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Re: Changing how we handle non-free firmware

Quoting Kurt Roeckx (2022-09-03 20:28:35)
> On Tue, Aug 23, 2022 at 10:39:57AM +0200, Simon Josefsson wrote:
> > As far as I can tell, both Steve's and Gunnar's proposal would make
> > Debian less of a free software operating system than it is today.  That
> > makes me sad.  My preference for an outcome would be along the following
> > lines.
> > 
> > ==================
> > 
> > We continue to stand by the spirit of the Debian Social Contract §1
> > which says:
> > 
> >    Debian will remain 100% free
> > 
> >    We provide the guidelines that we use to determine if a work is
> >    "free" in the document entitled "The Debian Free Software
> >    Guidelines". We promise that the Debian system and all its components
> >    will be free according to these guidelines. We will support people
> >    who create or use both free and non-free works on Debian. We will
> >    never make the system require the use of a non-free component.
> > 
> > Therefor we will not include any non-free software in Debian, nor in the
> > main archive or installer/live/cloud or other official images, and will
> > not enable anything from non-free or contrib by default.
> I can interprete that as having non-free available and installed by default
> is acceptable, as long as there is a way not to use the non-free part.
> > We also continue to stand by the spirit of the Debian Social Contract §5
> > which says:
> > 
> >    Works that do not meet our free software standards
> > 
> >    We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of works that
> >    do not conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. 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. We encourage
> >    CD manufacturers to read the licenses of the packages in these areas
> >    and determine if they can distribute the packages on their CDs. Thus,
> >    although non-free works are not a part of Debian, we support their
> >    use and provide infrastructure for non-free packages (such as our bug
> >    tracking system and mailing lists).
> > 
> > Thereby re-inforcing the interpretation that any installer or image with
> > non-free software on it is not part of the Debian system, but that we
> > support their use and welcome others to distribute such work.
> As you indicate yourself, this is an interpretation of the SC. I would
> really prefer that such a question was not open to interpretation and
> that the SC was changed to make it more clear what we mean.
> I don't actually understand what this part of your text is saying. Are
> you saying that an image with non-free software on it is non-official
> because it's not part of the Debian system? That is not something I read
> in that text.

I think the key to understanding that paragraph is an implied assumption
that some installer *is* considered part of the Debian system - i.e. "a
system of installer and installable packages" (which is different from
"an operating system resulting from executing an installer").

I worry that the multiple meanings of "system" in ballot texts will lead
to confusion/frustration over how to vote and how to interpret the
result of the vote.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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