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Re: New section for firmware.

On Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 01:07:43PM +0100, Kurt Roeckx wrote:
> I've been thinking about this proposal for some time, and I probably
> should have send this some time ago.  At least some people seem to
> have had simular ideas, so I wonder why nobody propsed anything like
> this.

> 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.

> 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.

While I think it would be reasonable to include sourceless firmware on our
CDs and DVDs, I don't think this is actually a very good solution to the
problem we face:

- if they're included on the official "Debian" images, they need to meet
  Debian's definition of "free".
- if the firmware are considered "free", then they can live in main.
- if the images the firmware is included on aren't Debian images, then there
  will (presumably) still be demand for pure Debian images, and we don't
  need to add a new archive section in order to include non-Debian stuff on
  the images

Having two sets of images doesn't make sense to me; the CD team have already
posted publically this cycle about the infrastructure challenges involved
with publishing those images that they already have to accomodate, doubling
the image count doesn't sound feasible, IMHO.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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