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Re: Draft new DFSG

On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Daniel Martin wrote:

> We add a preamble saying both that: 
> 1) Although meeting the DFSG is a necessary condition for a package to
> be included in the main Debian, not every package that meets these
> guidelines will necessarily become part of Debian, and one shouldn't
> view the fact that some program is not part of Debian as a statement
> by the Debian maintainers that said program does not meet the DFSG.
> We (the Debian developers) may opt to keep certain packages out of
> Debian for reasons other than those specified in the DFSG.

This is a terrible idea!

> and
> 2) In case of a dispute as to whether or not a package is free
> according to the DFSG, the Debian developers are the final authority.

It was my understanding that the constitution gives this authority to the
"Technical Committee".

> Now, this splits the notion of when the judgement of the developers
> will be used into two nice distinct categories, ones which I think all 
> concerned can agree on.
Dream on ;-)

> (Now, whether we ever should keep a package out of Debian that meets
> the DFSG is a different case, but I think that there should be no
> problem with our stating that we might do that.  Certainly, no
> DFSG-free package is going to make it into Debian if no developer
> packages it.)
There is only one way a package makes it into Debian. A developer packages

There is only one way to keep a package, duely submitted by a developer,
out of the main Debian distribution. If the license fails to satisfy the
DFSG, it may not go into main.

Turn either of these "rules" into a "democratic" process and you defeat
the foundations of the distribution. These two concepts are at the root of
how Debian functions.

Another observation I will make: If you start excluding packages from the
distribution that are DFSG compliant, you encourage members to take their
knowledge elsewhere and create "yet another distribution" yad a yad a ;-)

While this might help management problems within the group, it would
certainly not be a Debian I would be interested in.

Waiting is,

_-_-_-_-_-   Author of "The Debian Linux User's Guide"  _-_-_-_-_-_-

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (850) 656-9769
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