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Re: Proposed wording for the SC modification

----- "Peter Palfrader" <weasel@debian.org> wrote:

> This is not part of my GR as proposed and seconded.
> If anybody wants to change the words of either the DFSG or the SC they
> will need to propose an amendmend.
> As proposed this clarifies my and other people's view of what our
> foundation documents mean.  You are welcome to add a
> note/comment/explanation to the SC, but this doesn't modify it.

A desktop with a "host cpu" and components with "firmware" is directly analogous to a small cluster of computers. There is no *real* difference between a host programming its RAID controller and a cluster manager handing a blade its boot image. You are engaging in a mental evasion that, for you, allows your proposal to make sense. If you want this proposal to become law then you must come to terms with the fact that you are asking the project to distribute small non-free programs for execution on a variety of (usually) simplified architectures attached to the system by some network/bus. In the case of graphics, TOE, iSCSI and RAID the attached controller may not even be that much less capable than the "host". Trying to differentiate between a USB bus and an Ethernet network in any meaningful way just blurs the picture further. I have drivers installed that upload firmware to my MIDI keyboard. I extracted the firmware from the windows executable they shipped me. Is my usb-attached sythensizer a computer? Do you want my Windows EXE extracted firmware in main? I can probably get m-Audio to approve us including it.

You are asking the project to distribute a certain class of non-free software out of convenience. To square that act with our social contract you must alter our social contract's meaning. There is no way around it. Remember, the point of Debian is to keep code off of your computer that you can't understand (or at least have the opportunity to understand). If you don't have the source for your machine's behavior, or are locked out of it, you can't know for sure what it is doing with your information. We want to be sure and so do our *real* users.

ps. Take all of that with a grain of salt since I agree that we should release Lenny with continued *temporary* exceptions for problematic, popular firmware.

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

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