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Re: on firmware (possible proposal)

On Fri, Nov 14, 2008 at 06:54:52PM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
> On Friday 14 November 2008, you wrote:
> > I believe Debian has
> > remained important over time because, despite our various social
> > failings, they *respect* our ideology.
> And I believe that Debian is becoming increasingly marginal because users 
> are driven away to other distros.

Ironicaly, it is possible that both are right.  It is staying in this "middle
stage" that harms us the most, since we're heavily criticized from both sides.

Furthermore, we can't really satisfy everyone.  If we get closer to the
non-free side, we'll still be beaten by distributions which go further.  If
we include firmware, they will include Nvidious blobs.  If we include Nvidious
blobs, they will include Adobe Flash.  Etc.  This is a big part of how Ubuntu
earned this reputation of "being easy to setup" (they used our code to betray
our goals, and now somehow we're looking at them for inspiration..).

If we get closer to the free side, and provide a 100% free main like we used to,
we'll still be criticised for having a non-free repository, or for having
unofficial non-free installers.

This is why I think that worriing so much about what _others_ think is a
pointless exercise.  Heck, if people think our stance on freedom is wrong,
they most likely have already abandoned us in favour of other options (be
it e.g. Ubuntu or Gnewsense).  Those who have stayed with us to this date
is because they _like_ our current compromise, because they care about
freedom, even if they sacrifice their beliefs for practical reasons, and
install non-free software.  But when they do, they want to know they did.

Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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