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Re: New section for firmware.

Josselin Mouette wrote:

> Le mardi 23 décembre 2008 à 13:07 +0100, Kurt Roeckx a écrit :
>> The idea is to create a new section that contains files like
>> firmware images and FPGA data that gets written to the hardware
>> to make it fully functional.  It is not meant for drivers that run
>> on the host CPU.
> There is no reason to restrict this area to firmware images.

SC 5:   "We have created contrib and non-free areas in our archive for these 
        works. The packages in these areas are not part of the Debian
        system,although they have been configured for use with Debian."

Would the packages in this "firmware-sourceless-notmain" section be "part of
the Debian system" or not ?

Would it be a "sourceless main" or an "important non-free" ?

And if this section is not considered "part of the Debian system", why
including software from it on the Debian CD's ? (The inverse question is to
be answered too…)

> How about “Software that is not executed on the host CPU” ? That can
> include e.g. non-free documentation, which clearly doesn’t belong in the
> same place than nVidia binary drivers.

If the section would be considered "part of the Debian system", some
documentation from "outside" the Debian system (non-free) would migrate to
the Debian system, without any change in licence. This is a big move.

>> The new section should also be available on our CD/DVD images,
>> so that users can just take a CD/DVD and that it works without
>> having to search for the needed firmware and provide it on an
>> other medium to the installer.
> I think we should clearly separate it on a different medium, except for
> netinst images, for which there could be two versions.

Why not. But then, would the netinst images be "images of the Debian
system" ?

> BTW, do we really need yet another vote for that? If there is consensus
> on the usefulness, isn’t it enough to have the approval of the FTP
> masters and the d-i developers?

Regarding the questions above, I think that they have to be carefully
handled and answered, because this would be a section where the
DFSG-compliance requirement is clearly weakened[0].

A statement from the Debian project as whole by the way of a GR (yet another
GR I agree) would be necessary for such a modification of "the Debian
system". This would formalize the felt consensus in stone and be a clear
message to the outside too.

Best regards, 


[0] Quoting the original proposal: "The files in this area should not comply
with the DFSG #2, #3 and #4, but should comply with the rest of the the

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