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"Tom "spot" Callaway" 06-07-2008 11:43 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
I know this is flame bait, and we're obviously missing some context,
but it seems very much like you threw a temper tantrum at the first
sign of trouble, screamed "I TOLD YOU NO ONE HERE WANTS TO BE FREE"
and ran home.

Did you put up your patches without the rhetoric (through whatever
inane obfuscation you needed)? Were they rejected?

~spot

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David Woodhouse 06-08-2008 09:38 AM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
On Sat, 2008-06-07 at 19:43 -0400, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> I know this is flame bait, and we're obviously missing some context,
> but it seems very much like you threw a temper tantrum at the first
> sign of trouble, screamed "I TOLD YOU NO ONE HERE WANTS TO BE FREE"
> and ran home.
>
> Did you put up your patches without the rhetoric (through whatever
> inane obfuscation you needed)? Were they rejected?

No, I did it all: git.infradead.org/users/dwmw2/firmware-2.6.git
(well, not _all_ -- there are more drivers to convert. Help wanted!)

It wasn't rejected -- it's in the linux-next tree and should be going in
to 2.6.27. One we finish converting the drivers, we should have the
capacity to rip _all_ the firmware blobs out of the kernel without
permanently losing functionality.

At that point, we can at least have the _discussion_ about removing
those blobs from the kernel source tree and putting them in a separate
repository, without it being pie-in-the-sky.

Alex now says it isn't good enough, and is actually counter-productive.

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Hans de Goede 06-08-2008 04:39 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
David Woodhouse wrote:

On Sat, 2008-06-07 at 19:43 -0400, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
I know this is flame bait, and we're obviously missing some context,
but it seems very much like you threw a temper tantrum at the first
sign of trouble, screamed "I TOLD YOU NO ONE HERE WANTS TO BE FREE"
and ran home.


Did you put up your patches without the rhetoric (through whatever
inane obfuscation you needed)? Were they rejected?


No, I did it all: git.infradead.org/users/dwmw2/firmware-2.6.git
(well, not _all_ -- there are more drivers to convert. Help wanted!)

It wasn't rejected -- it's in the linux-next tree and should be going in
to 2.6.27. One we finish converting the drivers, we should have the
capacity to rip _all_ the firmware blobs out of the kernel without
permanently losing functionality.

At that point, we can at least have the _discussion_ about removing
those blobs from the kernel source tree and putting them in a separate
repository, without it being pie-in-the-sky.

Alex now says it isn't good enough, and is actually counter-productive.


If I get Alex correctly he is saying that, to his goal, which is 100% Free
software everywhere (including in his toothbrush), this is counterproductive,
as it may make it easier to distribute binary firmware along with the kernel,
as it now could be put in a seperate tarbal removing GPL worries etc.


As much as I admire Alex's goal's I'm very glad with the current pragmatic
approach Fedora has taken with regards to firmware.


And when combining both these perspectives, David, you patch is excellent and
I'm very gratefull for all the work you've been doing on it.


If the firmware truely gets put in a different tarbal (and thus eventually in a
different srpm), then it will be feasible to do a no blobs included Fedora spin
like gnewsense, which would be great.


Now Alex worries about someone still slipping in some firmware into the kernel
itself instead of into the firmware package, well as with the current situation
with a completely seperate kernel, audits will still be necessary. But I hope
that DaveJ will be willing to carry patches for any firmware sneaked in (if we
ever get as far as the split), as once firmware and kernel are split, embedded
firmware could be considered a bug. The carrying of these patches (which must
be send upstream), will be the price we have to pay if we want a blob-free spin.


Regards,

Hans

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David Woodhouse 06-08-2008 09:12 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
On Sun, 2008-06-08 at 18:39 +0200, Hans de Goede wrote:
> > Alex now says it isn't good enough, and is actually counter-productive.
>
> If I get Alex correctly he is saying that, to his goal, which is 100% Free
> software everywhere (including in his toothbrush), this is counterproductive,
> as it may make it easier to distribute binary firmware along with the kernel,
> as it now could be put in a seperate tarbal removing GPL worries etc.

If it's a GPL violation to ship the non-GPL'd firmware in the source
tarball, it's also a GPL violation to distribute it as part of a
vmlinux.

So yes, putting it in a separate source tarball removes the GPL worries
there -- but if you're then going to use the CONFIG_BUILTIN_FIRMWARE
feature and build non-GPL'd firmware into your vmlinux, that brings
exactlly those same worries right back again.

If you build non-GPL'd firmware into your kernel, you may not distribute
that kernel image (although currently we do just that; we shouldn't).

> If the firmware truely gets put in a different tarbal (and thus eventually in a
> different srpm), then it will be feasible to do a no blobs included Fedora spin
> like gnewsense, which would be great.

Fedora already uses 'doctored' tarballs for stuff like openssh; I think
it would be reasonable enough to do that with a firmware-less kernel
source tarball too. It's easy enough to build the firmware package
separately (although first, I'm going to make the kernel srpm spit out a
'kernel-firmware' subpackage; we can talk about splitting it later).

