What should be Debian's priorities for Etch?

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What is the most important for the release of Etch?

Release on time (early december)
140
54%
Do not ship sourceless firmware in main
39
15%
Support hardware that requires sourceless firmware
78
30%
 
Total votes : 257

What should be Debian's priorities for Etch?

Postby Jeroen » 2006-08-28 15:20

What is the most important for the release of Etch?

Please see also the poll about the choice to make

For more details about this poll, please read the announcement by the current DPL, Anthony Towns:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-an ... 00015.html
Last edited by Jeroen on 2006-08-29 22:00, edited 1 time in total.
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ecth release

Postby thomas_simon » 2006-08-29 08:21

I'd rather have etch on time with support off non-free firwares in the main section and as other i think it would make sens if the next release assumes those firmware with the installer from non-free instead of the main section letting you free to install those firmware if needed.
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Releasing does not contravene a (more) free Debian.

Postby brsa » 2006-08-29 12:45

I voted for "Release on time" because under the given circumstances that's the best thing for both - the Debian project and its users.
Still, I support the effort to get source for firmware. It's the right way to go.
And of course I expect Debian rather to release late than instable.
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Postby Baptiste » 2006-08-29 19:17

I voted Release Etch because that's my first choice anyway, but I would like choice 2 to be clearer: is this about sourceless firmware in main just for Etch, or in general ?
I'm not confortable with sourceless firmware in main, but I'm willing to do an exception for one release or two, as it is not an practical problem for now. However, I am a little worried when I see some Debian developpers trying to redefine the words in the DFSG to allow them forever (cf debian-vote).
So I want to make it clear that my vote is not an endorsement of sourceless firmware in main, but only a short term exception.
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Postby the-me » 2006-08-29 20:52

Hello,
In my opinion, it's important to support as many hardware as it's able to support, only then is everyone able to install and use debian etch.
For example, many people have problems to setup their wireless lan, which isn't easy all time and for novices somestimes very difficult.
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Postby dlang » 2006-08-29 23:31

given that there would be absolutely no issue with the devices if the exact same binary was pre-installed on the card in ROM I don't agree with the banninf of firmware from main in the first place.

don't get me wrong, I love modifying devices and replacing/tweaking the firmware running on devices and cards. I just don't see the point of saying that the firmware is find if it's on the card to start with, but not fine if we feed it to the card at initialization. the second seems more favorable to hacking to me (and far safer to tinker with then something that requires reprogramming flash while running the risk of trashing the bootloader)
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Postby Bulkley » 2006-08-29 23:45

Fix the fonts problem. Far too many users are having problems when they upgrade to Etch.
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Postby rickh » 2006-08-30 02:14

On this thread, we see the result of making Debian so easy to install ... All Newbies think frequent releases are more important than principle. (Who cares if it's free, just make it work on my laptop.) That's the attitude of several distos ... which I think all newbies should have to use for a year, or until they can clearly explain the issues.
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Postby DeanLinkous » 2006-08-30 02:43

Just for the record I never said that frequent releases are more important than principle. Since this is firmware it isn't quite as much a issue to me. Isn't having a release that is usable important. Isn't that what having a distro is actually about?

Nobody is going to question Debians commitment to free even with firmware in main. Can the same be said if we have yet another release that is dragged out for way too long and the current stable release that is old and outdated?

btw-where were all you free protesters when this stuff crept into main?

I also think using the term 'newbie' in a derogatory sense is crude and uncalled for and I will leave it at that...

This truly doesn't concern me since I will use Debian one way or another, other decisions have been made that I was not overly happy with but I get over it. I am usually gung-ho about free and want to see debian in the forefront when it comes to free but I want more for debian than just being free. Let us improve across the board, we have improved in free, can we not also implement improvements in other areas as well WHILE working on the freedom issues as well.

Okay, I have posted way too much and rambled on way too long. I will shut up. Either way I will use Debian until the day that I make my own distro and since I have talked about it for years and years it probably will never happen. :) Peace to all.
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Postby rickh » 2006-08-30 03:12

DeanLinkous wrote:btw-where were all you free protesters when this stuff crept into main?
I was using Fedora and Mandrake in those days, and the issue of 'freedom' was never part of the discussion. When I more or less accidently installed Sarge (then testing) I was amazed at what a really mature distribution offered. As I learned more about the differences, it dawned on me that the Debian Contract, and the cumbersome democracy were what made the difference. There is nothing wrong with being a little slow when it results in the right decision.

I also think using the term 'newbie' in a derogatory sense is crude and uncalled for and I will leave it at that...
OK. I'm sorry. If one's newness is evaluated by the number of posts on this forum, I'm pretty new myself.

...I will use Debian one way or another,...
... as will I.
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Postby emmanuel_halbwachs » 2006-08-30 22:09

I voted "release on time", because the delay between woody and sarge
was a kind of traumatic experience at work or with sysadmin colleagues.

