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

neroden@twcny.rr.com wrote:

>> Your driver can be compiled and successfully executed without the
>> firmware,
>But does it do anything useful when executed?...
I don't know how you define "useful". All its functionality is already
there, but probably the controlled device will only respond to a subset
of the available commands until its firmware is uploaded. But again,
this is a "limitation" of the hardware device, not of the driver.

>Actually, I'm inclined to be very broad-minded on that point.  If the
>driver, for instance, can load arbitrary microcode to the hardware at
Sure, it will upload whatever you feed it.

>> A similar issue was raised for clients for proprietary instant messaging
>> protocols like AIM and MSN: long ago it was decided that as long as they
>> are DFSG-free they can be part of Debian, even if they are obviously
>> useless without the proprietary servers they connect to.
>Interesting.  Do alternative servers exist for these protocols?
Not that I know.


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