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Re: confusion about non-free (Re: Bits from the Debian Eee PC team, summer 2008)

On Sun, Aug 03, 2008 at 09:51:42AM -0300, Ben Armstrong wrote:
> Before this thread goes much further, examine the context, please.
> Read the whole thing and then tell me I am confused:

Hi Ben,

Just to make it clear, please don't take it as if I were recriminating
something to you.  My understanding is that this problem is about general
perception and I don't think it's your fault in any way.

> Earliest Eee models fully supported in Lenny
>    Lenny will release with the atl2 ethernet driver and the non-free
>    madwifi-source now works with the earliest Eee models as well,
> [...]
> My only error is that when I said "fully supported" I overstated the
> case.  Lenny will certainly "work with" all of the earliest models.

I don't have an eeepc myself, but what I gather is that Lenny doesn't fully
support them;  it is Lenny + non-free which does (or otherwise you have no

> Do you know what I'm feeling now, at a time when I should have been
> enjoying the first major success of our project after pouring months of
> our lives into it?  Hurt.

It wasn't my intention at all to hurt someone, so I said things in the kindest
way I could, without getting personal.  But you have to see both sides of
things.  When I saw that mail, the first thing I think is the press will
pick it and announce to everyone that Lenny supports this hardware, with
the implicit assumption that we have dropped our ideals and joined the
non-free bandwagon (actually, this is still likely despite my reaction).

The ideal to stand and defend freedom is the whole reason I care about Debian,
so when I feel that its reputation is being damaged, I get hurt too.

Anyway, I really appreciate your work on making eeepc's better supported
in Debian.

Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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