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Re: LCC and blobs

On Thu, Jan 06, 2005 at 02:42:50PM -0500, Michael Poole wrote:
> 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

To nitpick: "somebody might ever" is backwards.  We don't care if
somebody might ever find the software useless; what we care about is
whether everybody will find it useless.  Stuff goes in main as long as
somebody can use it (for some reasonable value of "use", eg. not
including Marco's contrivances that would imply the elimination of
contrib entirely).

> > 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

Well, all software is downloadable (if not necessarily easily or
legally), so I think that word is a no-op.  I think the focus, here,
is "since it's not Free and not packaged": there seems to be a violation
of SC#1 if the data should be included in the package for its basic
use, but isn't for legal/freeness reasons.

> 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.

Extending the desert island test in this way isn't useful.  If you're
on a desert island, an ICQ client (and a mail client, and bittorrent, and
lots of other things) isn't useful to you, even if you have a server to
connect to.  The desert island test is about being able to execute
freedoms in a vacuum; let's leave it there.

Glenn Maynard

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