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

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 13:19:19 -0500

    The proposal above would still show the name of the firmware programs in
    source code.  I'm not sure they have to be mangled or removed from the
    sources, because sources are, in a way, passive.  I was focused on
    fixing the problem of actively recommending non-Free Software through

I am not 100% convinced I agree, but I don't see a specific reason to
disagree, so I agree tentatively.

    Per the idea above, if the kernel is not told that a certain piece of
    firmware is available, it won't issue requests for it, and it will only
    report an error that firmware is missing: same as currently, minus the
    unsatisfyable request for a "/*(DEBLOBBED)*/" firmware file.

Does "currently" mean "in the current version of Linux Libre"?

There is something here I don't follow.  I see two separate technical
questions, and I don't see how they relate.

1. How and when Linux gets the list of firmware programs installed.
It could get this list by reading a directory, or some other way.
It could get this list once at startup, or it could check again
whenever it wants a firmware program.

2. What it says when the firmware program is not available.

To me, these two questions seem independent.  You seem to be saying
that a change in (1) would affect (2), but I don't see how that is so.
Could you explain?

Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110

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