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Re: non-free firmware: driver in main or contrib?

Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> What extra freedoms does this buy you? How is the cause of free software
> benefited from this distinction? Your entire point here seems to be that
> drivers that depend on non-free code that's in ROM are preferable to
> non-free code that's on disk. This is surely backwards - on-disk
> firmware is easier to modify (not by a lot, but a little) than on-ROM
> firmware. 

My entire point *is* that free code anywhere is preferable to non-free
code, and that we should be pragmatic about the fact that software
runs on hardware.  That pragmatism should not be taken as the camel's
nose, to fit an entire camel of non-free software executing on
attached machines into Debian.

> If there's any sort of driver that we should prefer from a free software
> perspective, it's the one that makes it easier to provide a free
> reimplementation of the non-free code. I'm confused by why you think the
> inverse is preferable.

If the free alternative is practical, then yes, that's a great idea.
My impression was that these were drivers which only had one set of
firmware to work with, and that was non-free.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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