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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 12:40:56 +0200, Benj Mako Hill <mako@debian.org> said: 

> On Tue, Apr 27, 2004 at 05:08:24PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> > Basically, the ball has been out of Don and my court for months
>> > and we've been expecting some sort of public announcement from
>> > FSF for as long. The DPL, Don and I have been in good touch with
>> > the FSF on the issue. They have not been able to wrap up the
>> > process on their end for a number of reasons (SCO being one big
>> > one I'm sure, but there are others).
>> So, there has been no movement from the FSF's side; and the fact
>> that you say that the ball is in their court is enough to convince
>> me that the lack of progress is not Debian's fault.

> The FSF has been communicating with us regularly and there does seem
> to be movement inside -- just not as much as anyone (the FSF or us)
> would like.

	Which leads us to a dilemma: the longer the GFDL remain
 unchallenged, the more entrenched it gets. There is also evidence
 that people are using invariant sections in a manner not envisaged by
 the authors of the GFDL: Ralf Hildebrandt's postfix  page used to
 have this license statement: `
Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms
of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version
published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being
THE WHOLE DOCUMENT (each section is invariant). No Front- or Back-Cover Texts
are provided. '

	I think the conclusions drawn by the Debian community need to
 be disseminated to the free software community,  and the sooner the
 better; I've been dissuaded from doing that by the dangling carrot of
 the looming fix to the license. But, at some point, unless one can
 bite into the carrot, it fails to be a motivator.

>> However, I do not see what exactly it is that is being preempted;
>> there is no concrete evidence that any shift has occurred at all --
>> talking about how to talk further, after two and a half years since
>> the talks started, seems a meager reward.

> In all fairness. This two and a half years number is a little
> unfair. While the discussions on -legal last year brought us to some
> some concrete positions on the GFDL within Debian, they also
> undermined trust between some key members of the FSF and the Debian
> project in ways that have made a resolution to our issues more
> difficult. The committee has only been active for about half a
> year. Yes. That's still a long time but it's not 2.5 years.

	I''l concede that the committtee has had only 6 months to work
 on this issue. 

>> Do we have an exit strategy?

> I don't think the exit strategy is really in doubt. If the talks
> fail, we'll vote on your position statement as a GR and act on GFDL
> docs in main accordingly. The controversial part is determining when
> those talks have failed. I think that this is best left up to the
> people doing the talking. You clearly disagree.

	I think the people doing the talking are strongly invested
 into having the talks succeed, and may drag on the process while even
 a glimmer of hope remains. I also think that delaying indefinitely
 about taking action does the community little good.

	I ask again: how long should we give the rapproachment process
 this time around?  How long do we wait hoping for concrete meovement
 (not just private indications that can't be shared with the likes of
 me)  before we say fish or cut bait?

Peterson's Admonition: When you think you're going down for the third
time -- just remember that you may have counted wrong.
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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