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Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

On Mon, Nov 03, 2008, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> I agree with you. But we cannot see them as part of our system, which
> is mostly defined by its freedom. We can adjust our system to allow
> you to load the firmware (probably under the name "drivers", to which
> many people are more used) in a painless and intuitive fashion. But I
> have yet to see a real reason (besides the work that must go into
> sweeping them out of the current and future kernel tree - Thanks to
> everybody involved into that!) for Debian to make the needed
> exceptions to distribute them as part of main.

 Your post made me see the issue under a different light: I must agree
 that this can't be considered on par with the rest of Debian so I wish
 we would distribute it while making clear that these particular files
 are not with accompanying source.

 Why not come up with a new system which would be more convenient than
 sections (or separate archives as you suggest)?

 e.g. trivial but not very flexible: /lib/no-source-code/firmwares/blah
 and a symlink /lib/firmware/foo -> /lib/no-source-code/firmwares/blah.

 Or a list of "not fully-free" files, provided by the packages
 themselves, e.g. /usr/share/doc/$pkg/btw-these-files-are-firmwares.

 Or complex, but might be cleaner: a new type of dpkg meta-information,
 just like we have conffiles, shlibs, we'd have "licensing" and would be
 able to express that /lib/firmware/foo is free to distribute but
 doesn't come with source code, and you probably don't care.

 I'm not happy that people would enable non-free on most systems just
 for the convenience of getting some files which most people will need
 and for which providing a source is not critical.  Fetching them
 dynamically from $site isn't ok for live CDs, or when you actually try
 to provide the firmware to get network to work.   :-/

Loïc Minier

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