The way is cleared for Debian 5

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The way is cleared for Debian 5

Postby julian67 » 2009-01-03 09:27

http://www.heise-online.co.uk/open/The-way-is-cleared-for-Debian-5--/news/112342

The Debian developers have decided to release the upcoming Debian 5 (Lenny) with proprietary firmware files to expedite the completion of the Linux distributions next release. The vote itself had several options for dealing with proprietary firmware, from a complete elimination of it, even if it meant more delays for Lenny, to an explicit waiver of the source code requirement for firmware files. The winning option was "assume blobs comply with the GPL unless proven otherwise", a principle which declares proprietary firmware as undesirable, but allows for the earlier release of Debian 5 to take priority over the removal of questionable firmware.
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Postby Zero » 2009-01-03 12:49

Interesting. I was of the belief that this sort of thing was put on the backburner to expedite the release of Etch, and would be dealt with in the next release (Lenny). This is not the outcome I was expecting. But at least a decision has finally been made. Thanks for the heads up. :)
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Postby Pick2 » 2009-01-03 13:10

It Figures ... :roll:
Just DL'd the 12/31/08 weekly Lenny CD and started installing it to a few Blades.
Got tired of waiting :)
So far , not one problem !
At least I'm rid of my 2 Kubuntu installs :lol:
Only a dozen more Etch to go !
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Postby BioTube » 2009-01-03 15:11

Waiting until The Freeze is what doomed this proposition. The comment on the story claims it's "sad' the dds made this "ubuntuite" decision, but you don't change things up at the last minute - that's the true "ubuntuite" path.
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Postby julian67 » 2009-01-03 15:20

The whole thing seems inevitable because it's a contentious issue which most people prefer to avoid if possible, which means when a stable release is approaching readiness the issue becomes completely unavoidable and becomes the crucial issue to be voted on. I'm sure we'll see something similar next time.
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Re: The way is cleared for Debian 5

Postby lolanoob » 2009-01-06 20:55

julian67 wrote:
The Debian developers have decided to release the upcoming Debian 5 (Lenny) with proprietary firmware files to expedite the completion of the Linux distributions next release.


Great. Now it's just like Ubuntu. :evil:
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Postby julian67 » 2009-01-06 21:09

In fact it's the same position as when Etch was released with the exception that there are fewer of these blobs overall. It's no more or less like Ubuntu than it was 18 months ago. But it's much easier to make a highly selective quote, totally miss the context of the vote, and then bitch about it.

Clearly firmware known to be non-compliant with dfsg is not included and firmware whose status/origin is not known remains until determined.
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Postby lancelot » 2009-01-06 22:06

Not very aware of this, just curious, at which point and whatfor are the firmwares necessary in the release process?
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Postby julian67 » 2009-01-06 22:28

lancelot wrote:Not very aware of this, just curious, at which point and whatfor are the firmwares necessary in the release process?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_blob#Firmware

Firmware, the operating software required by a device's onboard microcontroller that accompanies some hardware, is generally not considered to be a binary blob....... Often firmware is stored in onboard flash memory, but to decrease costs and ease upgrading, some manufacturers now use external firmware uploaded by the operating system. Although the firmware is present in the operating system, it is merely copied to the device and not executed by the CPU, lessening concerns about hidden security flaws. .....


The Linux kernel contains most drivers you'll ever need. Some would be useless without accompanying firmware.
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Postby lancelot » 2009-01-06 23:42

Thanks it's clear.

Blame my general ignorance of hardware, I wasn't aware that firmwares are also present on a piece of electronics that is just a component and not a standalone machine per se (like a router would be; so I thought that a firmware would always be some sort of OS-light).
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