> Now Alex worries about someone still slipping in some firmware into the kernel
> itself instead of into the firmware package, well as with the current situation
> with a completely seperate kernel, audits will still be necessary.

That's nothing special -- it's just the same as we should always be
vigilant for someone slipping non-GPL'd _code_ into the kernel.
Should we just give up, just because people slip up occasionally?

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"Richard W.M. Jones" 06-08-2008 09:26 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
On Sun, Jun 08, 2008 at 10:38:12AM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:
> No, I did it all: git.infradead.org/users/dwmw2/firmware-2.6.git
> (well, not _all_ -- there are more drivers to convert. Help wanted!)
>
> It wasn't rejected -- it's in the linux-next tree and should be going in
> to 2.6.27. One we finish converting the drivers, we should have the
> capacity to rip _all_ the firmware blobs out of the kernel without
> permanently losing functionality.

In case anyone, like me, was wondering what the heck this is all
about, lwn.net has a good article summarising what David's been doing:

Subscriber-only link: http://lwn.net/Articles/284932/
Free link: http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/284932/f332cb16db1c6257/

Rich.

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Les Mikesell 06-08-2008 09:48 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
David Woodhouse wrote:



Alex now says it isn't good enough, and is actually counter-productive.
If I get Alex correctly he is saying that, to his goal, which is 100% Free
software everywhere (including in his toothbrush), this is counterproductive,
as it may make it easier to distribute binary firmware along with the kernel,
as it now could be put in a seperate tarbal removing GPL worries etc.


If it's a GPL violation to ship the non-GPL'd firmware in the source
tarball, it's also a GPL violation to distribute it as part of a
vmlinux.


I don't recall ever seeing tarballs mentioned in copyright laws. Tar is
just a way of aggregating files that may not have any other relationship.



That's nothing special -- it's just the same as we should always be
vigilant for someone slipping non-GPL'd _code_ into the kernel.
Should we just give up, just because people slip up occasionally?


There has never been an issue with aggregating GPL and non-GPL items for
distribution - and there would be no legal basis for such a restriction.
The question is whether the parts are derivative works. If you could
establish that the firmware code is derived from GPL'd code (which seems
pretty unlikely if the same firmware would be used with other OS's),
then the restriction against distribution under other terms would apply.


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David Woodhouse 06-08-2008 10:01 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
On Sun, 2008-06-08 at 16:48 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> There has never been an issue with aggregating GPL and non-GPL items for
> distribution - and there would be no legal basis for such a restriction.
> The question is whether the parts are derivative works.

You are mistaken. Read §2 of the GPL again.

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Les Mikesell 06-08-2008 10:29 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
David Woodhouse wrote:

On Sun, 2008-06-08 at 16:48 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
There has never been an issue with aggregating GPL and non-GPL items for
distribution - and there would be no legal basis for such a restriction.
The question is whether the parts are derivative works.


You are mistaken. Read §2 of the GPL again.



Do you mean the part about identifiable sections that are not derived
from the program and can be reasonably considered independent and
separate works? That would seem the only possible interpretation for
firmware blobs.


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Alan Cox 06-08-2008 10:34 PM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
On Sun, Jun 08, 2008 at 11:01:22PM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-06-08 at 16:48 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> > There has never been an issue with aggregating GPL and non-GPL items for
> > distribution - and there would be no legal basis for such a restriction.
> > The question is whether the parts are derivative works.
>
> You are mistaken. Read §2 of the GPL again.

Actually Dave I continue to think you are the mistaken one in the case
of firmware files. I would suggest you read up on derivative works rather
than your pet interpretation of the GPL.



Alan

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Alexandre Oliva 06-09-2008 03:47 AM

Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
 
On Jun 7, 2008, "Tom "spot" Callaway" <tcallawa@redhat.com> wrote:

> it seems very much like you threw a temper tantrum at the first sign
> of trouble, screamed "I TOLD YOU NO ONE HERE WANTS TO BE FREE" and
> ran home.

> Did you put up your patches

This makes it very clear that you didn't even read what I wrote before
jumping to this conclusion.

In my e-mail, I explained why working on those patches would be
detrimental to my goals, so I wouldn't do it.

FTR, there's no sign of trouble. In fact, there's absolutely nothing
new. David's patches are being considered for adoption because they
make technical sense, Fedora and Debian keep on privileging the short
term over the long term, and Linux-libre remains essential for
distros/users who don't want to distribute/install non-Free Software.

Now, could you please do me a favor and spend the time to read before
gratuitously flaming again? And, if it's not asking for too much,
would you please save to yourself the name-calling attacks on others'
positions and arguments as 'rhetoric', especially when you show
obvious signs that you haven't taken even the trouble of reading them?
It's quite disrespectful and unproductive.

Please go look up 'rhetoric' and realize that it doesn't mean
"arguments I'm not interested in hearing/reading" nor "arguments I
don't agree with", or even "consequences of premises I don't agree
with".

Thanks,

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