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Re: Making Debian available

Jeremy Stanley <fungi@yuggoth.org> writes:

> Yes, I get that. I don't mind having to go out of my way to update
> non-free firmware even if it means separately downloading with another
> machine and sneaker-netting on removable media, it helps keep me honest
> about what's getting installed and what's necessary (or not).

Making your life more difficult to remind yourself that you're doing
something you don't want to do seems like an odd form of self-flagellation
to me, to be honest, but regardless of my personal opinion I'm happy to
have Debian cater to this use case anyway since Debian contributors find
it important.

> My point was that if folks are giving up on the distinction, then
> why bother to offer an installer without non-free packages baked in?

Because you want it?

The point is to make things easier for our users.  Right now, we're doing
that for you but not for the users who don't care whether firmware is
non-free.  I think the idea is that we should consider making things
easier for both groups of users.  There's no reason to make things worse
for you and others who want the fully free installer in the process.

> The assertion I was objecting to is that an installer which
> automatically installs non-free software "works for everyone."

I don't think you and the original poster are using the same definition of
the word "works."  I'm fairly sure the original message meant only in the
technical sense.

Anyway, I don't think we should get rid of the fully free installer.

I agree with the original proposal to make it easier to find an installer
that works (technically) on a broader range of systems, while
simultaneously being irritated that non-free nonsense is required for most
commercially-available systems.  Our current approach seems to have an odd
logic gap to me:

1. Everything should be free software (yes)
2. Non-free firmware is not free software (yes)
3. Requiring it is a bug (yes)
4. Therefore we will make it tedious and annoying to install Debian on
   systems with that bug (?!)
5. ???
6. More systems will stop requiring non-free software (profit!)

We've been wandering around in step 5 for a long time now.  I'm not sure
it's working.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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