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Re: Firmware & Social Contract: GR proposal

On Thu, Sep 07, 2006 at 07:49:14PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 05, 2006 at 12:32:15PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > > firmware that's not tied to etch's release; Joss's is temporary, tied to
> > > the the development of "technical measures" that will allow firmware to be
> > > separated; Don's isn't an exception at all, and won't allow us to release
> > > etch on time without a further proposal; and Frederik's is an exception
> > > just for etch, in the same way the last reversion was an exception just
> > > for sarge: one that may well be repeated next time if nothing getsdone.
> > Frederik's proposal is a common position from the kernel team and the release
> > team
> I am not happy that Frederik's proposal was presented this way after I
> specifically asked that this not be done.  TTBOMK, the only members of the
> release team that were consulted before its publication were Andi and
> myself; and to the extent that I've endorsed this proposal, I was endorsing
> it as a suitable point of departure for further public discussion, not as an
> option that I was certain to rank first on any ballot.

Ok, so much for it then, but i don't remember you clearly stating such in all
those discussions, not entirely sure though. I also didn't want to say :

  a common position for the kernel team and the release team, except for Steve

But if you prefer it this way, fine with me :)

> > It explicitly gives an exception for etch only, because we are confident
> > that the issue can be solved in the etch+1 timeframe.
> Who is confident of this, and why?  I'm not confident of this at all; I'm

I am confident, i think the same confidence is shared by Frederik and some
others of the kernel team. There is momentus growing, and people Like Wouter
and Goswin are already working on the d-i part. We may have a partial solution
for etch even. Some of the more active non-free removal guys can even be
counted on to help on this, adn issues with tg3 are not as bad as they seem,
as Frederik's investigation showed.

> not sure that the idea of forcing sourceless firmware out of main is even an
> idea that the majority of developers agree with, and Joey Hess has pointed
> out to us reasons why providing separate free/non-free install media might

Yeah, but Joey Hess has already been wrong once in a major way about this (he
was so adamant repeating it needed multiple sources in anna, that we all
believed him, but it turned out to be patently false as Wouter and Goswin and
Nerode before them, has shown. He further made some other non-warranted claims
recently, so i think thrusting his position blindingly on something, altough
he has given thought to it, has clearly not given it the depth of attention it
needs, is not enough to base a long term strategy on.

> be a strategically poor use of our time in the *long term*, even if the work
> of splitting out this firmware proved manageable and there were sufficient
> volunteers to do this work.

There will always be use for non-free stuff, even if in a transitory way. We
already have the unicorn drivers in non-free right now, and an ADSL modem
driver is indeed a valid component to have for installation medias, don't you
think, as does all those wireless networking chips.


Sven Luther
> -- 
> Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
> Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
> vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/
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