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Re: Draft new DFSG

>>"Jim" == Jim Pick <jim@jimpick.com> writes:

 Jim> Ian Jackson <ian@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

 >> Jim Pick writes ("Re: Draft new DFSG"):
 >> > Oh no!  Now we are going to have two "standards" for free licenses.
 >> I have two answers to this:
 >> Firstly, I think it's important that we, Debian, control our own free
 >> software guidelines.  I don't think that Bruce and ESR doing things
 >> which are a bad thing should force us to go along with them.

 Jim> It's important that we aren't held hostage by an outside party.
 Jim> On the other hand, I'm not certain that we really need to
 Jim> maintain an "iron-fist of control" over the definition that we
 Jim> subscribe to.

	I disagree. I think it is imperative that we decide what we
 consider to be free. Every one else can, as well. What matters it if
 there are a plethora of converging definitions?

 Jim> I'd be very happy if there was a free software community
 Jim> "standard" based on the DFSG that was controlled by a
 Jim> standardization process.  This could be a relatively static
 Jim> document that only very occasionally was amended with input from
 Jim> many groups when practical situations arise.  Think of the US
 Jim> Constitution or Bill of Rights.  That sort of thing.

	This is orthogonal. There could be a centrally trusted
 document, that we can track, if you wish. But there always should be
 a DFSG, over which we excercise total editorial control. 

 Jim> Of course, we should retain "executive control" to add additional
 Jim> restrictions on top of that for our own use.

	I think we agree, except that I think the executively
 controlled document be called the DFSG.

 Jim> Of course, this has to be handled delicately.  It's 100% political.
 Jim> The process should come first.  The current set of self-appointed free
 Jim> software advocacy gurus don't "cut it" when it comes to the business
 Jim> of politics.  They are all (yourself included) too principled to guide
 Jim> the process without trying to bend it.

	In that case, we should leave it to non-hacekers who are not
 too principled to ughh, slime their way to whatever goal is
 desired. I just think we should have nothing to do with a process for
 which we are termed too principled. 

 Jim> They're all hackers.  Many hackers have a lot of credibility, but very
 Jim> few have the political savvy.  Real politicians are extremely
 Jim> wishy-washy - that's how you build consensus.  Unfortunately, you
 Jim> can't be wishy-washy when writing code - there are too many decisions
 Jim> to make.  That's why real hackers are singularily unqualified to guide
 Jim> the political process.

	Let the politicos have their document. We shall have the
 DFSG. If there is something in the political document that we like,
 we can allways define similar terms in the DFSG.

 Jim> Imagine RMS running for U.S. President.  :-)

 Jim> Are you a hacker or a politician?

 Jim> I think you are a hacker (a compliment, in my eyes) - which explains
 Jim> why you aren't seeking a consensus beyond Debian itself.  That would
 Jim> limit your ability to make decisions, which is what hackers do.

	That is only one of the important factors. Control over what
 we feel is free is not to be sneezed at.

 Jim> In the end, only one set of guidelines will hold sway with the greater
 Jim> community.  The OSD vs. DFSG debate could last for years, and become
 Jim> extremely heated.  Look at the heat the KDE/Qt debate has created -
 Jim> and it's only been a little over a year.

	The DFSG is not in competition with any other document. This
 merely defines what we are. We seek to conquer noone. We seek no
 marlet domination. Debian is sufficient in itself.

 Jim> Bruce and ESR are going to try very hard to push the OSD.  They don't
 Jim> have the street cred that Debian does - but "Open Source" is in
 Jim> fashion, and they also have the additional advantage that they are
 Jim> reaching out to a much larger community, and could put in a more
 Jim> inclusive and open process if pushed.

	I am happy for them.

 Jim> I do hope that Debian/SPI can eventually patch things up with
 Jim> Bruce/ESR/OSI.  The current incestuous, distrustful situation that
 Jim> appears to be driving things is very embarassing to be associated
 Jim> with.

	Heh. I have been through too many of Bruces tantrums to have
 much faith in any of that coming to pass. Personally, after his
 previous set of missives to the project, he has been a prime
 candidate for kill files. Crudty and foul language we can do

 No proper program contains an indication which as an operator-applied
 occurrence identifies an operator-defining occurrence which as an
 indication-applied occurrence identifies an indication-defining
 occurrence different from the one identified by the given indication
 as an indication-applied occurrence. ALGOL 68 Report
Manoj Srivastava  <srivasta@acm.org> <http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>
Key C7261095 fingerprint = CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E

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