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Old 08-26-2008, 11:23 AM
"Joona Kiiski"
 
Default Etch->Lenny upgrade mutes some/many old laptops.

Hi,

I decided to give lenny a try and upgraded my old laptop.
Everything went fine, except for some strange reason, sound didn't work.

After about three hours of trial and error plus some googling, I found
bug #464191 which is caused by removal of some binary-only driver from
kernel.

While in principle I agree with the idea of avoiding all binary-only
stuff, this change is going to cause much trouble for hundreds
(thousands?) of upgraders and give debian some more "hard to use" and
"not beginner friendly" reputation.

But if you devs are so fanatic that you really can't live with some
ten years old binary-only drivers in kernel (I doubt anyone is
interested in writing open source replacement!), the least you can do
is document this well in release notes and package those drivers in
non-free/unofficial.

--
Joona Kiiski


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Old 08-26-2008, 04:44 PM
Hendrik Sattler
 
Default Etch->Lenny upgrade mutes some/many old laptops.

Am Dienstag, 26. August 2008 13:23:35 schrieb Joona Kiiski:
> I decided to give lenny a try and upgraded my old laptop.
> Everything went fine, except for some strange reason, sound didn't work.
>
> After about three hours of trial and error plus some googling, I found
> bug #464191 which is caused by removal of some binary-only driver from
> kernel.

Not the driver, just the firmware.
Using Google with the error message from the kernel log (escape the "-2"), the
second entry would point you to the above bug report.
Did the proposed solution from there work?

> While in principle I agree with the idea of avoiding all binary-only
> stuff, this change is going to cause much trouble for hundreds
> (thousands?) of upgraders and give debian some more "hard to use" and
> "not beginner friendly" reputation.
>
> But if you devs are so fanatic that you really can't live with some
> ten years old binary-only drivers in kernel (I doubt anyone is
> interested in writing open source replacement!), the least you can do
> is document this well in release notes and package those drivers in
> non-free/unofficial.

It should be documented: yes.
But what's your problem? It is the same situation as for so much other
hardware like WLAN, etc. And the sound card is not even essential for booting
or downloading additional software.
And no need to write a driver: it is still there.

HS


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Old 08-27-2008, 06:14 PM
"Joona Kiiski"
 
Default Etch->Lenny upgrade mutes some/many old laptops.

>It should be documented: yes.
>But what's your problem? It is the same situation as for so much other
>hardware like WLAN, etc. And the sound card is not even essential for booting
>or downloading additional software.
>And no need to write a driver: it is still there.

I think you didn't get the main point, I'm not too worried about the
sound of my ten years old laptop, I didn't even (yet) care to test the
fix. I'm much more worried about what things like this are going to
cause for the overall popularity of the debian. In case you didn't
know, 99% of western people don't know how to read kernel log or build
and install firmware from source. They don't even know what kernel
means, and really they shouldn't have to.

Think for example my mother. She uses her computer for reading mail,
writing text, watching movies, listening to music, playing small java
games. I could install debian for her laptop and quickly teach how to
do those things. Then after using her computer for one year, she makes
upgrade and BANG! She can hear no more music, or she cannot use WLAN
anymore! She goes to shop, and buys Windows Vista and gets her
neighbour to install it for her. Typical death of linux.

If you ******** fanatics cannot start to look things from my mother's
point of view, debian will not ever become popular. Now I cannot
honestly recommend debian to any of my friends, because instead of
making hard things simple, you are making simple things harder.

It's just totally frustrating to see that huge effort put in X (it's
nowadays unbelievably easy to configure) is meaningless if you
intentionally break newbie users' systems in other ways (this time by
removing fully functional kernel firmware, next time, who knows...).

Sorry for being rude. I'm just very angry.


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Old 08-27-2008, 07:06 PM
Sam Morris
 
Default Etch->Lenny upgrade mutes some/many old laptops.

On Wed, 27 Aug 2008 21:14:35 +0300, Joona Kiiski wrote:

>>It should be documented: yes.
>>But what's your problem? It is the same situation as for so much other
>>hardware like WLAN, etc. And the sound card is not even essential for
>>booting or downloading additional software.
>>And no need to write a driver: it is still there.
>
> I think you didn't get the main point, I'm not too worried about the
> sound of my ten years old laptop, I didn't even (yet) care to test the
> fix. I'm much more worried about what things like this are going to
> cause for the overall popularity of the debian. In case you didn't know,
> 99% of western people don't know how to read kernel log or build and
> install firmware from source. They don't even know what kernel means,
> and really they shouldn't have to.
>
> Think for example my mother. She uses her computer for reading mail,
> writing text, watching movies, listening to music, playing small java
> games. I could install debian for her laptop and quickly teach how to do
> those things. Then after using her computer for one year, she makes
> upgrade and BANG! She can hear no more music, or she cannot use WLAN
> anymore! She goes to shop, and buys Windows Vista and gets her neighbour
> to install it for her. Typical death of linux.
>
> If you ******** fanatics cannot start to look things from my mother's
> point of view, debian will not ever become popular. Now I cannot
> honestly recommend debian to any of my friends, because instead of
> making hard things simple, you are making simple things harder.
>
> It's just totally frustrating to see that huge effort put in X (it's
> nowadays unbelievably easy to configure) is meaningless if you
> intentionally break newbie users' systems in other ways (this time by
> removing fully functional kernel firmware, next time, who knows...).
>
> Sorry for being rude. I'm just very angry.

At some time in the future it will hopefully be possible for udev(?) to
get the 'missing firmware' event from the kernel; udev will be able to
tell HAL(?) about the event, and HAL will be able to announce the missing
firmware on the system message bus.

Then a program that runs as part of the user's desktop environment will
be able to recieve the message and help the user locate a copy of the
firmware, download and install it.

Maybe

--
Sam Morris
http://robots.org.uk/

PGP key id 1024D/5EA01078
3412 EA18 1277 354B 991B C869 B219 7FDB 5EA0 1078


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Old 08-27-2008, 08:08 PM
Hendrik Sattler
 
Default Etch->Lenny upgrade mutes some/many old laptops.

Am Mittwoch, 27. August 2008 21:06:20 schrieb Sam Morris:
> At some time in the future it will hopefully be possible for udev(?) to
> get the 'missing firmware' event from the kernel;

Since the firmware helper is part of udev, it already knows that the firmware
is missing.

HS


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