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Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.

Josselin Mouette wrote:
Finally, you shouldn't forget that, technically speaking, using hotplug
for uploading the firmware is much more flexible and elegant than
including it in the kernel. Upgrading the firmware and the module should
be two independent operations. People who are advocating the current
situation are refusing technical improvements just because they are
brought by people they find convenient to call "zealots".

This is highly amusing, coming from someone who does not maintain a driver with a firmware.

The current firmware infrastructure is too primitive. Compiling the firmware into the driver is much easier on the driver maintainers and users, presently.

Repeating myself,

* Most firmwares are a -collection- of images and data. The firmware infrastructure should load an -archive- of firmwares and associated data values.

* The firmware distribution infrastructure is basically non-existent. There is no standard way to make sure that a firmware separated from the driver gets to all users.

* The firmware bundling infrastructure is basically non-existent. (Arjan talked about this) There needs to be a a way to ensure that the needed firmwares are automatically added to initramfs/initrd.

* There is no chicken-and-egg problem as Arjan mentions. Once the above technical problems are resolved, its trivial to apply a firmware loading patch. I believe in hard transitions, not shipping tg3 with firmware -and- a firmware loading patch.

* Firmwares such as tg3 should be shipped with the kernel tarball.

In short, there are plenty of technical problems to resolve before this is even a reasonable request. Currently, a user upgrading to a tg3 sans firmware will simply get tg3 sans firmware.


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