Re: non-free firmware: driver in main or contrib?
> Raul Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > 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.
On Mon, Oct 25, 2004 at 03:13:53PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Where does "right" come from?
That quip was a comment on the straw-man scenario where hardware vendors
were redesigning their products to move a driver for that hardware from
debian contrib to main.
And, if that seems nonsensical to you, you're right -- or, at least,
that scenario seems rather nonsensical to me. Debian currently doesn't
represent the kind of market which could lead to this kind of situation.
> You're continuing to imply that hardware that has firmware in ROM is
> somehow more free than hardware that requires firmware to be loaded
> by the OS.
That may be the implication you are reading into what I wrote, but that
implication has little to do with my point of view.
Hardware is non-free, in the sense that it can't be freely copied.
There are reasons for this, including conservation of mass, and the
rather significant amounts of mass involved in hardware.
> Neither is the "right" solution - it depends on your requirements.
s/Neither is/Both are/
> > 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.]
> Customers make strange demands. As a result of tooling up for a single
> production run, it might then become cheaper for them to use the same
> design for the generic consumer part.
> Anyway. You didn't answer my question: is your definition of dependency
> based on who ships the firmware, or is it based on the medium which
> contains the firmware?
The answer to your question is: "No. My definition of dependency is
not based on either."
My definition of dependency is based on the requirements of a free
operating system. My definition of dependency is totally focussed on
software issues, and only touches on firmware tangentially.
If firmware is presented in software form, then I have to treat it
If firmware is presented in hardware form, then I'm free to ignore it as
"not software". Of course, if "firmware in hardware" was being something
obtrusive I might not be able to ignore it. So far, that's not been
much of an issue. [Game cartridges might be an example of obtrusive