Firmware

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Firmware

Luk Claes
Hi

As probably many of you know, the most heard criticism from users and
press on Lenny's release is lost hardware support because of missing
firmware. Users and press are complaining that their servers don't have
network anymore after an upgrade or that their notebooks cannot be
installed via wireless...

It's of course possible to load firmware from extra media during
installation or install the right package (from non-free) when booting
back to an older kernel (to have network again) to be able to use the
network with the new kernel...

What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware? One
of the options can probably be Peter Palfrader's proposal [1].

Cheers

Luk

[1] http://www.debian.org/vote/2008/vote_003#textf


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Re: Firmware

Stephen Gran
This one time, at band camp, Luk Claes said:
> What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware?

Much as I'm not totally ready to watch/have this argument again so soon,
I thank you for bringing it up early in the release cycle.  I'd personally
like to put this one to bed one way or another, but if we're going to
have a 'discussion' every release, I'd rather see it at the beginning
of the release cycle than at the end.

Cheers,
--
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Re: Firmware

Stefano Zacchiroli
In reply to this post by Luk Claes
On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 11:48:58AM +0200, Luk Claes wrote:
> What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware?
> One of the options can probably be Peter Palfrader's proposal [1].

I'm very much in favor of having this vote early in the release cycle,
and I was pondering about proposing it myself. Ideally, my goal would
have been to have a vote on the issue in general, without any
release-specific option. Peter's option is the main option I would
like to see in, what else did you have in mind?

IIRC, most of the participants in the pre-Lenny GR discussion was very
keen of settling the issue once and for all just after the Lenny
release. So I think you can just go ahead proposing Peter's text and
see what other options pop up.

Cheers.

--
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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Supermajority first? (was: Re: Firmware)

Charles Plessy-12
Le Fri, May 01, 2009 at 01:58:43PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli a écrit :
>
> I'm very much in favor of having this vote early in the release cycle,

Hi all,

There were discussions started on the supermajority requirement, that
unfortunately were unconclusive ([hidden email]),

http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2009/03/msg00003.html

Nevertheless, wouldn't it be safer to first resolve this issue, while keeping as
a goal to address the firmware question early in the release cycle?

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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Re: Supermajority first?

Luk Claes
Charles Plessy wrote:

> Le Fri, May 01, 2009 at 01:58:43PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli a écrit :
>> I'm very much in favor of having this vote early in the release cycle,
>
> Hi all,
>
> There were discussions started on the supermajority requirement, that
> unfortunately were unconclusive ([hidden email]),
>
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2009/03/msg00003.html
>
> Nevertheless, wouldn't it be safer to first resolve this issue, while keeping as
> a goal to address the firmware question early in the release cycle?

Well sponsors of the proposals have till Sunday to get it to vote
AFAICS. Personally I would not mind to have a vote for this first and I
won't start the process for a firmware vote before the vote about
supermajority is either dropped (when no sponsor reacts) or voted on...

Cheers

Luk


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Re: Supermajority first?

Kurt Roeckx
On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 03:52:47PM +0200, Luk Claes wrote:

> Charles Plessy wrote:
>>
>> There were discussions started on the supermajority requirement, that
>> unfortunately were unconclusive ([hidden email]),
>>
>> http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2009/03/msg00003.html
>>
>> Nevertheless, wouldn't it be safer to first resolve this issue, while keeping as
>> a goal to address the firmware question early in the release cycle?
>
> Well sponsors of the proposals have till Sunday to get it to vote  
> AFAICS. Personally I would not mind to have a vote for this first and I  
> won't start the process for a firmware vote before the vote about  
> supermajority is either dropped (when no sponsor reacts) or voted on...

Current vote that is in the process of being withdrawn has nothing
to do with the supermajority requirement.  It's about sponsorship
requirements.

The supermajority is about things like who decideds if something
needs 3:1 supermajority if it's not clear.


Kurt


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Re: Supermajority first?

Luk Claes
Kurt Roeckx wrote:

> On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 03:52:47PM +0200, Luk Claes wrote:
>> Charles Plessy wrote:
>>> There were discussions started on the supermajority requirement, that
>>> unfortunately were unconclusive ([hidden email]),
>>>
>>> http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2009/03/msg00003.html
>>>
>>> Nevertheless, wouldn't it be safer to first resolve this issue, while keeping as
>>> a goal to address the firmware question early in the release cycle?
>> Well sponsors of the proposals have till Sunday to get it to vote  
>> AFAICS. Personally I would not mind to have a vote for this first and I  
>> won't start the process for a firmware vote before the vote about  
>> supermajority is either dropped (when no sponsor reacts) or voted on...
>
> Current vote that is in the process of being withdrawn has nothing
> to do with the supermajority requirement.  It's about sponsorship
> requirements.
>
> The supermajority is about things like who decideds if something
> needs 3:1 supermajority if it's not clear.

