>Linux kernel is free software. It's distributed under the GPL and the source is readily available. It contains few blobs of firmware that are not free, however.
>Now, keeping the above fact in mind, what should one do if he wants to run only free software?
>Easy: use hardware that does not require those firmware-blobs. Problem solved, you would then be running only free software.
That would solve the problem for that end-user. But there are distributors that try to make a good faith effort to not ship non-free software. With the increasing amount of binary blobs in the kernel this is getting more difficult.
>Instead of wasting your time on this, how about actually making free software better?
>The work you are doing will not bring one additional user to free software.
Popularity isn't the primary goal; making sure a piece of software is in line with the four software freedoms is the goal. From that angle it's very hard to see how they are "wasting their time", since they are doing work that results directly in what they set out to do; making sure distributors (and some end-users) have access to a kernel for their OS that complies with the four software freedoms. A goal not very surprising or out of order for a branch of the FSF.