"First, the good news: Debian 5 really is close to
arriving. On January 31st, the Debian developers announced that
Lenny's second release candidate was now out. Debian programmers
tell me that really should be the last one and that the final
version should be out by Valentine's Day.
"So, what took them so long? Lots of things, but, as usual with
Debian, mostly arguments.
"The Debian community, which over the years has had more than
its fair share of internal battles over open-source/free software
ideology, had to endure yet another battle before Lenny could
appear. This time around it was whether proprietary firmware in the
form of binary blobs could be in the distribution. Debian Social
Contract fundamentalists want nothing to do with proprietary
firmware. In particular, they didn't want to include binary
firmware in the kernel, which would be loaded into hardware at
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