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Re: Bug#353277: ndiswrapper in main

On 2/21/06, Margarita Manterola <margamanterola@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/20/06, Raul Miller <moth.debian@gmail.com> wrote:
> > As a specific counter example, consider
> > http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
> > which is a project porting a windows driver to linux.  This port
> > appears to be possible because the windows driver was made
> > available under a free license.
> With this particular driver, I think you are making a mistake.  rt2x00
> is available as an independent driver (i.e. without ndiswrapper).

What is my mistake?

It looks to me as if the sequence of events was:

1 "open source" windows driver available (can be used with ndiswrapper)
2 someone ports windows driver to linux
3 linux driver available

These events are sequential, and event 3 does not erase event 1.

> As can be read in the project's history [1], the open-source project
> started because Ralink decided to release the Linux drivers under a
> free license.  There's no mention on the page of a Windows driver.

So the mention is not on that particular page, and is on a different
page.  Why is this a problem?

Note: I'm not saying there is no problem.

But if we're going to change our rules for "acceptable in main" from
"FOO is allowed in main if FOO is free and everything FOO requires
for installation is free" to "FOO is allowed in main if the typical use of
FOO can does not involve any non-free software" then we have a
much bigger issue than ndiswrapper.

And if we're going to tackle this issue properly, we need to define
the problems clearly before we can even begin to come up with a
decent solution.

For example, while we might want to define a "six degrees of separation
free" debian subset, but before we could do that we'd need to have
a good idea of what goes in that subset, how people that use it can be
sure that that's what they're getting, what we're going to do about
people who have come to rely on other software, etc. etc.


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