[Mageia-dev] Non-free firmwares in installer
bgmilne at staff.telkomsa.net
Fri Mar 25 08:17:27 CET 2011
----- "andre999" <andr55 at laposte.net> wrote:
> My though was essentially that firmware is so close to hardware that
> actual free/non-free status shouldn't apply - we should treat it like
> (almost) part of the hardware.
I would agree, but some people wouldn't.
> As for the drivers, a little more distant from the hardware, they
> be in non-free, but I sincerely think that they should be on all
> installation isos.
I wouldn't say "all".
> That is, on installing from an iso, all hardware-related functions
> should (ideally) be fully functional, even if it requires using
IMHO, not without informing the user, so that they have the choice (e.g. to consider replacing the hardware by something supported by free software => supporting vendors who support free software).
> The lack of some drivers (or components of drivers) can render a
> technically functional, but with important dysfunctions, simply
> the required drivers were not available on installation.
> That should not happen.
IMHO, that is not *our* choice to make for the user.
> The kernel, firmware and drivers, built on the hardware, provide a
> platform on which the application software runs.
> True, it is better if drivers are open source, but in my view, it is
> application software where open source is the most important.
But, that is *your* view.
IMHO, some of these questions should be posed to the community.
For example, maybe we should brand ISO releases as something like "Mageia Libre" and "Mageia Gratis" (note, not a "Mageia" and "Mageia limited" or similar, give equal standing to both releases), where Libre would include no non-free software of any kind on the media, users using Libre would never be prompted about non-free software (without opting in, by e.g. installing a different release package). Gratis would include non-free software/firmware required to enable hardware or specific hardware features.
I think it may be worthwhile catering to users who would like to follow FSF Free distribution guidelines as closely as possible, by providing a release that is as close as practically possible to these guidelines (but still making it possible for pragmatic users to have a good experience).
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