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

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

> The social contract uses "require", which is a stronger term than
> policy's "depend". The driver software requires the portion of the
> hardware that can also be described as software.

I assume the relevant quote is: "We will never make the system require
the use of a non-free component."

I don't think this sentence can be understood by looking at each work
through a magnifying glass. You need some kind of context (beyond the
text of the Social Contract) to know what was intended here, not a
detailed analysis of what "require" means.

For example, you could understand the sentence to mean: "We won't make
the whole system dependent on a non-free component, but parts of the
system might be designed to communicate with non-free software and
therefore be useless without the corrresponding non-free software."

Or it could mean: "We won't deliberately make the system dependent on
a non-free component, but if it so happens that there is no free
software that implements the other side of some protocol, then that's
a problem with the rest of the world, not with Debian."

I don't claim it does mean either of these things, just that the
sentence in isolation could be interpreted that way.

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