Ah right, too much things to vote on :-)

Well, I think the sponsorships requirement vote that is currently being
in process should first be dealt with (either dropped or voted on) first.

Continuing discussions about the supermajority requirements before going
to the firmware is probably not a bad idea.

Cheers

Luk


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Re: Supermajority first?

Stefano Zacchiroli
On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 04:20:21PM +0200, Luk Claes wrote:
> Continuing discussions about the supermajority requirements before
> going to the firmware is probably not a bad idea.

I see the point of asking the supermajority vote to be dealt with
before voting on firmware.

However, I don't see it as necessary. The discussion about the issues
of supermajority was born from a ballot badly dealt with; the errors
of that ballot have already been acknowledged and is pointless to
reiterate here. Still, it is very well possible that we can, this
time, vote on the firmware issues without as many problems as before.

For instance, it would be very useful to know whether the current
secretary would consider Peter's proposal on firmware to require super
majority or not. If the secretary does _not_ think it will imply
supermajority, it would be pointless to delay the vote on the basis of
that.

So, Kurt, what's your take on it?

Cheers.

--
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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Re: Supermajority first?

Emilio Pozuelo Monfort-2
Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> For instance, it would be very useful to know whether the current
> secretary would consider Peter's proposal on firmware to require super
> majority or not. If the secretary does _not_ think it will imply
> supermajority, it would be pointless to delay the vote on the basis of
> that.

As some people already have said, making all the choices in such a ballot modify
the Foundation Documents would make the supermajority problems in the previous
vote go away, and would more likely solve this issue once and for all (or
probably not only affecting the current release or whatever), as it would be
written in the FDs.

Emilio


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Re: Firmware

Thomas Bushnell, BSG-2
In reply to this post by Stefano Zacchiroli
On Fri, 2009-05-01 at 13:58 +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 11:48:58AM +0200, Luk Claes wrote:
> > What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware?
> > One of the options can probably be Peter Palfrader's proposal [1].
>
> I'm very much in favor of having this vote early in the release cycle,
> and I was pondering about proposing it myself. Ideally, my goal would
> have been to have a vote on the issue in general, without any
> release-specific option. Peter's option is the main option I would
> like to see in, what else did you have in mind?

Absolutely I'm in favor of having the decision now, calmly.

My fear is that it won't matter what we do; the partisans of semi-free
Debian will not get everything they want (simply because nobody ever
does), and then will scream as the release is near that we must again
have special exceptions.  I hope I can be proved wrong.

Thomas



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Re: Supermajority first?

Kurt Roeckx
In reply to this post by Stefano Zacchiroli
On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 06:43:56PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
>
> For instance, it would be very useful to know whether the current
> secretary would consider Peter's proposal on firmware to require super
> majority or not. If the secretary does _not_ think it will imply
> supermajority, it would be pointless to delay the vote on the basis of
> that.
>
> So, Kurt, what's your take on it?

So, the problematic parts are:
"1. firmware in Debian does not have to come with source."
"2. we however do require all other freedoms that the DFSG
mandate from components of our operating system"

If you only look at the first, you could interprete it as
a position statement, but even then it's not clear that
it's a position statement or not.

But 2) makes it totaly unclear what 1) really means.  2) seems to
indicate that 1) modifies some foundation document.

So my problem with it is that it's too much open for
interpretation.

If you would like that such an option does not get a 3:1 majority
requirement, I suggest you reword it so that it's clearly a
position statement.


Kurt


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Re: Supermajority first?

Luk Claes
Kurt Roeckx wrote:

> On Fri, May 01, 2009 at 06:43:56PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
>> For instance, it would be very useful to know whether the current
>> secretary would consider Peter's proposal on firmware to require super
>> majority or not. If the secretary does _not_ think it will imply
>> supermajority, it would be pointless to delay the vote on the basis of
>> that.
>>
>> So, Kurt, what's your take on it?
>
> So, the problematic parts are:
> "1. firmware in Debian does not have to come with source."
> "2. we however do require all other freedoms that the DFSG
> mandate from components of our operating system"
>
> If you only look at the first, you could interprete it as
> a position statement, but even then it's not clear that
> it's a position statement or not.

