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Re: ISO download difficult

On Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 05:44:57PM +0100, Adam Borowski wrote:

> > >   1- putting the non-free firmware on all our images,
> > >   2- let the installer check whether they are needed,
> > >   3- if yes, let the user decide:
> > 
> > I agree with this. While I also believe non-free firmware should not be
> > encouraged, our current behaviour of making non-free installers
> > available but difficult to find is just annoying users.
> What about offering them side to side?  It looks like a non-negligible part
> of posters in this thread want the purely free version -- and, indeed they
> represent the Social Contract and the original purpose of Debian and Free
> Software in general.

In my eyes, that is just moving the choice to an earlier point in time
when the user might not have enough information to make the decision,
for example because of brand new hardware. But, having two installers
side by side is a very good option, and then also have the non-free
version prompt the user when it detects that non-free firmware is needed
to get a fully operating system. Also, the purely free version could
point to the non-free installer if non-free firmware is required.

> I'd also put a _succint_ description of what's wrong with them.  Written in
> a way that avoids philosophical distinctions which are opaque to those who
> don't already know about the matter -- but emotional imprecise words are
> okay.

I'd avoid emotional words entirely. Just say that non-free firmware is
provided as-is and does not allow modifications to fix bugs or add
functionality, in contrast with the vast majority of the software in
Debian, which does guarantee those properties.

> > If the user's system works fine without the non-free firmware, was any
> > harm done by having it part of the installer? Especially if nothing of
> > it was installed?
> To a fully rational person who wants a purely free system -- no harm, as
> the increased download size is such a small portion that shaving it is not
> worth the extra user confusion.  But, offering only a non-free version would
> be a big step in a direction many of us do not want.  And, there's hope that
> in ten years x86 might lose its dominance, in which case we'd rue falling
> into this slippery slope.

I have no illusions that a competitor to x86 will magically be more free.

> Thus: I'd say we should prominently offer two downloads, one with a
> paragraph of insults.

I would just keep it neutral and stick to facts.

Met vriendelijke groet / with kind regards,
      Guus Sliepen <guus@xxxxxxxxxx>

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