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

> Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:
> > Software which we don't and can't ship, which is a part of the platform
> > we're running on, which is not application code, and which basically is
> > outside the scope of the project is software we ignore.

On Thu, Oct 28, 2004 at 05:50:09PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> In many of these cases, we /could/ ship it (well, the license probably
> wouldn't let us, but that's a legal problem rather than a technical
> one). But at least we're in agreement that it's unambiguously software,
> even if it's also hardware under certain circumstances.

"We could ship it, if it were legal" is not, in general, the same thing as
"if we shipped it, we could load it."

Where these are equivalent, we're talking about something that's
probably a component of our system.

> >> The social contract uses "require", which is a stronger term than
> >> policy's "depend".
> > 
> > http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=require
> I possibly didn't make that clear. "depend", when used by policy, refers
> to dependencies that are expressed by the package management system.

The social contract specifies policy, not the other way around.

> >    We will never make the system require the use of a non-free component.
> > 
> > While it's clear from context that "non-free" refers to "non-free
> > software", it's also clear that it's "components" which are what need to
> > be free.  It's also clear from contenxt that "components" are "components
> > of the debian system.
> No, that doesn't make sense. If that was what it meant, it would just be
> a restatement of the second sentence ("We promise that the Debian system
> and all its components will be free according to these guidelines").

I agree.  The difference is subjunctive.

> Since we've already promised that all the components in Debian will be
> free, then the non-free components it's referring to must be outside
> Debian. 

It's pretty clear to me that the point of this sentence is to make it
clear that moving a package outside of debian does not allow us to ignore
the dependency.

If it makes sense to consider something as a component of our system,
that's good enough.

> > Among other things, you're arguing that hardware [including software
> > embedded in that hardware] is a component of the debian system (rather
> > than being a part of its infrastructure).
> I can probably be convinced that hardware in the traditional sense
> (something that's made out of gates and stuff) is not a component in the
> way that the social contract refers to. I see no way of arguing that for
> stuff that is plainly code.

Then you would argue, for example, that we shouldn't remove the tcp
stack because ip routers and switches use non-free software?

Or maybe you also draw boundaries around what "is the system" and what's
"outside the system"?


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