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Re: Possible draft non-free firmware option with SC change

On Wed, Sep 07, 2022 at 10:48:36AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
>Between one thing and another I've not been tracking the timeline of this
>vote and I'm worried we may be out of time for new ballot options and
>possibly extensions.
>(As promised in the previous vote for changing the timing of GRs, I've
>been watching the timing closely and the last couple have felt rushed.
>When there's a quiet period, I'm considering proposing a small
>constitutional amendment to relax the timelines a bit based on that
>experience.  But we can discuss that separately.)
>If there is time left, though, I'm considering proposing the following
>option based on my earlier message, just so that there's something on the
>ballot that explicitly modifies the Social Contract to allow for non-free
>firmware, in case people want that for clarity.
>I should stress that I'm not involved in this part of Debian directly and
>am not a great choice for a proponent, so I'd be happy if someone else
>took that over, but it does feel to me like it would be good to have this
>explicitly on the ballot.
>Possible wording, which includes the existing option A verbatim:
>This ballot option supersedes the Debian Social Contract (a foundation
>document) under point 4.1.5 of the constitution and thus requires a 3:1
>The Debian Social Contract is replaced with a new version that is
>identical to the current version in all respects except that it adds the
>following sentence to the end of point 5:
>    The Debian official media may include firmware that is otherwise not
>    part of the Debian system to enable use of Debian with hardware that
>    requires such firmware.
>The Debian Project also makes the following statement on an issue of the
>We will include non-free firmware packages from the "non-free-firmware"
>section of the Debian archive on our official media (installer images and
>live images). The included firmware binaries will normally be enabled by
>default where the system determines that they are required, but where
>possible we will include ways for users to disable this at boot (boot menu
>option, kernel command line etc.).
>When the installer/live system is running we will provide information to
>the user about what firmware has been loaded (both free and non-free), and
>we will also store that information on the target system such that users
>will be able to find it later. Where non-free firmware is found to be
>necessary, the target system will also be configured to use the
>non-free-firmware component by default in the apt sources.list file. Our
>users should receive security updates and important fixes to firmware
>binaries just like any other installed software.
>We will publish these images as official Debian media, replacing the
>current media sets that do not include non-free firmware packages.

Thanks Russ!


Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
The two hard things in computing:
 * naming things
 * cache invalidation
 * off-by-one errors                  -- Stig Sandbeck Mathisen

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