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Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

On Tue, Oct 21, 2008, Romain Beauxis wrote:
> If I recall well, one of the origin of the GNU fondation was the fact that 
> having free drivers alowed one to actually *fix* issues he may have with his 
> *own* hardware. Then, the very same reasoning can apply to binary firmware.

 Hardware can suffer from bugs which you can not fix; I'm happy to put
 firmware in the same bucket as long as there is a clear interface on
 which I can rely to get it to work most of the time.

 I'm using Google daily, but I don't have the source code that's running
 on their servers.  I don't mind shipping a firmware blob just like I
 don't mind having to press the power button to boot my laptop.  If it's
 a prerequirement to get the hardware to work with free drivers, and we
 have the rights to redistribute this blob, I see no problem.

> So, yes this is a brand new issue, that comes from the new way of designing 
> hardware. But that doesn't mean we should give up and remain behind the line 
> that was drawn 20 (or so) years ago. We now should also ask for open source 
> firmware for the very same reason that this huge effort toward free drivers 
> was done. If we did it for drivers, there's no reason we can't suceed for 
> firmwares.

 Happy if such a project is started outside of Debian, or within Debian,
 but not if it affects all current Debian users right now.

Loïc Minier

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