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Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

>> Not all pros in this GR are what I call extremists.  I suspect some of them
>> did not expect the consequences of modifying the SC that way.  After all,
>> weren't they editorial changes?
> Ah.  I didn't understand earlier that you meant you felt deceived by the GR
> as someone who voted in favor of it.  This is rather surprising to me; I
> was taken off guard by the immediate consequences of the GR, but I had no
> doubt as to its intended meaning -- i.e., that all bits in the archive
> should be treated under the same rules.

This is what I call fundamentalism (no offence meant), that is a bare
interpretation of guidelines, without leaving a place for "external
parameters", say Common Sense.

For instance, how does shipping Emacs with verbatim essays from RMS, the GNU
Manifesto, and any other stuffs like that makes it non-free?  Will removing
them make Debian more free?  I doubt anyone is going to convince me of this,
despite the interpretation of the SC.

Speaking of GFDL, while I admit invariant sections are problematic,
there are cases where shipping programs without their documentation
would render them useless.  For example, I can't imagine Debian
shipping desktop environments without their documentation.

Also, I can't see a definition of what Software is.  I've not seen any
definition going beyond that:

>From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:

       n : (computer science) written programs or procedures or rules
           and associated documentation pertaining to the operation
           of a computer system and that are stored in read/write
           memory; "the market for software is expected to expand"
           [syn: {software system}, {software package}, {package}]
           [ant: {hardware}]

Software would be program + their technical documentation.  So, do
data have to follow the same rules?  And verbatim essays?


>> I'm not happy with the results, but I've never questions the validity
>> of the vote.
> Hmm, fair enough; your comments did seem awfully parallel to those of Marco,
> who *does* question the validity of the vote (repeatedly...).

Votes are conducted by the Secretary and I trust him enough to think that
rules are being religiously followed.
Nonetheless, I'm not sure rules are ideal, especially the 3:1 supermajority.

>> > BTW, votes in Debian *are* public, you know; and
>> > <http://www.debian.org/vote/2004/gr_editorial_tally.txt> clearly shows you
>> > voted in favor of modifying the Social Contract.  Could you make up your
>> > mind which vocal minority you intend to be a part of, please?
>> I thought it was editorial changes, but it looks it was not.
>> I thought there were some bits of common sense with interpreting DFSG,
>> so modifying the SC was OK. But it seems _some_ people wants that
>> "every byte in main shall be covered by a free software license, whatsoever".
>> I think it is insane, so modifying the SC was not a good idea after all.
> Well, as I said, if you don't think this is the correct outcome, it's in
> your power to change it.  I think that developers changing their minds about
> a particular ballot option *is* a legitimate reason to have a new vote.  I
> would rather see a second vote on the same question, than to see developers
> feeling that their project has been co-opted by an extremist minority.

I agree with you.  Fundamentaly, we are missing the rationale for the
SC and DFSG, and what was meant in them.  They seem to be entrenched
with nobody willing to change/improve them.

> I disagree that I'm an extremist and I don't believe that I'm a minority,
> but I do respect your right to prove me wrong. :)

I'll try to stay civil at least :-)

Jérôme Marant

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