Re: "Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge" or "Debian commits suicide"
Joe Buck wrote:
Well, since AJ is routinely insulting, and has been known to
misinterpret people and then attack them for their supposed view (and
refuse to be corrected!), I don't feel the need to be especially polite
to him. That said, I apologize for pretending to understand his psychology.
Nathanael Nerode wrote:
The RM was being hypocritical, using a bogus interpretation of the Social
Contract to convince himself that he wasn't. After the amendment passed,
he was unable to delude himself further. I don't think the proponents of
the amendment could have predicted his psychology.
Yuk. Didn't your mother teach you any manners?
(Anyway, you should have seen the version which was an actual flame;
this *was* the polite version.)
Certainly. Unfortunately, the best he could do involved being deluded,
and he's blaming the result on the Social Contract change.
The RM has contributed a vast amount of work to the project; he's a human
being who is doing the best he can.
I have no problem with the people who held the view that documentation
could go in main without satisfying the DFSG *until* the reasons why it
was a *non-viable* interpretation were explained to them. I would have
had no problem with people who admitted that it was a non-viable
interpretation and proposed a GR to change the DFSG to match their
interpretation (nobody did this).
The view he held about the meaning of
the DFSG might be a minority view, but it was honestly held by a number of
people who don't deserve to be crapped on for it.
(To repeat why it's non-viable, if you interpret 'software' to exclude
documentation in "Debian will remain 100% Free software", then you have
to take documentation out of Debian, because it's not software.)
I do have a problem with the people who held that view even *after* it
was explained to them, in great detail, why it was simply not a viable
interpretation of the English meaning of the Social Contract. And this
included AJ. He was deluding himself. He deliberately ignored not only
the views of debian-legal, the writer of the Social Contract, a straw
poll of DDs, a straw poll of users, but also the many clear and coherent
arguments. He didn't give rational arguments in reply; he gave claims
that he knew better, and that he had the power, as well as the
(demonstrated false!) claim that this was what the Social Contract had
AJ's attitude towards his "interpretation" of the Social Contract
appeared to be that of someone who didn't *want* to see the
inconsistencies in his viewpoint; that is hypocrisy. Everyone is
hypocritical sometimes; I am sure that AJ is not hypocritical most of
the time, but he sure seemed hypocritical about this.
The other view fell into the "black is white" category, and does not
deserve respect as a viewpoint. It's a viewpoint which can only be held
by not understanding English, not paying attention, or deluding oneself.
I find it difficult to be gracious about people who deliberately refuse
to listen to reason.
The recent vote has now
established that the majority view is the project-official view.
being gracious in victory.
If you wish to operate as a decent, cooperative human being, you will take
AJ's concerns at face value: he says that he thought he had wiggle room to
leave GFDL stuff in sarge before,
There are several possible ways in which he could have had wiggle room.
None of them have actually changed, except one: he had wiggle room
because he was deluding himself, refusing to understand English, or not
paying attention, and he isn't anymore.
If he can read English fluently, he should know that the GR does not
change the meaning of the Social Contract in this regard. (If he can't
read English fluently, he should listen to the informed opinions of
those who can.)
but now that a GR makes it crystal clear
that the DFSG applies to documentation, he doesn't think he can do that
His right to ignore freeness violations in Debian is *exactly the same*
as it was before. It has *not changed*.
It was stated in the GR that it was not intended to substantively change
the meaning of the Social Contract. Presumably the 4.4:1 majority who
voted for it mostly agreed with that statement. Perhaps AJ could be
convinced by that, that any problems he has are *NOT* due to the change
in the Social Contract, and it's time to stop blaming it?
It's extremely poor timing on AJ's part to "see the light" now. One
with a more hostile viewpoint than mine might suspect it of being
deliberate sabotage. If he had changed the policy to match the majority
view months ago (since it was pretty clearly the majority view months
ago), people would have been working on the ensuing problems *then*
rather than now.
If he'd just stated, long ago, that it was a deliberate decision to
temporarily ignore the Social Contract for some items, Debian could have
had a GR about whether that was OK *way* back when the GFDL issues were
discovered, rather than in this rush. In this way, his self-delusion
hurt the Debian project.
The timing of the GR may also have been unfortunate, but it was actually
queued up a long time ago; first the constitutional amendments had to go
through (lots of stuff were tabled while waiting for that), then AJ and
others demanded that the non-free GR go through before it; it's been
going as fast as it can. :-(
I was just trying to explain why AJ was acting like a nut. Sorry; I
withdraw my attempt at explanation.
There is no good reason for you to act the way you are acting,
other than if you just want to declare war on the RM and drive him away,
thereby *assuring* that sarge will never be released because
If he quits, someone will step up to replace him; of that I am certain.
Whether someone is a fool merely because they choose to be RM, I will
not attempt to judge.
no one but a
fool would replace him in the job.
I apologize for attempting to understand, possibly incorrectly, the
bizarre behavior of the RM.
I think that an apology is in order.
I still think it's important to point that this whole thread is *not*
the effect of the Social Contract change, despite the title; it's the
effect of AJ's personal decisions.
There are several ways to move forward, the most straightforward of which
is to make the sarge exception explicit in a GR.
If I were a DD (I haven't applied because I've been fixing firmware instead,
but I think I will apply ASAP), I would fully support a GR matching option
"D" (admit that sarge will not satisfy the DFSG, and release it); this is
an *honest* compromise.
Your solution is reasonable, but there is still a problem. Free software
projects will not be successful if they don't maintain good relationships
and they don't treat their key volunteers well. I would recommend that
Debian require a standard of civility in its DDs; if it doesn't, the
project risks self-destruction in a sea of flame wars. I assume that the
DD review process will assure that you measure up to this standard.
If you're going to require a standard of civility, you had better expel
AJ immediately; look at his history. And some other DDs, most likely.
(So I don't recommend it.)