On Monday 22 February 2010 12:25:38 Stan Hoeppner wrote: > Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. put forth on 2/22/2010 10:05 AM: > >> [...] any software that doesn't meet the "Free" > >> criteria isn't included by default. For kernel drivers, this creates a > >> huge problem. There is no way to include "non-free" in your Debian > >> kernel like you do in > >> /apt/sources.list. The Debian kernel team makes that choice for your. > > > > That's not true. > > According to this, it is true. Note  below: > > [01:07:16][root@greer]/usr/src/linux-126.96.36.199/Documentation/firmware_class$ > cat README > > request_firmware() hotplug interface: > ------------------------------------ > Copyright (C) 2003 Manuel Estrada Sainz [...] > 3) Some people, like the Debian crowd, don't consider some firmware free > enough and remove entire drivers (e.g.: keyspan). This doesn't happen regularly, especially since the request_firmware() interface was mainlined. In the bad old days before request_firmware(), non-free firmware basically required removing whole drivers because the driver was non-functional without the data in the header file, the header file was non-free, and the Debian kernel needed to be in main. There were some other ways around this, but normally dropping the module was the most expedient solution. Now that we have request_firmware(), even if the original driver uses static data in a header, the Debian kernel developers take that data and dump it to a file and put that in non-free. At the same time, the modify the driver to use request_firmware() instead of expecting the static data in the header. This is relatively easy to do, so it is the normal way of handling modules that include non-free firmware. It is rare, but possible, that it is difficult to modify a module to use request_firmware() instead of static data; dropping the module might still be more expedient in that case. So, non-free firmware is normally moved to non-free instead of being dropped from Debian entirely for many years now. Drivers that were previously dropped because of non-free firmware might be added back in, if they can be modified to use request_firmware(). Filing a bug might be appropriate here. -- Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =. firstname.lastname@example.org ((_/)o o(\_)) ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-' http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/
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