[Mageia-dev] Non-free firmwares in installer

Frank Griffin ftg at roadrunner.com
Sun Mar 27 00:34:21 CET 2011

On 03/26/2011 01:11 AM, andre999 wrote:
> Frank Griffin a écrit :
> From what you say, there are not a lot of points of disagreement 
> between us, on this issue.
> We both have contributed to open source for a long time, you 
> apparently mostly on developement/packaging, myself mostly 
> translating/ aide in forums, with some contributions to development.  
> (Currently an apprentice packager.)
> You find 2 isos a minor inconvenience, but in practice normally 
> install online, from cooker/cauldron.

Actually, what I wrote was that I hadn't used ISOs since I discovered 
cooker.  I used them before that for many years (since about MDV 7.2), 
In fact, in the mkcd days, I used to burn all 9 of the 650-700MB CDs 
needed to contain the full package set.

> Myself, I find a single DVD that contains everything I need to get a 
> fully working system (in terms of hardware/drivers) a major 
> convenience, and do not have the luxury of the bandwidth necessary to 
> install from the internet.
> I don't know if you have ever installed from Mandriva's 3-cd set, but 
> juggling 3 cds on installing a package is a hassle that I very much 
> prefer to avoid.  One iso is great.

Given the state of current technology, if you don't have the bandwidth 
to do network installs, then you are understandably at the low end of 
the marketing curve, and pretty much have to take what you can find.

Don't get me wrong, I've been there.  I've been an OS/2 enthusiast for 
years (actually, decades now), and I know what it is to be on the short 
end of the supply curve.  And for about a year in 2003, the town I moved 
to had no broadband, and I maintained my cooker tree via dialup (god 
help us all).

Through all this, my mindset was that I chose or had had imposed upon me 
these restrictions.  I bore my Windows friends no animus for the fact 
that I had to jump through hoops to either find equivalent apps or run 
theirs under emulation in order to interact with others in my office.  I 
did what I had to do in order to run the system I wanted to run, and I 
assure you that juggling a few disks during the install would have been 
the least of my worries.

For you to complain that because you have minimal network access, the 
rest of the Mageia community should bend over backwards to avoid your 
having to swap a few CDs during install is a pretty hollow argument, in 
my opinion.

> As well, I appreciate very much the ability to do a complete, fully 
> working reinstall without internet access.
> (To facilitate this, I keep packages installed from sources other than 
> the DVD in a separate partition.)
> The single DVD is not only useful for myself.  It is handy to promote 
> Linux as well.  Unfortunately, with missing firmware and drivers, the 
> DVD will not fully work on many systems.  And new users prefer a 
> _single_ iso that just works.  Having to juggle isos is a deterant.

I'm sorry, but I don't accept this argument.  It hasn't been so long 
since Windows installed from multiple floppies.  I would accept that a 
new user who had been given the impression that the single DVD was all 
he needed would be annoyed if he found that the resulting system didn't 
work, but if it is shoved in the user's face that the second ISO is 
needed, I very much doubt that even a new user would try to install from 
the one ISO and complain about it.

> On the question of space on the DVD, you must admit that all the 
> (non-free) firmware and drivers (not already included) would not take 
> an enormous amount of space.

And therefore, downloading an ISO for them could be done under dialup, 
or even two tin cans and a string.

> Note that on the Mandriva 2010.2 DVD, for example, the 2 biggest games 
> take about 100 M and 40 M repectively.
> It is simply a matter of priorities.

This is a completely separate topic.  I tried to avoid it, because every 
time it surfaces in the cooker ML it results in a flame war between 
countless parties all jockeying to get their favorite app on the single 
DVD.  If you want to jump into this, feel free, but not with me.  I 
don't care what is or isn't on the primary ISO.

> In sum, it is easy to understand your point of view, as you don't 
> (normally) use isos.
> Please understand the point of view of those who do, particularly 
> those who have serious bandwidth restrictions.

I do understand your point of view, but I don't espouse it to the point 
of saying that Mageia should trim its primary DVD or shuffle its 
contents just to save people with limited bandwidth having to juggle a 
few disks during an install.

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