Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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rr7.num7
Member since:
2010-04-30

Funny how you complain that people don't read, but you don't take the time to do a little research? I just did a quick search in Google: RaLink RT2870 debian.

The first result links to a page with the explanation. The firmware was removed from kernel version 2.6.30, not because of a mysterious, weird reason, but because (according to Debian's standards) it contains non-free code. You may or may not agree with their politics, but there IS a reason, and that reason is what other people have been telling you since the beginning. It took me about less than 30 seconds to find it.

So, who's the "lazy" one?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well this is odd, because according to cmchittom in reply to another of my posts, the RaLink chipset in question is fully GPL compatible. I quote him here:

My first thought was to respond with "open source" does not equal "free," and that the firmware probably failed to comply with the DFSG—lucky thing, I checked first (so as not to make myself look doubly foolish), and at least the first two[1] (I didn't check all of them) are licensed under the GPL v2 or later. So, I admit: mea culpa.


And his source is RaLink's website, which I also looked at and the firmware does comply with the GPL.

So who is right, him or you? Who knows? It looks like it won't be long before Debian won't accept code that isn't chiseled into a stone tablet on a holy mountain. Mean time, me and the rest of the realistic world will use tools that aren't broken by virtue of philosophic law.

Look, there is merit in wanting a fully open source based OS. I won't deny that at all. However, to say that even the holy GPL isn't free enough for them (the driver in question is GPL'ed and DFSG-blessed) is just crazy. Perhaps Debian needs to come up with a license of their own, more free (if possible) than any other OSS license, and only accept software that uses it. Let's see how far that gets them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

No, it is not GPL. Parts of it are, but others (very small, I must say) aren't. If you download the .tar.bz2 from the link that cmchittom provided, you'll find out there are some source files (firmware.h, for example) that have another license and explicitly forbid redistribution of modified versions. I am not lying. The files are there to download and check.

So as I said, one may or may not agree with Debian's free software policies, (I personally don't care much) but at leaste they don't lie about it, and they are generally consistent.

Reply Parent Score: 3