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. :-/