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Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

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  • #11
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
    debian is on a fast track to becoming most useless distro ever with that kind of attitude.
    Yes, because installing the firmware manually is waaaay to hard...
    Blobs make the kernel harder to debug and test.

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    • #12
      The current changes in KDE/Gnome are very small. Squeeze looks similar to (K)ubuntu 10.04. Did you notice many changes compared to 10.10? I guess not. Also you are free to update the kernel to latest version, that's absolutely no problem.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
        The problem is the way the argument was framed, essentially everyone for the removal of firmware is thinking the firmware is similar to nvidia and fglrx.

        No one bothers pointing out that the "blobs" meet the requirements of the four freedoms. The only thing stopping anyone from reading and understanding the tables of numbers that make up most of the "blobs" is themselves.
        Wrong. A bunch of meaningless numbers is not open source. It needs to be unobfuscated. If your argument would hold, then all freeware would be open source. The only thing stopping you from understanding the output of a disassembler is yourself.

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        • #14
          Debian is very strict about distributing only free things in main. If it does not come in the preferred form for modification, then it is not free.

          This does not only apply to software/firmware, but also for fonts, artwork, etc.

          Some people seem to think that firmware needs to be retrofitted to live images for some users. But that is not true, the installer will come in a variant which includes propietary firmware.

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          • #15
            This means (among other things) no support for radeon hardware. That's a hard pill to take.

            I respect Debian for doing the thing that hurts over and over again in the name of software freedom. Still, it's a harsh decision.

            debian is on a fast track to becoming most useless distro ever with that kind of attitude.
            I don't think so.

            They've had that attitude since day one, and they have always been by far the most influential community distro, and arguably the most influential distro, period.

            They are not going anywhere.

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            • #16
              In the case of radeon microcode, the license is very restrictive: You are not even allowed to disassemble it (e.g. to write a free replacement). So any distribution which includes it and claims to uphold free/open source ideals is just hypocritical.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by d4ddi0 View Post
                2 thoughts...

                First, I'll bet this will make a more stable system on supported hardware. I can't imagine running straight debian on anything that isn't a server, so I imagine the negative impact is pretty limitted.

                Come on guys, this is the distro where "stable" has only been updated every three or four years (although I notice that **gasp** they just released lenny a short 1.5 years after etch)

                Second, Derivatives such as Ubuntu will certainly not follow suit unless the number of drivers needing firmware becomes less intimately tied to necessary services such as video and network.
                Not sure how you think removing something from the most tested configuration (upstream) can make something stabler, you'll find a whole set of bugs that nobody rightly cares about.

                Also this also means we can't really support Debian anymore since 90% of the people who turn up on irc will just be missing the firmware but the #radeon irc channel ends up with the support burden not the Debian freedom fighters.

                Dave.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Kano View Post
                  Nobody likes to do that with a live image.
                  Understandable and I totally agree, and what a shame Debian has to take this route

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by d4ddi0 View Post
                    Come on guys, this is the distro where "stable" has only been updated every three or four years
                    (although I notice that **gasp** they just released lenny a short 1.5 years after etch)
                    Let's take a look at the Debian release dates and times so far:
                    Debian 1.0 - never officially released
                    Debian 1.1 - 1996-06-17
                    Debian 1.2 - 1996-12-12 - 6 months
                    Debian 1.3 - 1997-06-05 - 6 months
                    Debian 2.0 - 1998-07-24 - 13 months (25 months since Debian 1.1)
                    Debian 2.1 - 1999-03-09 - 8 months
                    Debian 2.2 - 2000-08-15 - 17 months (25 months since Debian 2.0)
                    Debian 3.0 - 2002-07-19 - 23 months
                    Debian 3.1 - 2005-06-06 - 35 months
                    Debian 4.0 - 2007-04-08 - 22 months
                    Debian 5.0 - 2009-02-14 - 22 months

                    So, with one exception, Debian has been updated in at most 2 years.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by airlied View Post
                      the #radeon irc channel ends up with the support burden not the Debian freedom fighters.
                      Dave.
                      I'm guessing this is sort of the idea.
                      Debian can't support closed software since they can't do anything about it.
                      It seems natural to me that the only ones with understanding of the code,
                      possibility to change it and also legal right to change it are the ones supporting it.

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