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Re: Can we have a debate?

On Tue, Jun 13, 2000 at 02:03:03AM +0200, Fabrice Gautier wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 13, 2000 at 08:36:54AM +0900, Noka wrote:
> > And hope that Debian is wise enough to listen to users
> > because users may almost equal to market, customers or
> > clients in business field.
> Since when do customers or clients in business field have a rigth to
> vote?  (to follow your analogy)

Since when does a business write a document that explicitly promises
to its users or the community in general that they'll behave responsibly?

> Anyway, a user-vote would be technically very difficult to put in place.

Make an alias non-free-user-poll@vote.debian.org.
Procmail it so that if you send a "vote" mail, it records
	(a) your name
	(b) your email
	(c) your vote
and so that it send a majordomo-esque authentication mail to that email
Once a reply to the authentication email is sent, make it record that
vote as authenticated.

Then ensure the email addresses are unique, that there aren't too many
from a single host or that have a single MX, or ensure that all the email
addresses are subscribed to debian-user, or do something similar for
validation against vote stacking.

Similar systems have been in place for voting on Big-8 newsgroups since

What might be more difficult is working out how to judge the results. If
99% of users demand we keep non-free, do we vote anyway? If 49% of users
want non-free and 51% have no use for it at all, is that indicative of
a significant number of users wanting non-free, or that a majority don't
want it? Similarly, wording the ballot so that it's not biassed towards
getting rid of non-free or not may be difficult. But these aren't technical

> And anyway your analogy is very bad. Remember Debian is about Free
> Software ot market. You can expect RedHat to consider users interests
> before their personnal believes. You can expect Debian Developpers to
> do the exact reverse: They are doing what they believe in.

Some of us believe in the needs of our users. (Actually, I suspect most
or all of us do, whether we or they agree that non-free serves those
needs or not)


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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