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Old 06-03-2008, 11:28 PM
Alexandre Oliva
Default Bug#484365: closed by maximilian attems ( suggestion: switch to linux-libre in main)

On Jun 3, 2008, owner@bugs.debian.org (Debian Bug Tracking System) wrote:

> first of all such suggestion are better discussed on
> mailing list see http://wiki.debian.org/DebianKernel

I'm not really interested in taking part in a debate. I was merely
offering a suggestion in the form of a bug report, as suggested by a
friend of mine who's involved in Debian's development. I'll let him
know the procedure he suggested was inappropriate and suggest him to
follow that route. Thanks, and sorry if this caused any trouble.

> why did none of your effort got productive

AFAICT we have produced a working 100% Free kernel, something that
Debian has wished for for several years. Our goals are different from
those of kernel upstream or Debian, that appear to feel a need to help
hardware vendors keep their customers helpless and dependent.
Catering to this kind of issue is not part of the charter of this

> and turned into upstream patches?

upstream wouldn't take patches that remove the non-Free Software, and
we already have the kernel we need. It wouldn't make sense for us to
work more to advance goals that are actually opposite to ours.

> nor do you seem to work on relicensing firmware.

That's also not part of the project charter. The goal of the project
is to ensure there are well-maintained 100% Free Linux tarballs for
anyone who wishes to take freedom seriously. Work on getting firmware
relicensed as Free Software is certainly good work to do, but it's not
part of this project.

> why does it not incorporate the upstream posted request_firmware()
> patches from David Woodhouse? or did i oversee them!?!

Because it doens't incorporate any patches whatsoever. It tracks
upstream. If David's patches are merged, our scripts will be adjusted
to remove the non-Free bits from wherever they land, if they remain.
If they aren't, why bother?, they don't make any difference for
someone who does not want to install non-Free Software on their
computers anyway, or for distros that don't want to be part of the
distribution of any non-Free Software to their users. These are the
use cases linux-libre is designed to serve.

> closing as you can only be kidding to consider yourself as appropriate
> linux-2.6 upstream source.

I'm not kidding, but it's not really upstream. You can regard it as a
filter midstream that keeps downstream from polution thrown in the
river by upstream. We don't mess with the precious water, we just
remove the pollutants.

Now, if you prefer to keep on deviating from your own policies and
counting on exceptions to ensure main can keep on containing non-Free
Software, that's certainly your decision. If you'd rather duplicate
this work yourselves, it might make sense to join forces, for I take
it you've been trying to fix this problem for a very long time.

I offered help because I thought Debian might be interested,
considering its policies and all.

Of course, you don't have to trust us right away. You can keep an eye
for a while and see how quickly our releases come out after an
upstream release, and how easily patches for upstream still apply.
I've been doing that for freed-ora for a while, it's really a

And then, should we fail you, you might as well just go back to your
beloved non-free upstream :-)

Your call...

Best regards, and keep up the good work,

Alexandre Oliva http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member °Sť Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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