free.

Thanks, I really wasn't clear about that. But the question is still the
same: If the procedure described above was regarded as sufficient to
keep distributing the kernel in main, why must a userland tool that does
essentially the same (AFAICT) go to contrib?

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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