On 12/08/2016 02:05 AM, Aleksa Sarai wrote:
- Free as in speech is great, and openSUSE is clearly open source
software, so it meets this definition as long as you ignore that we also bundle some things to be convenient to end users. RMS says this is a no-no, and perhaps we can improve it, but there's a continuum between completely-proprietary and completely free;
Well, we are definitely not an FSF-approved distribution because we distribute proprietary software (and also maintain repositories of proprietary software). I would argue that we, by extension, are not a "free software distribution" in the strict sense of the word -- but note that Debian is also not a "free software distribution" either.
I doubt RMS's laptop uses open source hardware, completely unencumbered by patents, but I won't begrudge him on that.
Because such a laptop does not exist, but he (and others) are trying to make it happen.
- If somewhere in the distro's install we provide a way to opt for
non-OSS software, I think it should be an opt-out. It would be fun to be able to have that as an opt-in (to non-free software) because it was not wanted by most, but I think in this case the membership probably cares less about non-OSS stuff the way we do it than they care about using perfect FOSS (I'm certainly open to contradiction here; my sample size is small, being just me, myself, and I). One more prompt during an install seems unnecessary. Perhaps on the summary screen before an install, where the Software is listed, a link could be there to disable the non-OSS packages, so it's nothing more than a click, like enabling sshd and opening the firewall port for it.
Please add these comments to this FATE request I made a few months ago. I think it should be on the "Additional Repositories" page, with a checkbox saying "[X] Enable proprietary repositories". This signals two things to the user:
- The use of proprietary software is an *addition* to openSUSE, which
can be used without proprietary software.
- That removing proprietary software from openSUSE is really as simple
as checking a box. There's no need to manually blacklist the repos / patterns (which is what I currently do).
If we were to go down this route we should scan the machines hardware and show a popup telling them which hardware on there machine may not work as expected due to there choice to use only free software so that we don't end up with a bunch of bugs about things not working without people realising this choice led to that.
As a side note as someone who worked at a hardware manufacturing company (Non PC) alot of whats in firmware now days would have been a couple of resistors or wires 10 years back, this is mostly due to firmware being cheaper now.
If you have 2 products one more expensive one with more features and a cheaper variant from a manufacturing point its often cheaper to just use one set of hardware for both in the past there would have been a extra wire or resistor to split the two variants. Now this is done in firmware rather then with a resistor so in many cases firmware is closer to hardware then software (Yes sometimes its not).
While the hardware may cost the same to manufacture the reason one is more expensive then the other is the R&D costs, yes this bit of firmware could be made open or even removed but then there would only be one varient and everyone would need to pay more.
The open hardware movement is a nice idea but its alot harder then open software due to the overheads involved. For example I can sit on my couch and write free software in my spare time but I couldn't sit on my couch and fabricate a custom silicon chip the costs associated with even doing a couple of prototype runs are so expensive that its not feasible unless you have huge amounts of spare money or a good business plan on how to recover the costs, this is why there are so few CPU manufacturers. I could sit down and design a open CPU in silicon but there is no way I could cover the cost of producing it.
Anyway enough ranting, good luck and have fun.