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Re: Dealing with drivers that need firmware on the filesystem

On Sun, Jan 09, 2005 at 05:28:23PM +1100, Craig Sanders wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 09, 2005 at 02:36:03AM +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > In the firmware case, the choice is rather different. At present, the
> > choice is not between free firmware or non-free firmware. The choice is
> > between non-free firmware on disk or non-free firmware in ROM. Putting
> > drivers in contrib penalises the former, and as a result implicitly
> > encourages the latter.

> it's worse than just putting them in contrib.  there's a whole bunch of
> drivers with firmware blobs that have just been deleted from the kernel
> sources.  they're not in contrib, they're not in non-free, they're just gone.

> this affects even DFSG-free drivers with DFSG-free patches.  you often can't
> apply the patches to the debianised kernel sources because the context that
> the patch needs is missing.

> e.g. try downloading the patch[1] for DVICO Fusion DVB-T card's DFSG-free
> driver and applying it to the kernel source from any kernel-source-x.x.x
> package.  it won't apply to the debian kernel, yet it applies without a
> problem to pristine sources downloaded from kernel.org.

> [1] http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/~chrisp/Linux-DVB/DVICO/

Tried, didn't find any patches on this page.  Please provide a more exact
URL, so that your claim that the patch fails to apply due to changes
motivated by freeness "zealotry" -- and not by concerns about legality of
distribution, or by technical considerations -- can be substantiated.

Barring that, I'm not convinced this isn't FUD on your part; though in any
case, a single third-party patch failing to apply to a Debian kernel tree is
scant argument in favor of abandoning a principled stance.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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