It is OK to "release when it's ready", but IMHO with a max time between
releases. 1.5 years seems OK for me. I have to say that backports.org is
of great help to bear waiting for the next stable release, especially for
the desktop use. And no, using testing for desktop use in production is
not an option :-)

I can remember how painful it was to install the old woody kernel
on a fairly recent server with hardware RAID. The aim is to use Debian in
production. It is OK to spend few hours to install Debian, but not days.
Bosses will just say "go ahead with Fedora/Ubuntu/etc."

I would have vote "Support hardware that requires sourceless firmware"
for second choice. While I support strongly Debian's (and others, like
OpenBSD) activism against sourceless firmware, I think we should
find a balance between philosophy and pragmatism (sorry RMS). Let's
face it: OS is ony useful if it runs on your hardware. Geeks now how

to choose hardware to match FLOSS OS, average joe not. And in
production environment, you don't have always the choice of server
hardware. When I try to convince friends/family to try Debian on
their personnal Windows PC, if the hardware (e. g. network interface,
wireless or not) is not recognized straight ahead, the experience is
over. Ubuntu is a popular choice around me because
it installs flawlessly most of the time, espacially on laptops.

The best could be a message from the installer like "OK, the installer
detected some hardware that needs sourceless firmware. Philosophically,
the Debian project dislike blabla. Would you llike to continue with or
without those firmware". Then, average joe can be sensibilized to a
problem he/she probably never heard before.

Anyway, thanks for the great work!
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Postby daucus » 2006-09-03 08:59

I would have voted for getting etch on time, but since i know that after a release the bosses would have not accepted a new release after a few months, i cast my vote for "wait until it is ready for installing binaries from non free.
I am fundmantally not against using testing. Until sarge all production server havd always run on testing on my organization. so three months ahead should not be a problem.
I would rather take a different approach:
There are binaries and binaries. i would split in categories:
1. binaries that fit all the following conditions:
a. are redistributable
b. does run on processors on the peripherals
c. does not read or write on main memory
d. in sot strictly kernel version dependent
e. license allows decompiling for ispection
2. a. througt d. as 1
e. is used for non critical devices, that is:
printers, scanners, audio/video devices, radio tuners
3. a. througt d. as 1
e. is used for device whose use could be subject to data leaks, such
drivers for encription chips, disk controller (you could lose privacy if
you pass the files encoded or saved on disk to other people)
network controllers, modems

Drivers that are on category 1 should go on main;
drivers on category 2 go on main, with a warning on installation
drivers in category 3 should go on non-free, with a prompt on installation that force the user to acknowledge that use of such drivers could be unsafe.
if a driver otherwise in category 1 would not fit condition b and/or c would go in category 2;
if a driver otherwise in category 2 would not fit condition b and/or c would go in category 3.

emmanuel_halbwachs wrote:The best could be a message from the installer like "OK, the installer
detected some hardware that needs sourceless firmware. Philosophically,
the Debian project dislike blabla. Would you like to continue with or
without those firmware". Then, average joe can be sensibilized to a
problem he/she probably never heard before.
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Postby Kaitlyn » 2006-09-10 07:14

I more or less agree with emmanuel_halbwachs. There's too much we're waiting for to hold it back arbitrarily. Full AMD64 support, X.org, and so on. Just days ago, there was a discussion on the S3 Savage mailing list where someone was told X.org is required for the 3D support he wanted, but he said he was stuck with XFree86 because that's all that Debian stable has. (Yes, someone did tell him about backports.) Someone in this forum once made a point by leaving out the "b" in "stable". Do we want to be thought of as users of the Retro Distro?

We know about the GPL and the LGPL. The LGPL's very name (Lesser GPL) connotes something of lower desirability. We can do the same with a secondary status. The installer can pause and say secondary hardware support is required for list_of_hardware_items. Maybe the user won't care and will just leave it/them unsupported in their final Debian install. But if the user does continue, then the next screen lists each item with a checkbox to enable each device -- and then, at the bottom, another checkbox you must check to continue. This other box has a statement that updates/fixes for these devices may not be timely (or ever) issued. That should get more interest than a philosophical statement alone. Next to that, put a clickable "Why is this?" button so someone can read the philosophical statement and the problems manufacturers cause by not issuing full source.
There are those who say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. I can only observe that those people never had dial-up Internet service. -- Frank Cagle
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Postby richbarna » 2006-10-01 19:47

I would just like to see gcc 4.2 if possible, the rest that I have read is all good. The ideal release for me would have gnome 2.16 and gcc 4.2, I'm very easy to please ;)
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Postby ajdlinux » 2006-10-01 22:20

richbarna wrote:I would just like to see gcc 4.2 if possible, the rest that I have read is all good. The ideal release for me would have gnome 2.16 and gcc 4.2, I'm very easy to please ;)


Won't happen, as I've said in other threads the toolchain freeze has started and gcc 4.2 won't be released in time. GNOME 2.16 is in experimental however seeing how busy the maintainers are stabilising everything that probably won't get into Etch before the complete freeze.
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