[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: LCC and blobs

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

> Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> I don't believe policy or the SC does expand on what "requires"
>> means.  This is the only self-consistent explanation I've seen which
>> allows Debian to ship a usable OS.  Have you another?
> The parsimonious explanation is that the issue wasn't thought about in
> that much detail when the social contract was written. The archives tend
> to support this. The obvious thing to do here is not to attempt to find
> a way that we can interpret the SC that makes sense - the obvious thing
> to do here is to decide what we want the SC to say and then change it so
> that it matches that desire.

You're a DD and can say that.  I'm not[1], and won't.

That said, or not, I do think there's a significant practical
difference between firmware which ships as software, say on a CD
accompanying the device, and firmware which ships on the device:

* The firmware on the CD is typically not redistributable by the end
  user.  Future users can't get it without somebody along the line
  breaking a EULA.

* The firmware blob on CD, if free, can be easily modified by end
  users.  It's just software.  Even given the preferred form for
  modification, it's much more difficult to re-flash a firmware chip
  on hardware not designed for regular firmware uploads.

So even given the opportunity to rewrite this bit, I'd suggest declining.


[1]  Too lame to maintain a package, far too lame to pass the skills
     test with the man-page-writing and pages and pages of questions.
     Moderately in awe of those less lame.

Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

Reply to: