Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract
Christopher Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> On Thursday 09 February 2006 18:28, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
>> Christopher Martin <email@example.com> writes:
>> > But what you are saying is that the developers don't have that
>> > right.
>> Quite wrong. I'm saying they *do* have this right, and it is a right
>> that must be exercised by a 3:1 vote.
> But why does the Secretary get to decide whether this barrier should be set
> or not? You can't say "the developers have the right to interpret the DFSG,
> not the Secretary; the Secretary only gets to arbitrarily decide to make
> the passage of some amendments far more difficult than for others because
> of his or her own contrary interpretation of the DFSG, at his or her
> personal whim." That's obviously ludicrous.
So you think that Manoj's opinion was on the basis of personal whim?
Everyone has the job of interpreting the DFSG. I'm saying that if, in
the opinion of the Secretary, an interpretation of the DFSG is
tantamount to a reversal of part of it, then it requires a 3:1
majority to pass.
> Besides, that bit of the constitution seems designed to provide an "out" for
> the Project in case some matter of procedure is challenged by some other
> delegate. Are you seriously asserting that that little clause gives the
> Secretary the right to de facto interpret, or at least heavily restrain the
> useful range of interpretation of, the DFSG?
I'm saying that the Secretary interprets the Constitution in cases of
> Of course. For the twenty millionth time, no one is denying that 3:1 _ought_
> to be required when a resolution is put forth which
> contradicts/overrides/supercedes/modifies/whatever a foundation document.
> The real issue, which you keep refusing to address, is who gets to decide
> what is or is not a contradiction/etc. rather than a
> clarification/interpretation of a foundation document?
I certainly haven't refused to address it.
The Secretary must make such a determination in order to issue a
proper ballot. It is a necessary part of the Secretary's job. It is
just as wrong for him to require only a majority when 3:1 is really
right, as it is for him to require 3:1 when only a majority is really
right. There is no "safe course"; he must make a judgment, and then
issue the correct ballot.
This is, incidentally, just what everyone else does when their job in
Debian requires it. For example, the ftpmasters must reject a package
whose license is contrary to the DFSG, and they have the power to do
so. They do not need to wait for a ballot; they do not have to defer
to the maintainer who uploaded it. It is their job to make this
determination in installing packages into the archive.
Likewise, I say, it is the Secretary's job to do so when preparing
ballots for voting.
> I'd rather risk a waste-of-time vote or two than a maverick Secretary with
> extreme, outrageously bizarre views on the DFSG who doesn't refrain from
> imposing them and makes a mess.
So the Constitution has procedures for replacing the Secretary, you know.
>> So the question is, again, whether the license is or is not
> No, that is NOT the question.
If the license is not DFSG-compliant, then a resolution to declare
that it is so, is either a dead letter, or else works a rescinding of
the DFSG to that extent.
> Yes, there is, even if you don't like it. It's called the constitutional
> way, which happens to be by respecting the will and common sense of the
> developers. "The Secretary has no choice" is backwards. The Secretary does
> in fact have no choice, as you say, but it is not to impose his/her own
> view of the DFSG on everyone else, but to refrain from doing so. The
> Secretary is not some Prince of Reason appointed to guard the DFSG. That is
> not in the constitution.
If the Secretary allows the amendment with only a majority
requirement, then he most certainly *has* imposed the view that the
amendment does not alter the DFSG.