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

On Thu, Sep 08, 2022 at 05:22:58PM +0200, Simon Josefsson wrote:
>Simon Richter <sjr@debian.org> writes:
>> The reason I'm in favor of changing the SC is not that I believe it to
>> be a good thing, but that I think we need to stay relevant for running 
>> on actual hardware, and changing the SC now is the only way to do so
>> given that the actual hardware is non-free.
>What has changed making us fear Debian's relevancy, and is compromising
>on our ideals the best way to deal with that?
>I recall the same situation with hardware requiring non-free software
>since I started with computers and free software back in the mid 1990's.
>The challenge will continue be the same as long as there is proprietary
>software.  The amount of hardware compatible with free software is
>enourmously larger today than it was back then.  I don't see that Debian
>or other free software projects having become less relevant over the
>years.  In fact, I perceive sticking to these principles (while offering
>high quality products and processes) has been instrumental to shift the
>proprietary software industry our way.  People will continue to talk bad
>about free software, and promote proprietary software, but I am hoping
>Debian will be a factor against that.

You're missing the point. Debian will *still* be producing Free
Software. We're talking about enabling people to *use* that Free
Software on the computers they already *have*, not some idealised Free
Software compatible computers that barely exist today. It's just like
the FSF providing support to users wanting to run software on top of
proprietary OSes back in the day.

If new users cannot sensibly install and use our Free Software on the
computers they have, they'll go elsewhere. We won't get the
opportunity to educate them about the benefits of Debian and Free
Software if they've already discarded our installation media and moved
on. We don't get new users, we don't get new developers.

None of us *like* this situation, but we have a pragmatic solution.

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
'There is some grim amusement in watching Pence try to run the typical
 "politician in the middle of a natural disaster" playbook, however
 incompetently, while Trump scribbles all over it in crayon and eats some
 of the pages.'   -- Russ Allbery

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