DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib - Debian

This is a discussion on DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib - Debian ; hi everyone, the current situation concerning firmware blobs and dfsg-freeness is a bit sad, among other things because there really isn't too much we can do about it in the short run. so how about some practical proposal that we ...

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  1. DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    hi everyone,

    the current situation concerning firmware blobs and dfsg-freeness is a
    bit sad, among other things because there really isn't too much we can
    do about it in the short run. so how about some practical proposal that
    we can actually implement in a reasonable timeframe that gets us in a
    better position to deal with this in the long run? my idea would be:

    firmware blobs without source get put into non-free, firmware blobs with
    source but without the necessary free tools to generate the image end up
    in contrib, firmware which is cryptographically signed and can tehrefore
    not be modified goes to non-free. we relax the "main" requirements
    insofar that a package that depends on another package in non-free may
    stay in main (and doesn't have to go to contrib), if the contents of
    that other package are not executed or used on the main/host computer'c
    cpu, but on some additional hardware. (this would of course need to be
    phrased a bit better, but you get the idea).

    this way everyone could still use their computer (if using contrib and
    non-free), and not every other package will end up in contrib. main will
    contain less non-free code than it does now, end non-free code is marked
    as such...

    cu robert

    --
    Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com

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  2. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, 2008-10-30 at 10:34 +0000, Robert Lemmen wrote:
    > hi everyone,
    >
    > the current situation concerning firmware blobs and dfsg-freeness is a
    > bit sad, among other things because there really isn't too much we can
    > do about it in the short run. so how about some practical proposal that
    > we can actually implement in a reasonable timeframe that gets us in a
    > better position to deal with this in the long run? my idea would be:
    >
    > firmware blobs without source get put into non-free, firmware blobs with
    > source but without the necessary free tools to generate the image end up
    > in contrib, firmware which is cryptographically signed and can tehrefore
    > not be modified goes to non-free. we relax the "main" requirements
    > insofar that a package that depends on another package in non-free may
    > stay in main (and doesn't have to go to contrib), if the contents of
    > that other package are not executed or used on the main/host computer'c
    > cpu, but on some additional hardware. (this would of course need to be
    > phrased a bit better, but you get the idea).


    Not possible, non-free is not enabled by default. Suggests/Recommends:
    would be technically feasible though.

    William

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  3. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 05:31:44AM -0500, William Pit**** wrote:
    > Not possible, non-free is not enabled by default. Suggests/Recommends:
    > would be technically feasible though.


    true, perhaps we even need a special dependency type. but these are
    implementation issues. isn't the general route (put firmware in
    non-free, and make sure you can still use your system) what is most in
    line with how we deal with these things in debian?

    cu robert

    --
    Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com

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  4. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    Le jeudi 30 octobre 2008 10:34 +0000, Robert Lemmen a crit :
    > the current situation concerning firmware blobs and dfsg-freeness is a
    > bit sad, among other things because there really isn't too much we can
    > do about it in the short run.


    Wrong. You can help Ben Finney testing his packages. That would be much
    more useful than useless babbling on mailing lists.

    --
    .''`.
    : :' : We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
    `. `' We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
    `- our own. Resistance is futile.

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  5. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    Le jeudi 30 octobre 2008 * 12:07 +0100, Josselin Mouette a écrit :
    > Wrong. You can help Ben Finney testing his packages. That would be much
    > more useful than useless babbling on mailing lists.


    Of course that’s Ben Hutchings. Sorry for mistaking you, Ben.

    --
    .''`.
    : :' : We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
    `. `' We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
    `- our own. Resistance is futile.

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  6. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:07:52PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
    > Wrong. You can help Ben Finney testing his packages. That would be much
    > more useful than useless babbling on mailing lists.


    if you are talking about these [0], i certainly do not own any of these
    pieces of hardware...

    cu robert

    [0] http://womble.decadent.org.uk/blog/f...about-firmware

    --
    Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com

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  7. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    Josselin Mouette writes:

    > Le jeudi 30 octobre 2008 * 12:07 +0100, Josselin Mouette a écrit :
    > > Wrong. You can help Ben Finney testing his packages. That would be
    > > much more useful than useless babbling on mailing lists.

    >
    > Of course that’s Ben Hutchings. Sorry for mistaking you, Ben.


    Anyone is welcome to *also* test my packages, of course; but those
    don't currently have much impact for the free vs. non-free divide :-)

    --
    \ “The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must |
    `\ not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” |
    _o__) —Albert Einstein |
    Ben Finney


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  8. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:34:47AM +0000, Robert Lemmen wrote:
    > we relax the "main" requirements insofar that a package that depends
    > on another package in non-free may stay in main (and doesn't have to
    > go to contrib).


