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Re: LCC and blobs

On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 03:23:54PM +0100, Peter Van Eynde wrote:
> Hmm. I remember we had an "editorial change" that then turned into 
> something completely different, followed by 6 damage limitation options and 
> 1 hard line option. A damage limitation option won, but I if I read the 
> matrix correctly the hard line option was defeated by _every_ damage 
> limitation clause, so I would not be so certain that "we had this debate".
> Post-sarge we will have the debate and I hope that this time ftp-master 
> will state the consequences of the options in advance, so there are no 
> surprises any more. Also having less then 7 options would also be nice.

It was not "defeated", it was delayed until post-sarge, at which point
the 2004-003 GR's SC will kick in automatically with no further debate.
I don't know what debate you think we'll have; while I'm sure many
debates on many topics will be held, 2004-003 *will* reactivate unless
another GR is held to repeal it.

> >[clarifications]
> I think I'm starting to understand your point of view. So _any_ use of the 
> software without using non-DFSG data makes it free, right?

This is the widely-accepted understanding of software in main, yes.

> But what if loading the firmware is not required? That if the device was 
> "warm-booted" in another OS? (I know there are technical limitations here) 
> Would the driver-firmware relation still be a "depends"?

Then it requires that other OS to function.

> Oh, I have another use for the ipw2100 driver without firmware: it can 
> recognise the card from the pci-id information. :-)

That's attempting to sidestep the issue and pretend freeness isn't important,
which isn't something Debian should be stooping to.  :)

> I would say this is a functional driver. It provides me with useful 
> information about my system. The fact that I cannot connect to a wifi lan 
> is the same situation as with grub not being able to load XP without the XP 
>  bootsector, if there were a free firmware with the same API I would be 
> able to load and use it.

If grub was only able to load XP, and not other operating systems, and
it required XP's boot sector to be functional, it would probably go in

However, grub loads several operating systems, so XP's boot sector is
just "added functionality".

> >also read the archives, you'll have a chance at understanding the

For what it's worth, it's not really reasonable to expect people to "read
the archives", since the archives on these topics probably exceed a
thousand messages.

> Well. The last couple of times I thought rationality would return and I 
> grew tired of the gedanken-experiments going on, and actually I did not 
> care for the documentation idiocy. I should have paied more attention to my 
> history classes and how extremists will take over democratic regimes 
> because the majority cannot be bothered resisting simplistic arguments 
> until it is too late. Making Debian uninstallable because of mistaken 
> beliefs is too much and I care enough to resists this. I survived Erik 
> Naggum, so this should be a walk in the park.

So now you're saying that expecting that documentation be Free is "idiocy",
and that the majority doesn't actually want it, despite the very clear
results of GR 2004-003.  Sorry, that's a tired old complaint that's not
even worth refuting ...

Glenn Maynard

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