You wrote of distributing the software for wireless cards and ATI video cards to work out of the box, but those are unfortunately not Free Software. You wrote including this non-Free Software (and also some Free Software) convinced users this was a more sustainable path in the longer term.
Sustainable means it's something one can keep on doing indefinitely. Whether or not distributing mixtures of non-Free and Free Software is suitainable is not relevant to the goals of liberating the cyberspace, eliminating non-Free Software and enabling all users to be Free. Why would we want or even care that this is sustainable?
Progress is welcome, and nouveau is indeed a great example, which is why it is cited in the article. (BTW, thanks for letting me know about advances that were quite unexpected to me!)
Hut firmware for ATI video cards and many WiFi cards are counter examples to the progress. Instead of motivating people to write replacements, they accommodate people in their addiction, and induces others to enter the progressive addiction path.
Your writing seems to given equal value to the just-Freed nouveau and the proprietary software that controls ATI video cards and many WiFi cards, to the point of saying we needed to provide users with more of the latter. I strongly object to that notion. If you didn't mean to suggest that, I'm very interested in knowing what it is that you're actually suggesting.
Here's another possibility of reading what you wrote that, although requiring some corrections and assumptions, indicates I've misunderstood much of what you wrote:
When you wrote of wireless cards and happily-surprised users, you were only referring to b43 cards on which openfwwf worked, not to wireless cards in general. Now, I don't know whether Fedora shipped the non-Free firmware for b43. If it did, as I assumed because it ships non-Free firmware for lots of WiFi cards, users wouldn't be surprised with the inclusion of openfwwf, but they would have been surprised years ago when Fedora started adding non-Free firmware.
When you wrote of 3D on ATI video, you made a mistake, because 3D doesn't work on ATI video cards unless the non-Free firmware is loaded. Even nouveau, as currently provided in all Fedora releases that have ever included nouveau, still requires has non-Free blobs built into it. The exception is the last two or three builds in the development tree for F-13, that has 2.6.33 patched with the post-2.6.33 fixes that finally made 3D on nVidia cards functional without non-Free Software.
So, if you were speaking only of openfwwf and the just-Freed nouveau as examples of stuff we need more of, and the reference to ATI was a mistake, we're in full agreement. But if it was something else, can you please clarify? TIA,