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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze

From: Nicolás Reynolds
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 10:16:07 -0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

El 16/12/10 11:12, Henry Jensen dijo:
> Thanks for your work. As I see it the main difference between the
> Squeeze kernel and Linux-Libre is the ability to load non-free firmware
> and as such the very mentioning of non-free firmware files in the
> soruce code.
> The Squeeze kernel is still able to load non-free firmware, but it's
> not delivered in the main repository (it is in the non-free repo,
> Linux-Libre isn't able to load non-free firmware, even if you obtain
> the non-free firmware files somehow.
> So, it's a matter of attitude. Do we give the user the opportunity to
> use non-free software if he wishes to do so, despite the
> recommendations, or do we prevent it proactively? 
> For example, GNU Icecat doesn't suggest non-free plugins. But Icecat is
> still able to load non-free plugins, it is not prevented proactively.
> Of course, the main difference is, that non-free software isn't
> mentioned in the Icecat source code (at least I assume so, I didn't
> check), where non-free software is explicitly mentioned hard-coded in
> the source code, so the situation is only slightly comparable.
> Giving the user the ability to use non-free software without any
> comment leads to a situation where unexperienced users might be not
> knowing what they are doing. For example Debian help forums are full of
> advices for novice users to activate the non-free repository. Same goes
> for Fedora where novice users are encouraged in forums to integrate
> non-official repositories with non-free software.
> To proactively prevent the use of non-free software on the other hand 
> is censorship. I recall RMS pointing out in an interview that any free
> operating system should allow to do anything. I CC him, maybe he has
> some thoughts to add.
> Kind regards,
> Henry
> On Wed, 15 Dec 2010 10:56:07 -0800 (PST)
> "Jason Self" <address@hidden> wrote:
> > In light of Debian's recent announcement [1] I and others were interested 
> > in how
> > well the Debian folks cleaned up their kernel. I proceeded to grab the 
> > source
> > for the Squeeze kernel, ran the linux-libre deblobbing script on it, and 
> > then
> > diffed it against the original to see what had changed.
> > 
> > The full deblob log [2] & diff [3] is available to anyone that's interested 
> > in
> > knowing.
> > 
> > [1]
> > [2]
> > [3]

I recall this discussion had place a year ago between linux-libre and ututo (I
mean between people behind those projects), where your same arguments were

And IIRC, finally there was a note in the linux-libre site saying that loading
nonfree firmware isn't banned anymore. Haven't tested it though, and I can't
seem to find it...

I'm CCing the lists where the discussion had place.

Nicolás Reynolds,
gnu/linux user #455044

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