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Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

Loïc Minier dijo [Tue, Nov 04, 2008 at 03:11:18PM +0100]:
> (...)
>  And if we don't require the hardware to be freely modifiable, why
>  require the firmware to be so?

So we can ship it coherently with our policies?

Because users have expectations we have a way to give support to what
we ship? If it is a program, we can fix bugs. If it is documentation,
we can fix typos. If it is an image, we can deuglify it. If it is a
sound, we can make it sound... hmm... better? If it is
firmware... Well, we cannot do a thing to it. 

It is better and more honest to our users to tell them, "that's not
ours and we cannot fix it. We cannot pledge to support it. Here it is,
it is a nice blob, but it is NOT ours, go bug your hardware
manufacturer for support".

It is not that I want Debian to ship a system with no hardware support
- But that I'd prefer it to be kept visibly separate. We might have a
nonfree-firmware file that can be just copied over at install time (as
Lenny's d-i already allows for) if your devices are needed for
installation. It is not -in my POV- antiethical to have non-free
hardware (i.e. hardware requiring non-free software), but shipping its
supporting firmware it does not allow us to keep our promises.

> > And if the answer reduces down to 'firmware is made by proprietary
> > vendors and does something many people need and we don't have a
> > replacement yet' - well thats fine, but at various points we didn't have
> > a free kernel, or a free libc, or a free graphic desktop environment.
>  And we didn't have Debian or OpenMoko; and the glibc, linux, and
>  Xorg/GNOME/KDE/Xfce are huge separate projects and we could start new
>  projects to free more things up.
>  Google.com is run with software I don't have access to, but I use it
>  daily, as well as my microwave, or my wifi card.

Nothing to argue there. I use Google every day, and I provide the
infrastructure for my users to run their non-free programs on every
day. Still, I do not advocate distributing them as part of Debian.

And not because they are inherently evil or anything, but because
Debian is not the right place to distribute them from. See what I
wrote regarding the RFCs - I agree with the IETF, the RFCs server much
better their purpose being non-free than if they were DFSG-free. But
that's not a reason to bend Debian's principles and ship IETF RFCs in

Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.org - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF

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