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non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 12, 2012 11:08 UTC (Thu) by Seegras (guest, #20463)
Parent article: Searching for common ground between Debian and FSF

This gets quite absurd.

Debian should take away the freedom of its users and developers to talk about non-free software in order to be endorsed by the FSF?


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non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 12, 2012 14:35 UTC (Thu) by Jonno (subscriber, #49613) [Link]

Not necessary, if I understand the FSF guidlines correctly, on that point all Debian has to do is to *discurage* users and developers from doing so *within the Debian project*.

The discouragement could be as simple as a template response to any support questions on Debian mailing lists and forums, telling them that non-free software is not part of Debian and asking them to go somewhere else for help (though notably not telling them where they can get such help).

Both users and developers would still be free to discuss the use of non-free software, as long as they don't do so under the umbrella of the Debian project.

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 12, 2012 16:44 UTC (Thu) by nickbp (guest, #63605) [Link]

I would find this sort of finger wagging pretty obnoxious if I were, say, discussing how to get a game functional under wine with other Debian users. I'd probably just switch to a more accommodating distribution.

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 12, 2012 16:58 UTC (Thu) by nickbp (guest, #63605) [Link]

Or, now that I think about it, trying to figure out why my ATI card had such awful performance after switching to the free radeon drivers from the decidedly less-free fglrx, a situation which I ran into on squeeze just a few weeks ago when AMD dropped support for my HD4850.

The answer, if a developer were permitted to provide it, would be to install linux-firmware-nonfree, which includes a binary blob necessary for radeon to support 3d acceleration on my card. I only discovered this solution myself when skimming Xorg.0.log; would the log entry mentioning the lack of a binary blob be removed as well?

Before discovering the correct solution, I was considering simply buying a new nvidia card, which would have brought me completely back into the fold of proprietary video drivers, and left me with the (incorrect) assumption that radeon was unsuitable for regular use.

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 16, 2012 17:45 UTC (Mon) by BenHutchings (subscriber, #37955) [Link]

I'm a member of the Debian kernel team, partly responsible both for removing firmware from the kernel package, packaging it separately, and adding some of the warning messages about drivers loaded but missing firmware. My aim has been to comply with all parts of the Debian Social Contract, keeping non-free software out of 'main' but not standing of the way of users who want to use it. (Personally, I have firmware-iwlwifi installed on my laptop and firmware-linux-nonfree installed on a desktop with a Radeon GPU.)

I'm not sure we've got the conditions for warning messages quite right: some users (such as you) evidently don't see any messages, and some see them several times even though the firmware isn't needed for their specific hardware.

There is also an ongoing issue with radeon where the upstream developers try to make it functional without the non-free firmware but this doesn't seem to work with many of the newer chips (it's not just slow but may fail to generate a display at all).

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 12, 2012 19:42 UTC (Thu) by Jonno (subscriber, #49613) [Link]

I'm not saying it would be perfect, just saying it isn't quite as bleak as Seegras suggested.

Though in that particular case, I'd say you would be better off taking your problems to WineHQ anyway, as any problem with a windows application in Wine is likely to be 1) independent of distribution, and 2) not really related to the wine packages themselves.

As for your second use-case of the radeon firmware blobs, that would really only work if there was a separate community for the non-free and contrib components (see my other comment about that), in which case getting a canned response about software freedom would be a big hint for non-purists to go looking there instead (while purists could blame the hw and go buy Intel instead).

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 12, 2012 19:47 UTC (Thu) by nickbp (guest, #63605) [Link]

Yes, and in my case, I would go looking for another distribution.

non-free mailinglists mandated by the FSF?

Posted Jul 17, 2012 12:08 UTC (Tue) by KotH (subscriber, #4660) [Link]

> Debian should take away the freedom of its users and developers to talk about non-free software in order to be endorsed by the FSF?

Yes, it's the FSF form of censorship. And i'm quite surprised that people do not outright refuse it.


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