Tags in firmware packages

Benjamin Mesing bensmail at gmx.net
Fri Mar 14 18:53:27 UTC 2014


> I doubt debtags is a good way to locate firmware. :)

It may not be the best way to locate firmware, but debtags is one of the
main search interfaces to the user, and I consider it a valid use case
to search for firmware e.g. to get your hardware working.

I've taken the time to look at how firmware packages are currently
tagged and it shows that this is quite heterogenous  (many are not
tagged at all). This indicates, that something is amiss.

Most packages provding "real firmware" agree to have role::data. For
firmware downloaders this is different (some have role::program).
Additionally some firmeware packages have use::driver and

If I consider "role::firmware" I think this would cause more confusion
then having benefit, because firmware-installers would not fall into
this category.

I have pondered admin::hardware, but from my understanding this means
programs aiding with the administration of hardware (derived from the
general scope of the admin:: facet). I would also argue, that the
current description of the admin::hardware tag as "Hardware Support" is

An alternative would be "use::driver" where I can find no strong
arguments against it, except may be that those are generally considered
different, depending on where they run. Perhaps the description of
"use::driver" should be changed from "hardware driver" to "Hardware

A new tag "hardware::firmware" sounds like a good candidate to me.
However, it is a little bit perpendicular to how the hardware:: facet is
currently structured.

To summarize my opinion:
      * I would change the description of "use::driver" to "Hardware
        Enablement" (which matches the hardware:: facet description) and
        add a long description: "Contains packages providing hardware
        drivers or firmware"
      * alternatively, I would vote to add a "hardware::firmware"-tag

Best regards


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