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Re: LCC and blobs

Brian Thomas Sniffen writes:

> No.  Firmware resident in RAM but put there by, say, the BIOS is
> fine.  We've elected not to ignore firmware which is to be handled and
> installed by Debian software.  You're having trouble making a coherent
> position out of this only because you keep recasting it in terms which
> aren't equivalent.  The issue at hand is whether somebody might ever
> download software from Debian and find it useless without additional
> software which he could download... but not from Debian, since it's
> not Free and not packaged.

Why do you insist on the "downloadable" part of "useless without
additional software which he could download"?  I see no basis for that
qualification in the DFSG or policy.  I could manufacture a device
that requires loadable firmware, and a driver for it, yet forbid
distribution of the firmware.  Ergo, the required firmware would not
be downloadable.  Would that make the driver satisfy your definition
of free software?

> If I download an ICQ client, there are lots of reasons I might find it
> useful: I might not have anything to say, or I might have no network
> connection, or I might have no friends to talk to.  Debian is not
> responsible for providing me with creativity, connectivity, or
> friends.

We require licenses to allow inhabitants of a desert island to
exercise all their DFSG rights even though they live on a desert
island.  We should not accept software that becomes useless when used
on a desert island.

> I think the example provided elsewhere in this thread --
> that we'd never say an ICQ client Depends: icq-server -- is excellent.
> We'd also never mark something Depends: bios, because the BIOS is
> essential and assumed to be present.

I think it merely illustrates that "Depends" is not the be-all or
end-all of dependencies.

Michael Poole

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