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

On Thu, Dec 16, 2004 at 06:29:46PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 16, 2004 at 12:02:30AM +0000, Jonathan McDowell wrote:
> > If we refuse to handle non-free firmware being loaded onto devices and
> > require they come with it already inside then we get to play the "I
> > can't see it, it doesn't matter" game, which gives the purists a warm
> > fuzzy feeling, knowing no dirty non-free 0s and 1s live on their hard
> > disc.
> > 
> > This improves the experience for our users - they get to have the warm
> > fuzzy feeling too, knowing that in sacrificing the ability to use many
> > modern toys and gadgets they are purer of mind and body. Even better is
> > the fact that they doubley can't use the hardware because we're too busy
> > arguing about the firmware to make a release!
> No, there's a very concrete reason: given an installation of Debian
> main, the driver works.  Drivers that require non-free firmware don't
> work out of the box; they say "sorry, for [legal|philosophical][1]
> reasons, we can include this driver but we can't completely the
> installation automatically like everything else; go hunt down the
> firmware and come back".  Any other software doing that would go
> straight to contrib, but people want to make an exception for drivers.

If you're trying to install the distro and your ADSL modem/wireless
card/SCSI controller needs some firmware to work at all, then going and
hunting down the firmware could prove a bit tricky.

> Your sarcasm and condescension make me wonder why you're here at all,
> though; you appear to regard Debian's founding principles with contempt.

No, I'm just aware of the fact that the Social Contract contains more
than Clause 1. I accept Free Software is a very important part of
Debian, but I'm also able to work out that if our users can't even
install our free software then we're not really doing much for the
promotion of Free Software nor are we managing to serve our users.


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