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Re: Why does Debian distributed firmware not need to be Depends: upon? [was Re: LCC and blobs]

On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 16:51:07 -0500, Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> wrote:
> Again, by this logic, all software in contrib due to non-free library
> dependencies should go in main; after all, they're "useful" for developing
> and testing free reimplementations of those libraries.  This is just an
> argument for dropping contrib entirely and merging it back into main.

The firmware download is an incidental function of the driver, and in
almost all cases there are some versions or states of the hardware in
which it can be skipped during the driver probe.  (Probably there is
some hardware to which this doesn't apply; obviously there's still a
need for case-by-case analysis.)  It's a different scenario from the
usual "main source builds main and contrib binaries", in which the
part that's, say, written in Java (and dependent on recent J2SDK bits)
or linked against Oracle's client library doesn't belong in the main
binary package.

Given the factual context of the kernel, I think there's enough
"constitutional" room to place the border between main and non-free
right at the module-firmware boundary rather than mandate that the
driver be in the "contrib" DMZ.  But IANADD, and YMMV.

- Michael

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