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

> Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:
> > It's different because, when the firmware is built into the device,
> > the person who has the device has the firmware.
> >
> > Note that this difference is similar in character to the difference
> > between main and contrib.

On Tue, Oct 26, 2004 at 01:39:03PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> How? Main is free software that doesn't require non-free code.
> Contrib is free software that does require non-free code.

I said similar, not identical.

The difference I was referring to was the difference of convenience --
using software from contrib requires a few extra steps.  Similarly,
using an external copy of firmware requires a few extra steps.

> Note that the social contract does not use the word "depends".

It uses "require", which is close enough.

> Code goes in contrib if it requires non-free code regardless of whether
> or not that is expressed as a dependency in the package management sense.

Agreed -- though obviously the package management sense is intended to
represent a similar concept.  [A different kind of similarity from the
one I mentioned above.]

> All of the hardware under discussion requires non-free code.

That's one way of looking at it.

>From within a framework of thought that looks at the issue that way:
where meeting the hardware's non-free code requirements is totally out
of our control, we don't do anything about the issue.

Similarly, we distribute web browsers which visit servers where those
servers require non-free code.  For the cases where those servers are
totally out of our control, we don't do anything about that issue.


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