Well, following some other posts on Planet debian, I decided to also publish my vote on the GR regarding Firmware blobs in Debian. Here is my vote:
In other words, I rank the first option as low as possible (7, below further discussion), ranked all options I think make sense above further discussion (which is at rank 3) and put all other options (except for the one empowering the release team to decide the issue) at the same, highest rank. The option empowering is ranked at the second level.
My priority really is to get Lenny released. While I think we should do as much as we can removing non-free stuff from Debian, I really don’t think it is sensible to delay Lenny because of this. Lenny has far less non-free bits in it than Etch, and I’m also not really sure wether I really want to consider firmware (which doesn’t run on the CPU Debian is for) as software in the sense of the DFSG. The reasoning here is that I don’t see any difference between a hardware manufacturer A who embeds a (non-free) firmware in the hardware (for example in the sense of storing it in a flashable memory) and a hardware manufacturer B who allows us to distribute the firmware blob (and avoids storing it in the hardware). In my opinion, both are equally (non-)free. And following this, I don’t see why we should support hardware created by A natively while not directly supporting hardware made by B.
One could of course argue that we are providing more of a service for B (as we are distributing the firmware for them, while they save some money otherwise spent for the flash memory), but I would like to remind everyone that our foundation documents also include the following:
“Our priorities are our users and free software”
This puts free software and our users at the same level. So to cater for one, we might have to make sacrifices on the other priority. In my opinion, the best compromise here is to not consider firmware blobs as software in the sense of the DFSG, but alternatively, I would accept saying we want to remove all such firmware from Debian, but not to delay Lenny because of this process. Additionally, we should make it easy for users to add all effected drivers/firmwares before/during installation of a system (or even include them on our installation media as some proposed, with a short question to the user wether he wants those firmware blobs to be installed).
Apart from my opinion on the subject itself, I must also mention my concerns about how this vote was written in a very manipulative way. Additionally, those wanting to get Lenny released were proposing too many different options. This is generally a bad idea.