Mark Shuttleworth: Binary-only codecs, nyet

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Corey, the distinctions between software that enables the hardware to function fully, and software that delivers a specific feature, are manifest.

Ubuntu has included firmware, and used proprietary drivers since its inception. That’s always been a slightly uncomfortable proposition, as Mako observed, but it’s been true since the Warty Warthog. Even Debian goes some way along that road with its inclusion of firmware and other non-free bits, suspending belief in the DFSG in this particular case. We discussed this at length in one of our earliest summits and settled on the hardware enablement vs apps boundary.

It’s worth pointing out that all of the applications that will be enabled by the AcceleratedX decision are free software applications - Compiz/Beryl and related work are all about showing what is possible at the cutting edge of free software.

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