Debian's "dwindling popularity" seems to be a major push behind the arguments I'm seeing for proprietary firmware. Ubuntu bashing is so last season but I think its clear that, in these discussions, "losing developers and users" is code for "losing developers and users to Ubuntu". With that in mind, please review this news story:
To me, this puts things in perspective. Debian has been slaving away on ARM support for years. The vast majority of "Ubuntu ARM" is just a coat of paint on Debian's handiwork. Yet, is the ARM marketing VP sweatily telling us how Debian will "enable rapid growth, with Internet-everywhere, connected, ultraportable devices"? Heck no. The predictable result is that the next generation of Linux-based ARM based thingies will be running Ubuntu and not Debian. That will give them lots of users that we will never have a chance at, no matter how much proprietary firmware we bundle in.
There may be other solutions to this problem but I think we have to correctly identify the source first.
Ean Schuessler, CTO Brainfood.com
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