[Fsf-Debian] Non-free firmware question during install

Paul van der Vlis paul at vandervlis.nl
Tue Aug 7 10:07:00 UTC 2012

Op 07-08-12 07:11, Andrei POPESCU schreef:
> On Lu, 06 aug 12, 22:49:13, Paul van der Vlis wrote:
>> Op 06-08-12 19:50, Andrei POPESCU schreef:
>>> Well, than let's address this problem and reword the text as to warn 
>>> against non-free firmware instead of hiding the issue under the carpet 
>>> on the premise that some firmware may be free.
>> Can you try to find those words?
>> I've tried it, the result was not nice. And if you want to give a
>> possibillity to load firmware, then it can be interpreted as
>> recommending non-free firmware. Please try it.
> ,----
> | Some of your hardware needs non-free firmware to operate. 

No, the hardware needs firmware, there can be free firmware. What you
are saying is something like: "for reading this file you need Adobe Reader".

> | Debian does 
> | not recommend using non-free software, which is why it is not provided 
> | in the installer. 

Not sure. Not recommending something quietly is something else as saying
lout and clear: "we do not recommend".
I think a part of the Debian community will say: we still recommend
using non-free firmware in this case. So it would be difficult to realize.

> | Please read more about this at nonfree.org.

This is a link to nonfree software. That's not OK I expect.

> | Since some of the missing functionality may be important to you or even 
> | essential in order to continue this installation you are now given the 
> | opportunity to provide the firmware yourself.

This could still be seen as a recommendation to install non-free
firmware, because it's "important" or "essential".

> | The firmware can be loaded from removable media, such as USB stick or 
> | floppy.
> |
> | [...]
> |
> `----

In your text I am missing the filename of the firmware. This is
important information. Did you remove it deliberately?

What do you think of:
| detect network hardware
| Some of your hardware needs firmware to operate. Debian does
| not distribute non-free software, for that reason the firmware from
| the manufacturer was not included.
| The missing firmware files are: ......
| Firmware can be loaded from removable media, such as USB stick or
| floppy.
| [...]

Not sure firmware files can have a different name as the name the
manufacturer uses. When this is poosible, it would be nice to have the
change to give-in another name.

With regards,
Paul van der Vlis.

Paul van der Vlis Linux systeembeheer, Groningen

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