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Re: Changing how we handle non-free firmware

On Tue, Aug 30, 2022 at 03:11:25PM -0500, Richard Laager wrote:
> > I like to discussion about anything related to this, so that I can at
> > least get an idea what the consensus is.
> DSC 1 and DSC 5 have some implications about "the Debian system" vis-a-vis
> non-free, but the plan here is to keep the firmware in a separate
> non-free-firmware analogous to non-free. That seems fine to me.
> DSC 1 says we will never "require the use of a non-free component". To me,
> this is the major relevant issue.
> Proposals B and C offer users the explicit choice of media. That feels
> clearly compatible with the DSC, as users are not required to use non-free
> bits.
> Proposal A will use non-free-firmware by default, but "where possible...will
> include ways for users to disable this". Without the "where possible", I
> think this opt-out is compatible with the DSC. However, if it is not
> possible to disable the non-free-firmware, then it feels like the system is,
> in fact, requiring it. Thus this option, as worded, feels potentially
> incompatible with the DSC.

It that it says "at boot". That seems to imply that it will get
installed, but it might not get used, which might at least surprise
some people. But maybe that's only for the live images.

Note that the SC only says: "require the use of a non-free component".
This can be interpreted as having it installed is not a problem as
long as it's not used.

I think there are people that want to use the official image but don't
want anything non-free installed, nor want it in the sources.list file.
So they might want to have an installer that supports that.

So I think I have to agree that the "where possible" is probably not
compatible with the SC. I think it should be more explicit that it will
be possible to disable the use of non-free firmware.

SC #5 says that contrib and non-free is not part of the Debian system.
But talks about CDs that can include such packages. It seems that we
find it acceptable that installation and live media contains non-free
software. But clearly there are people who don't agree with this.

Other questions I still have:
- Can a GR overrule the SC without explicitly saysing so, and does it
  then need a 3:1 super majority? Currently I think it should explicitly
  change the SC.
- Is opt-out good enough, or does it need to be opt-in?
- Does SC #5 need to be changes since we're adding a non-free-firmware

I will likely say that option A is not compatible with the SC and
invalid. Please either change the text, or try to convince me otherwise.
I did not see any arguments of why it would not conflict.


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