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Re: mass bug filing for unmet dependencies (Was: firmware status for eagle-usb-*)

Raul Miller writes:

> > It is not consistent to claim that programmable software on a BIOS
> > flash chip is not software, but programmable software in an FPGA is
> > software.  It is not consistent to claim that a driver depends on
> > software on the other side of a hardware bus but that gaim does not
> > depend on software on the other side of a network.
> It is, however, consistent to claim that this is an issue of scope,
> and that everything we ship in main is in scope.
> It's also consistent to extend that scope based on the goals of the free
> software community [such as having to do with open and understandable
> standards].

ICQ clients are in main.  grub and lilo are in main.  Each of those
require non-free software to perform their core functions (talk over
ICQ or boot a kernel, respectively).  Why does "scope" apply to device
drivers but not to those?

> > Strictly speaking (since the arguments about firmware rely on strict
> > interpretations), the dependency is not satisfied merely by the
> > existence of some free server implementation.  It has to be part of
> > Debian proper.
> Strictly speaking, we make choices based on the spirit of the social
> contract, not the letter.

Policy is pretty clear on that point.  As far as I can tell, the
spirit of "We will never make the system require the use of a non-free
component" is the same thing that animates Policy section 2.2.1.

My point is not that the SC requires us to move all these things out
of main, but that the same arguments for removing drivers for
firmware-driven devices can be applied to these other cases.  If we
agree that they are applicable to both, we can move on to discussing
whether we *should* apply those arguments to each of those cases.

Michael Poole

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