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Re: kernel firmwares: GR proposal

Hi Frederik,

On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 11:06:54PM +0200, Frederik Schueler wrote:
> Overview:

I asked you this question before privately and haven't seen an answer.  You
say below "So we propose this GR:"; does that mean that everything up to
that is rationale, and not part of the text that developers will be voting

This is very unclear to me; if the intent is to vote on the whole document,
I think some wording tweaks are needed.  If the intent is to vote only on
the part beginning with "1. We affirm [...]", then I think it's much shorter
than it should be.

> So, we propose this GR:

> 1. We affirm that our Priorities are our users and the free software
> community (Social Contract #4);
> 2. We acknowledge that there is a lot of progress in the kernel firmware
> issue; however, it is not yet finally sorted out;
> 3. We give priority to the timely release of Etch over sorting every bit
> out; for this reason, we will deliver firmware in udebs as long as it is
> necessary for installation (like all udebs), and firmware included in
> the kernel itself as part of Debian Etch, without further conditions.

FWIW, while I originally thought that "sourceless firmware is ok for main"
and "non-free firmware stays in main for etch" should be two separate
questions, after reviewing the list of kernel blobs that Larry prepared, I
see that the difference between the two is very small: the only blobs
currently shipping under a non-free license are for AppleTalk, token ring,
and USB audio, and none of those are relevant to the installer.

So if we are going to make an exception, I think we should take care to make
the smallest exception necessary.  If we don't *need* to grant exceptions
for firmware based on their license, only on whether or not they include
source, I don't think we should include such firmware in the exception. 
This prevents anyone from trying to add such firmware to etch that isn't
already included, which would be a regression vis-à-vis freeness.

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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