[Arm-netbook] eoma68-jz4775 x-ray pictures

Philip Hands phil at hands.com
Fri Apr 29 08:59:33 BST 2016

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> writes:

> ---
> crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68
> On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 8:55 AM, Elena ``of Valhalla''
> <elena.valhalla at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 2016-04-25 at 14:34:15 +0100, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>>> On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 2:07 PM, Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk> wrote:
>>> > Debian is available for mipsel.
>>>  ... but debian isn't FSF-Endorseable,
>> but its main repository has been recognised as a valid distribution to
>> use to check whether some bit of hardware is compatibile with free
>> software:
>> https://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-and-debian-join-forces-to-help-free-software-users-find-the-hardware-they-need
>   ah good find elena.
>  "While the FSF does not include Debian on this list because the
> Debian project provides a repository of nonfree software, the FSF does
> acknowledge that Debian's main repository, which by default is the
> only place packages come from, is completely free."
>  i've been speaking with josh gay very recently, so the FSF
> Endorsement criteria are very clear to me: basically, josh explained
> that by allowing people to have an RYF Certification, they are in
> effect promoting the FSF "Trademark", and are therefore DIRECTLY
> working as agents for and on behalf of the FSF.
>  if there is *anything*that could potentially bring that trademark and
> the FSF into disrepute, then they simply cannot take the risk of
> giving you an RYF Certificate.
>  examples of that would be:
>  * the main landing page selling the RYF-Endorsed product downloads
> and executes arbitrary non-free programs (usually javascript but java
> and flash would count as well) in the end-user's web browser.
>  * the product contains "temptations" to install proprietary programs
> (such as, there's only exclusively non-free hardware functionality
> available) and the process by which installation of that non-free
> proprietary software is not only easy but is *ACTIVELY* encouraged.
>  so on that score, for example, ubuntu is totally... ahh.... {insert
> appropriate term here}.
>  however, debian definitely counts as well, because by installing
> synaptics package manager (which is easy), you can then add "non-free"
> repositories (easy), then (easily) download non-free programs.  and
> that would bring the FSF's entire Charter and purpose into disrepute.
>  i have to check, but my feeling is, if they removed the nonfree GPG
> keyring from the standard debian-archive-keyring package and placed it
> into a debian-archive-keyring-nonfree package, which *wasn't* signed
> by default in a special version of debian-installer, All Would Be Well
> In FSF Land.
>  of course, standard debian-installers would then have _two_ keyring
> packages to download.
>  all of this i should actually be able to code up myself, by redoing
> that initial package and making sure that there's a separate
> (overriding) repository with pinning on that replacement
> debian-archive-keyring package.  means recompiling debian-installer
> but that's cool.

You wouldn't need to recompile anything, I suspect -- you _might_ need to
replace the relevant udeb, or you can probably do some sort of (possibly
somewhat disgusting) kludge via preseeding.

Most probably, if you have a sensible patch, it could be made into
preseedable debconf variable ("fsf-endorsable-mode"?).

Of course, the fact that is an option that could be turned off means
that it's not going to satisfy the people that want Debian to make it so
that some of our users will be unable to use their (crappy and annoying)
hardware.  So, it's probably not worth bothering with.

Debian will not make the experience worse for those users, to no real
benefit to other users, because we have a Social Contract that ensures
that we will not get in the way of people that want to use our software
for things that we almost certainly disagree with.

Apparently some people think it's important to make Debian a tiresome
experience for those that were foolish enough to no know the exact
chipset that was going to be in whatever hardware they bought, and thus
found that it (currently) needs its proprietary firmware uploaded.

Of course, they think it's totally fine if the same crappy hardware has
it's offensive firmware welded into a chip instead, but let's not worry
about that too much, eh?

The obvious unintended consequence of making Debian tiresome for those
users is that they will be driven to use Ubuntu or something even less
free that does support the hardware sitting in front of them.

Having switched away from Debian, those people will probably never worry
about the non-freeness of their hardware again.

If they continue with Debian, they continue to have the chance to notice
the "-nonfree" bit of the package name, and notice that there's other
stuff that's cluttering up their system, and think about disabling it to
see what breaks, and then maybe include that new knowledge in their next
purchasing decision.

So, feel free to do whatever you are moved to do, but when you start
spouting your overly-definite statements about how good or bad you think
Debian is when judged on this basis, you're making the perfect the enemy
of the good, and you're alienating your friends and allies while you're
about it.

That press release is from 2014 BTW, so it's not exactly news that this
issue is really not much of an issue.  The way you talk about it gives
the impression that Debian encourages people to use non-free software,
whereas Debian/Debian Developers were for instance instrumental in
moving binary blobs out of the kernel, something that is a pre-requisite
to being able to have a Free Software Linux system at all.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands  [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]  HANDS.COM Ltd.
|-|  http://www.hands.com/    http://ftp.uk.debian.org/
|(|  Hugo-Klemm-Strasse 34,   21075 Hamburg,    GERMANY
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