    For the sake of 10 binary firmwares, you want to make whole Debian
    depend upon non-free ? Wow, what an achievement.

    No, please, we don't accept regressions as a solution.
    --
    ·O· Pierre Habouzit
    ··O madcoder@debian.org
    OOO http://www.madism.org

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  9. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    Le Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 05:31:44AM -0500, William Pit**** a écrit :
    >
    > non-free is not enabled by default. Suggests/Recommends:
    > would be technically feasible though.


    … but Recommends would not be welcome, as "No unmet recommends" was a release
    goal of Lenny.

    http://release.debian.org/lenny/goals.txt

    This leaves "Suggests".

    Have a nice day,

    --
    Charles Plessy
    Debian Med packaging team,
    Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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  10. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 03:33:49PM +0100, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
    > For the sake of 10 binary firmwares, you want to make whole Debian
    > depend upon non-free ? Wow, what an achievement.


    ok, i think i came across in a wrong way, because that is certainly not
    what i want!

    but look at it this way: if we have a package that contains totally
    non-free firmware which is required to make it work, we basically have a
    few choices:

    1. the whole package has to go to non-free
    2. the package is split up into a non-free part and one that goes in
    main, which then cannot depend on the non-free one
    3. the same, but with a dependency and the parts go to contrib and
    non-free respectively

    if i understand things correctly than option 2 is what we are trying to
    do with the kernel in the moment (correct me if i am wrong), and the
    only thing i am saying is that having a package A which will not work
    (in some cases) without package B should declare some kind of
    relationship on it. simply because there *is* a relation between them...

    doesn't that sound reasonable to you?

    cu robert

    --
    Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com

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  11. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    ok, i think i have just woken up and must have mixed up a few unrelated
    things in my previous mail(s). please disregard everything i said...

    thanks robert

    --
    Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com

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  12. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    In article <20081030154756.GA13593@semistable.com> you wrote:
    > doesn't that sound reasonable to you?


    Yes maybe, but on the other hand, arent ppl used to the fact that the kernel
    does not know about some available modules? Thats the whole idea of modules
    (and plugins in other situations like media encoders).

    Gruss
    Bernd


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  13. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 03:47:56PM +0000, Robert Lemmen wrote:
    > On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 03:33:49PM +0100, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
    > > For the sake of 10 binary firmwares, you want to make whole Debian
    > > depend upon non-free ? Wow, what an achievement.

    >
    > ok, i think i came across in a wrong way, because that is certainly not
    > what i want!
    >
    > but look at it this way: if we have a package that contains totally
    > non-free firmware which is required to make it work, we basically have a
    > few choices:
    >
    > 1. the whole package has to go to non-free
    > 2. the package is split up into a non-free part and one that goes in
    > main, which then cannot depend on the non-free one
    > 3. the same, but with a dependency and the parts go to contrib and
    > non-free respectively


    no that's not how it will work. The split will be (and that's the sole
    *reasonnable* way to do it) to put firmwares away, it *different* source
    packages in non-free. The kernel will have patches to load those
    firmwares on demand (and fail if they're not here). This is what Ben
    did, and what needs testing. The kernel doesn't need to depend on the
    firmwares at _all_.


    All other options are silly and should not even be mentioned, unless the
    expected reactions to it are nervous laughs.
    --
    ·O· Pierre Habouzit
    ··O madcoder@debian.org
    OOO http://www.madism.org

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  14. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 03:47:56PM +0000, Robert Lemmen wrote:
    > if i understand things correctly than option 2 is what we are trying to
    > do with the kernel in the moment (correct me if i am wrong), and the
    > only thing i am saying is that having a package A which will not work
    > (in some cases) without package B should declare some kind of
    > relationship on it. simply because there *is* a relation between them...


    That "sort of relationship" between a package A that possibly (i.e. "in
    some cases") might use a package B is AFAIK called "suggests" which
    would be just fine: it declares a relationship and it is allowed to
    declare it between packages in main and non-free.

    Hauke

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  15. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 03:33:49PM +0100, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
    > For the sake of 10 binary firmwares, you want to make whole Debian
    > depend upon non-free ? Wow, what an achievement.
    >
    > No, please, we don't accept regressions as a solution.


    So if any of the hardware that requires non-free firmware to operate and
    currently works in etch was to not work with Lenny, then that's
    completely unacceptable?

    If that's the case, then there is no way EVER to make Debian comply with
    the DFSG since you aren't going to get free firmware for all those
    devices.

    Maintaining support for most of that hardware through the use of
    non-free can be done. Maintaining support for all that hardware through
    only main is imposible and unrealistic. So a demand of no regressions
    is just insane. Debian shouldn't ever have worked with that hardware in
    the first place in the case of main only installs.

