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Re: "Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge" or "Debian commits suicide"

Joe Buck wrote:
Exactly.  And it is *that* that you might want to apologize to the
debian-devel list for: not for asserting that AJ was wrong about the
social contract and the DFSG,
Or indeed for insulting him, since I can't really apologize for that without lying. Well, I did my best to craft an honest apology which contains no further insults.

From where I sit, AJ was guilty of the crime of pragmatism...

I see. So you're saying that AJ judged the meaning of the Social Contract fundamentally by prior actions, not by the text at all? This is certainly an point of view which is quite hard for me to comprehend.
It also doesn't seem fit with his statements about his view.

Well, not quite;
Yes quite. It was precisely what you say *until* someone pointed out that the Social Contract actually wasn't textually ambiguous in a way which allowed non-DFSG-free documentation, and the explanation for that was carefully and politely repeated on several different lists. My hostility level, and that of others, rose significantly after that was identified and ignored. Which was months ago. (In case you missed it, if "Debian will remain 100% Free Software", and documentation isn't software, how can Debian contain documentation at all?)

(If you actually disregard the text in *favor* of prior actions, you can get a reasonable position. There were people who did something similar to that; they suggested amending the Social Contract to say "Debian will remain a collection of Free Software and other works", on the grounds that that was what was meant, or what should have been meant. Which was a reasonable view, although there are a lot of people who politely disagreed.)

it's more like using prior actions to reason about points
where the DFSG appears to be ambiguous.   It said "free software", as did
the social contract.  Is documentation software?  Based on previous
actions, one might think that the writers of the contract didn't think so,
but maybe they just didn't notice.  The new GR makes things clearer, which
is why some don't think that it could be called an editorial change.  Now,
there is also a good argument also that the DFSG should have been applied
to documentation all along, but AJ thought he found a way to avoid that.
Now, before you argue with me about the above paragraph, think about it as
Yeah, I did the thinking. I couldn't help myself, though, hence the argument point above. Although I left out many others because I'm assuming you actually know them. (But if I'm wrong, do tell.) That paragraph deliberately completely misses the points of the arguments for the debian-legal interpretation of the previous Social Contract, right? Diplomacy and saving face requires, in this case, pretending one's previous arguments never existed and never needed to? That makes me deeply uncomfortable.

a piece of diplomacy rather than as a purported theorem which it is your
job to disprove.  The purpose of the diplomacy is to permit people like
you and people like AJ to all save face and to continue to work together.
Of course that would be the goal. :-) I'm not sure what saving face would constitute for me, so I guess I don't get an equal share of this. (Is a need for face-saving perhaps the 'looking good' psychological point?)

You agree to disagree about the past, and you agree that, going forward,
no one can deny that the DFSG applies to every byte Debian ships.

Actually, *nobody* agrees that it should, going forward!

See the discussion over license texts. I guess people like me and people like AJ agree (maybe) that the long-term *goal* is that it will apply to the whole Debian system, but there are (endless!) arguments over how to get to that goal. Of course, people like Marco D'Itri don't even agree on *that*.

And there's the often glossed-over distinction between the Debian system and 'what Debian ships'. It seems to be the majority opinion that Debian should ship non-free, so...

Maybe you can come up with a better conclusion?  :-p

<snip lots of random stuff I wrote and decided not to send, as usual>

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