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

On Mon, Oct 25, 2004 at 02:21:03PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Whichever argument you're using, it leads to the following situation. A
> vendor releases a piece of hardware. It requires run-time loadable
> firmware. We put the driver in contrib. A customer comes to the vendor
> and asks for a version that doesn't require the firmware be loaded from
> userspace. The vendor adds an eeprom and puts the firmware in that
> instead. Despite there being the same amount of non-free code, we can
> now put the driver in main.
> Does this not strike you as mad? We make a distinction between main and
> contrib because we want to discourage non-free code. The distinction
> you're drawing instead merely encourages vendors to put their non-free
> code on an eeprom. It doesn't advance the cause of free software, and it
> doesn't help our users.

It does strike me as a bit mad, to suggest that hardware vendors are
going to be redesign their hardware, to move a driver from debian contrib
to main.

If it were that important to them, they'd should have done it right in
the first place.

Oh, wait, maybe you're suggesting that they had some OTHER reason for
putting those bits in rom?  If that's the case, your claim that it
doesn't help our users is a bit specious.  

[Or, more succinctly, how about we discuss real cases rather than
straw men.]


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