Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Nov 2010 22:24 UTC, submitted by koki
GNU, GPL, Open Source Now this is interesting. We see what is at its core a very valid concern, in practice not a problem to anyone, and, thanks to the tone of the press release, close to trolling. The Free Software Foundation Latin America is complaining about something that has been known for a while - there is some non-Free code stuck in the Linux kernel (mostly firmware). A valid issue of concern from an idealogical viewpoint, but sadly, the tone of the press release turns this valid concern into something close to trolling.
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Much Ado about Nothing...
by galvanash on Tue 9th Nov 2010 23:51 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

I'm all for idealist - they are the driving force of change. That said, this press release reads like propagandist drivel. Like most propaganda, the facts are all right, but the conclusions are all wrong.

Users do not need to be "warned" about this. Users are the reason firmware blobs exists: primarily because they scream bloody murder when some piece of hardware doesn't work. The vast majority of users do not care one bit about the fact that there is an opaque blob of bits in the kernel to enable their wireless card to function - they just want it to work.

Yes, it would be great if the hardware guys would supply the source code for this stuff. But they don't. Why don't these guys target their angst in the proper direction - at the hardware vendors?

Its not like this is a new issue, it has existed for years. The kernel guys have decided since this stuff doesn't "run" in any conventional sense, and since users want it, and since it doesn't affect the kernel's operation in any meaningful way, they just drop in into the source tree and move on. Its either that or refuse to include it, which would punish users for no good reason.

It is beyond ridiculous to say that Linus, or anyone connected to kernel development, are trying to "bait and switch" users.

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