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Re: on firmware (possible proposal)


On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 12:14:10PM +0100, Peter Palfrader wrote:
> I so didn't want to get into this discussion, but here goes anyway.
> I'm considering formally proposing this GR (option):
> | Firmware is data that is uploaded to hardware components, not designed to be
> | run on the host CPU.  Often this firmware is already required at install time
> | in order to use network or storage devices.
> | 
> | Unfortunately such firmware often is distributed as BLOBs, with no source or
> | further documentation that lets us learn how it works or interacts with the
> | hardware in question.  By excluding such firmware from Debian we exclude
> | users that require such devices from installing our operating system, or
> | make it unnecessarily hard for them.
> | 
> | Therefore the Debian project resolves that
> |  a) firmware in Debian does not have to come with source.  While we do
> |     prefer firmware that comes with source and documentation we will not
> |     require it,
> |  b) we however do require all other freedoms that the DFSG mandate from
> |     components of our operating system, and
> |  c) such firmware can and should be part of our official installation media.
> Point (c) could mean that for now such data may stay in the main section
> of our archive but that we should look into creating a new, seperate
> section for firmware that does not come with source.  But that's an
> implementation detail that need not be part of the GR.

I would second this proposal, as is, if it would be one.

Best Regards,

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