Connectivity is going to be an increasing problem for pure libre distros in the future. Replicant tops out at 3G still, as carriers sunset 2G and are launching 5G.
The linux kernel tops out at 802.11n without proprietary binary blobs. Which is now two generations behind current.
Unless something changes these are eventually going to become exestential questions for these communities.
I bit the bullet and switched to 802.11ac on my coreboot thinkpad this past year. Because 802.11ac mesh networking fixed a lot of interference issues we were having.
I suspect connectivity as a pragmatic point is going to trump idealism for many folks.
@trashheap I've honestly never understood how the libre folks were ok with "a device that loads its firmware from a connected flash chip" but not ok with "a device that loads its firmware by asking a connected computer to read it from a hard drive"
@kepstin There are always going to be wierd philisophical edge cases.
With free software, probably more so with time. The more everything looks like a computer; the more edge cases will tend to boil up.
It never surprises me when one group of people find themselves on either side of such a fence.
@trashheap looks like we're only 8-9 years out from most of 4G tech being unencumbered by patents, so maybe we'll be able to salvage some of the current-gen devices eventually, but yeah, we need a major sea change in terms of wireless connectivity in the libre world
@djsundog @m4iler @trashheap People who care about user freedom are used to being stuck with old stuff at this point. The reason new stuff has crappy support from Free Software is that plenty of people are so enamored with New Stuff that they are willing to give up their freedom to get it. It shouldn't be surprising that this causes problems for those who give a shit about freedom. Until we're willing to tell those people to go fuck themselves, we're screwed.
@trashheap (forgot the citation of that timeframe - warning, PDF: https://www.iipta.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/LTE.pdf )
@trashheap Even with 802.11n and 3g wireless networking devices, the devices were already more or less general purpose processors (often with dsp extensions) running closed source rtos or embedded code.
The only difference is that with newer devices they usually don't bother including a flash or rom with an (old, broken, sometimes even with security bugs!) firmware version any more, since in order to make the devices work correctly you had to load a newer firmware at runtime anyways :/
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