It appears you either don't agree with my other post or did not read it
as there is no interpretation needed to see if something is a position
statement.

Cheers

Luk


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Re: Firmware

Joey Schulze
In reply to this post by Luk Claes
Luk Claes wrote:

> Hi
>
> As probably many of you know, the most heard criticism from users and  
> press on Lenny's release is lost hardware support because of missing  
> firmware. Users and press are complaining that their servers don't have  
> network anymore after an upgrade or that their notebooks cannot be  
> installed via wireless...
>
> It's of course possible to load firmware from extra media during  
> installation or install the right package (from non-free) when booting  
> back to an older kernel (to have network again) to be able to use the  
> network with the new kernel...
>
> What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware? One  
> of the options can probably be Peter Palfrader's proposal [1].

I would rather like to keep binary firmware blobs outside of Debian/main
and maintain them in Debian/non-free with improved and easy ways to load
them during the installation.

We might require a new vote in order to release squeeze at some date.
We should be able to release squeeze even with non-free binary firmware
data included in the kernel.  However, we should rather try to move
these blobs into separate files (in Debian and upstream).  However,
this requirement should not keep us from releasing.

Regards,

        Joey

--
Still can't talk about what I can't talk about.  Sorry.  -- Bruce Schneier


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Re: Firmware

Paul Wise via nm
On Sat, May 2, 2009 at 6:10 AM, Joey Schulze <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I would rather like to keep binary firmware blobs outside of Debian/main
> and maintain them in Debian/non-free with improved and easy ways to load
> them during the installation.

This is what appears to be happening in Linux upstream, so this vote
might not be needed.

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Re: Firmware

Mike Hommey
In reply to this post by Joey Schulze
On Sat, May 02, 2009 at 12:10:26AM +0200, Joey Schulze wrote:

> Luk Claes wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > As probably many of you know, the most heard criticism from users and  
> > press on Lenny's release is lost hardware support because of missing  
> > firmware. Users and press are complaining that their servers don't have  
> > network anymore after an upgrade or that their notebooks cannot be  
> > installed via wireless...
> >
> > It's of course possible to load firmware from extra media during  
> > installation or install the right package (from non-free) when booting  
> > back to an older kernel (to have network again) to be able to use the  
> > network with the new kernel...
> >
> > What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware? One  
> > of the options can probably be Peter Palfrader's proposal [1].
>
> I would rather like to keep binary firmware blobs outside of Debian/main
> and maintain them in Debian/non-free with improved and easy ways to load
> them during the installation.

I think this is less of a problem than making sure *existing*
installations don't break on upgrade because of the lack of some
firmware blobs after the upgrade.

Mike


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Re: Firmware

Josselin Mouette
Le samedi 02 mai 2009 à 08:04 +0200, Mike Hommey a écrit :
> On Sat, May 02, 2009 at 12:10:26AM +0200, Joey Schulze wrote:
> > I would rather like to keep binary firmware blobs outside of Debian/main
> > and maintain them in Debian/non-free with improved and easy ways to load
> > them during the installation.

Fully agreed.

> I think this is less of a problem than making sure *existing*
> installations don't break on upgrade because of the lack of some
> firmware blobs after the upgrade.

Fully agreed as well. This should at least be prominent in the release
notes, as some hardware needing this (like radeon cards) is highly
widespread.

--
 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'   “I recommend you to learn English in hope that you in
  `-     future understand things”  -- Jörg Schilling

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Re: Firmware

MJ Ray-2
In reply to this post by Joey Schulze
Joey Schulze <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Luk Claes wrote:
> > It's of course possible to load firmware from extra media during  
> > installation or install the right package (from non-free) when booting  
> > back to an older kernel (to have network again) to be able to use the  
> > network with the new kernel...
> >
> > What do people think of a new vote regarding the status of firmware? One  
> > of the options can probably be Peter Palfrader's proposal [1].
>
> I would rather like to keep binary firmware blobs outside of Debian/main
> and maintain them in Debian/non-free with improved and easy ways to load
> them during the installation.

I agree with the above.  I think a lot of the criticism is more to do
with the particular implementation making it unnecessarily difficult
to load firmware (it took me three attempts I think - the documents
weren't clear but I thought it was just me being dense) rather than
the general principle.

> We might require a new vote in order to release squeeze at some date.

Amen.
--
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