    --
    Len SOrensen


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  16. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:34:47AM +0000, Robert Lemmen wrote:
    > hi everyone,
    >
    > the current situation concerning firmware blobs and dfsg-freeness is a
    > bit sad, among other things because there really isn't too much we can
    > do about it in the short run. so how about some practical proposal that
    > we can actually implement in a reasonable timeframe that gets us in a
    > better position to deal with this in the long run? my idea would be:
    >
    > firmware blobs without source get put into non-free, firmware blobs with
    > source but without the necessary free tools to generate the image end up
    > in contrib, firmware which is cryptographically signed and can tehrefore
    > not be modified goes to non-free. we relax the "main" requirements
    > insofar that a package that depends on another package in non-free may
    > stay in main (and doesn't have to go to contrib), if the contents of
    > that other package are not executed or used on the main/host computer'c
    > cpu, but on some additional hardware. (this would of course need to be
    > phrased a bit better, but you get the idea).
    >


    This look complicated. Everyone agrees that firmwares are a bit special
    in the world of software due to the fact they don't run on the host CPU.
    Some persons want to have them in main, others in non-free and others in
    contrib, with some intermediate opinions.

    What about creating a firmware section that have different rules than
    the current main, contrib and non-free? This way ones who want a 100%
    free "software" distribution have the possibility to use only main,
    and ones who want to use firmwares do not need to add non-free to their
    sources.list and installing non-free "software" by mistake.

    This does not solve the problem of debian-installer though.

    --
    .''`. Aurelien Jarno | GPG: 1024D/F1BCDB73
    : :' : Debian developer | Electrical Engineer
    `. `' aurel32@debian.org | aurelien@aurel32.net
    `- people.debian.org/~aurel32 | www.aurel32.net


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  17. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Sun, 2008-11-02 at 14:51 +0100, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
    > Everyone agrees that firmwares are a bit special
    > in the world of software due to the fact they don't run on the host
    > CPU.


    I don't think they are at all special. What interprets the software - be
    it a 'cpu', a 'vm' or a co-processor like many video cards, or something
    like an arduino doesn't alter the basic attributes - there is machine
    code for one or more machines, which is usually derived from some more
    editable source (more can be quite a range though) though compilation.

    If firmware is special, so is java, .net, ocaml, all 32-bit i386
    binaries (because bochs can emulate them elsewhere) etc.

    -Rob

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  18. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    On Mon, Nov 03, 2008 at 08:03:15AM +1100, Robert Collins wrote:
    > On Sun, 2008-11-02 at 14:51 +0100, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
    > > Everyone agrees that firmwares are a bit special
    > > in the world of software due to the fact they don't run on the host
    > > CPU.

    >
    > I don't think they are at all special. What interprets the software - be
    > it a 'cpu', a 'vm' or a co-processor like many video cards, or something
    > like an arduino doesn't alter the basic attributes - there is machine
    > code for one or more machines, which is usually derived from some more
    > editable source (more can be quite a range though) though compilation.
    >
    > If firmware is special, so is java, .net, ocaml, all 32-bit i386
    > binaries (because bochs can emulate them elsewhere) etc.
    >

    Bull****. Even if all those stuff are interpreted, they finally runs on
    the host CPU.

    --
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    : :' : Debian developer | Electrical Engineer
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  19. Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib

    Aurelien Jarno writes:

    > This look complicated. Everyone agrees that firmwares are a bit
    > special in the world of software due to the fact they don't run on
    > the host CPU.


    I disagree.

    That makes them special, but it doesn't at all affect the rules that
    should be applied to determine whether they are free.

    Anything which we propose to distribute as part of Debian must follow
    the DFSG rules; otherwise, we violate our promises in the Social
    Contract. There's nothing special about the *vendor-intended use* of a
    collection of bits that exempts it from the standard that we apply to
    the rest of the operating system.

    --
    \ “A ‘No’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater |
    `\ than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to |
    _o__) avoid trouble.” —Mahatma Gandhi |
    Ben Finney


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  20. Re: DFSG violations / buyers guide.

    On Thu, 2008-10-30 at 11:29 +0000, Robert Lemmen wrote:
    > On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:07:52PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
    > > Wrong. You can help Ben Finney testing his packages. That would be much
    > > more useful than useless babbling on mailing lists.

    >
    > if you are talking about these [0], i certainly do not own any of these
    > pieces of hardware...


    I would be very pleased to have a "Buyers guide" on the wiki (i.e list
    devices that are current, supported and dfsg-free).

    I would push to make such page in no more than "2 clicks" from the
    frontpage.

    Franklin

    --
    /me wonders how many laptops are 100% free.


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