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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.
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.
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.
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.
the #radeon irc channel ends up with the support burden not the Debian freedom fighters.
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.