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Re: on firmware (possible proposal)

----- "Frans Pop" <elendil@planet.nl> wrote:

> I'm certainly in favor of Debian going in this direction. Ideals are fine, 
> but castrating the distribution for them is taking things to far. IMO we 
> can still strife and work to have more source made available to the 
> community without alienating users by making it needlessly hard to 
> install Debian or find important pieces of software.

But you have to see that castrating the ideals of the project is just as damaging as these distribution problems are. I believe Debian has remained important over time because, despite our various social failings, they *respect* our ideology. We remain relevant because we assert a standard and have managed to mostly provide a useful product while complying with those standards. If we bend the rules too much it becomes an open question on why we are better or different than any of the many other distributions out there. We shouldn't be bullheaded, unrealistic or unyielding but we should be strong and true.

If distributing proprietary binaries is inescapable then, again, I'll say that we should leave that distribution to others and create some ground rules for identifying how those others should "play nice" with us. If we have an army of third party value-add distributors who fill in these proprietary gaps then we will be well armed to deal with the emerging spectrum of platforms that will be coming down the pipe in the coming years. Things that look like phones and other appliances will be the wave of the future and those devices will have many strange legal obligations. A partner program that enables the vendors of these devices to supply the necessary proprietary baggage and still guarantee a "Debian Compatible" environment will serve us, them and our users.

Ean Schuessler, CTO Brainfood.com
ean@brainfood.com - http://www.brainfood.com - 214-720-0700 x 315

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