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Re: Draft new DFSG

I wrote:
> The only change I would propose to the DFSG is the addition of a
> clause explicitly stating that Debian can pass a resolution declaring
> any particular license "in" or "out", regardless of its actual
> wording.  This would effectively plug all loopholes and give Ian a
> chance to talk us into throwing out particular licenses that he finds
> repugnant even if they are technically in compliance.

Manoj Srivastava writes:

> You might as well throw away the DFSG. A dilution of the DFSG with that
> clause would essentially mean that Debian decides, on whimsy, what
> packages to accept or not to accept depending on unspecified criteria,
> like whether they happen to like the color of the eyes of the author, or
> not.

Why do you hold the developers in such contempt?   You imply that we would
be driven mad by the enormous power of being able to vote packages in or
out and start passing hordes of frivolous resolutions.

The fact is that such a clause would be invoked rarely, if ever, and a
resolution based on it given long, serious, and careful consideration.

And almost certainly fail.

> No we can't already do this. 

Do you mean that if the developers were to pass a resolution (following the
constitional forms, of course) removing a package, it would have no effect?

> We do not throw things out just because we do not like the package.

I wrote that we *can* do it, not that we do do it.

> Remember the hissy fit bruce had wrt the purity package? Despite his
> objection to the moral depravity of the package, and we all said that the
> package was DFSG free, and we are not into moral judgements.

An excellent example.  Bruce proposed that we remove an apparently DFSG
compliant package for reasons not covered by the DFSG.  We gave the
proposal due consideration and rejected it.  Why do you believe that we
would not act similarly in the future?

I wrote:

> If the only thing stopping us from refusing to accept packages because we
> don't like the author is the absence of some words from the DFSG, we have
> bigger problems than this.

manoj writes:
> One of the things stopping you from doing this is people like me You
> throw a package like that out, and I shall package it myself and put it
> in the distribution.

I neither have nor want any power to throw anything out.  I am quite
willing to trust the developers as a whole with such power, however.  I
trust them.  You evidently do not.

> Having the DFSG ratify your personal preferences over an open and
> deterministic standard is, quite frankly, disgusting.

What could my personal preferences possibly have to do with it?  And why do
you imagine that I could possibly convince a majority of the developers to
share them?

No standard such as the DFSG can be completely deterministic.  Someone must
be able to render authoritative interpretations.  I propose to make it
explicit that the developers be that someone.  Would prefer that it be the
technical committee?  The Leader?

> We do not decide on whether to let people or package is based on their
> skin color, race, creed, or whther the developers happen to like them
> today.

This is true.  We do not.  And my proposal would not and could not change
John Hasler                This posting is in the public domain.
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