Sure but this need time. Only as an example try to Download an Firmware for you Network Card without Network
The point is that if you need it, you read the instructions and download the firmware at the same time you download the official installation media. In the beginning of the installation, you have the option to preload firmware from eg. USB stick or wherever, it's just not on the official installation media. Or alternatively you use wired network to install the needed bits.
This move is quite simply a step that wasn't taken earlier because of lack of resources, since official Debian aims and has always aimed to consist of only free software. For many/most Debian developers however removing firmware/microcode is not a priority thing, and I'm also not _that_ interested but identifying and separating those bits is a good thing anyway.
Debian aims to be the universal operating system and not customized as such to be eg. direct competitor to x86-oriented (nowadays also ARM sometimes), desktop-oriented other distributions. So I don't think much was lost. It's trivial to install the closed stuff to your Debian if you know what you are doing, and if you don't know what you are doing or think that ten minutes of configuring is too much, you'd be better off with Ubuntu, MeeGo anyway.
As a disclaimer, I only use Debian on my phone, a server and one desktop machine, Ubuntu otherwise. I like the desktop tweaks in Ubuntu so it's pretty obvious choice, and also at my work it's quite assumed people work using Ubuntu. But maybe because of my FLOSS preference I tend to only use main + universe repositories. Ubuntu's multiverse is such a mess, both closed software and free but patent encumbered (depending on jurisdiction) software.
Quick question (and pardon my ignorance if this has been answered before) - Why do the Nouveau devs have a FOSS replacement for the Nvidia ucode and the AMD side do not? Is it hard to write a replacement?
It would seem quite ironic to me if Nouveau would manage to come up with
an entirely free driver and firmware combination without any support,
documentation or resources from Nvidia, while the AMD side could not.
To have all Nvidia hardware working out of the box and no AMD hardware,
would surely seem strange.
As for Debian, I can see atleast one OS (the currently biggest one),
where having to pop in a CD with proprietary drivers and firmware
haven't hurt it's market share one bit.
Debian differs from other Linux distributions in many ways, a few of which are radical departures from the ways distributions of the past were assembled. These differences have attracted developers from around the world to work together toward the common goal of making Debian the best Linux distribution available. Indeed, one of the differences that has attracted them is the fact that they can work together.
I know. But the reverse engineering was probably also not 100% legal? Nvidia does not seem to have a big problem with free firmwarecode. And AMD faces the same problem...?
I don't think that AMD has a big problem if someone pull the ucode from the fglrx an reverse engineer it.
The Point is that AMD don't want to release there ucode Source an provide an binary that everyone can use if you don't try to reverse engineer it.