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Re: Social Contract GR's effect on sarge

On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 05:39:37AM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 10:38:29AM +0200, Florian Weimer wrote:
> > Furthermore, any bitmap rendering of a vector drawing has to be
> > removed if the vector drawing is not available, and all Postscript
> > files without source code have to be removed.  This audit is a
> > substantial task.

> Is this GR actually intended to say that source must be available for all
> data?  I only see it saying that all data in Debian must be Free, which
> is what the social contract already said.

> It doesn't seem to actually change anything at all, except to shut up
> the people who insist on the old, tired arguments that documentation isn't 
> software and that the DFSG doesn't apply to documentation.

> If this GR actualy changed anything, and "remain 100% free software" meant
> something different than "remain 100% free", then there must be something
> in Debian which is not software.  I believe that's false.  I suspect that's
> why this was called an "editorial" change; it doesn't change the meaning
> of the social contract, it only clarifies it.

The rhetorical argument used by those who insisted the DFSG should not
apply to documentation was that documentation was not software,
therefore its freeness did not matter.

I personally never accepted this argument, nor considered it relevant to
the policy for sarge; IMHO, the justification for delaying the
enforcement of the DFSG on documentation and other non-program software
is that this is a de facto policy change compared with previous
releases, and *not* a de jure change, and making a sweeping, disruptive
change like this does not serve our interests.  I think even after this
GR, it's still within the purview of the release manager to not enforce
this policy for the release in progress, just as it's considered ok that
build-depends are currently not enforced in testing.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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