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Re: New section for firmware.

Johannes Wiedersich dijo [Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 03:25:52PM +0100]:
> I have one additional suggestion and a further question to the project.
> The suggestion is to add a debconf question to each installation from
> that 'firmware section'. This will honestly point out to users that they
> are about to install non-free stuff which is not part of debian proper [1].
> Now the question:
> Would this section not be better called 'sourceless'?
> IMHO this would better point out, where exactly the problem with it is
> (compared to 'firmware' or similar).
> It might be useful to allow sourceless documentation into that section
> as well. Documentation is not part of the OS in a strict sense (and also
> not software in a strict sense). While I agree that documentation should
> conform to the DFSG just like software, I have to admit that I believe
> that the 'entry barrier' for non-free documentation on my computer
> system should be lower than that for non-free code.
> (...)

Sometimes we don't include documentation not because it is sourceless
(at any rate, what is the source for a .txt file but that file
itself?), but because it is simply non-free. Think about the RFCs:
They are not legally modifiable. and there is _good_ reason for that
(i.e. if you modify/redistribute RFC821, you might trick somebody into
believing that GIVEMEROOTSHELL is a valid SMTP command).

We cannot create a new category for every different set of
freedoms/restrictions. I think Kurt's proposal is quite adequate for
_this_ specific situation, which has proven not to be a short-time
problem but something that we will probably face for good. We will
always have to work with hardware depending on sourceless firmware,
and this is a clean way out of that problem. As for documentation (or
for whatever else we currently have as non-free), we can always point
the users to the proper distribution site or whatever.


Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.org - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
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