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Re: Editorial changes to the Social Contract

On 11 Feb 2006, Jérôme Marant outgrape:

> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:
>>>> On 9 Feb 2006,  Jérôme Marant spake thusly:
>>>>> The only people it made happy are extremists.
>> Oh, so I am extremist now. By believing that all bits
>> modifiable by the computer are software? And the overwhelming
> Yes, I think it is an extreme interpretation of the SC.

        People espousing what you consider en extreme interpretation
 of a documents are now extremists? I shall refrain, from the point of
 politeness, from characterizing people who hold whatI feel is a
 silly and moronic interpretation of the SC.

>> majority that voted for the proposal are all .... extremeists? As
>> well as the people who did not vote to revert the proposal in a
>> later GR?
>> What a wonderful world you live in.
> Would you please tell me how necessary it is to modify RMS essays,
> the GNU Manifesto, and so on, and how removing them from Emacs will
> make Debian more free?  I'm afraid it sounds ideological.

        Could you tell me why it is necesary tomodify wonderful pieces
 of software like vim or emacs, and how it makes  Debian more free? I
 mean, those authors have poured their heart and soul into those

        If you do not see how starting with a GNU Manifesto and
 modifying it to be Manoj's manifesto is a freedom that can be
 coveted, I am afraid I do not see how you understand the concept of
 freedom of software actually works.

        People have created essays by modifying other peoples works,
 with proper attribution (this is based on, but not the same as views
 and essays by foo, and represents my views, not theirs, but the ideas
 are not mine originally, I stand on the shoulders of giants .....)

        Being able to create new, derivative essays tailored to my
 needs and views but based on works by other people is a right that
 being able to modify software gives me.

> It will surely not improve Debian freedom but bring a new burden for
> maintainers who will have to repackage upstream tarballs because
> some people have an fundamentalist interpretation of the SC.

        Or some authors bundle non-free works with free works, and
 yes,, that is a burden. But promoting software freedom is not without
 costs: every freedom comes at a price (perhaps not quite the blood of
 patriots, but still).

>>>>> I'd propose to revert this and clearly define what software is.
>>>>> Also, I can't see a definition of what Software is.  I've not
>>>>> seen any definition going beyond that (of wordnet)
>> ,----[ From Wikipedia: ]
>> |   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_hardware
> ...
>> |         was first proposed by Alan Turing in an essay. 
>> `----
> There is no such definition at debian.org either.  Where on our web
> site can we find what software means for Debian?  Maybe I missed it?

        Is there a definition of the word definition? Is there a
 definition of the word "is", to you Clinton watchers out there? Do we
 define every wrod on the web site?

        Wikipedia, and the weight of computer sceince history,
 strongly support the software/hardware/wetware mode of classification
 as being long and widely held.

>>>>> That was a 3:1 majority out of 200 voters, considering that
>>>>> Debian counts almost 1000 developers
>> Let us examine your thesis in more detail.
>> constitution:      86      out of    357   24.08963%
>> logo license:     107      out of    497   21.52917%
>> New logo:         143      out of    509   28.09430%
>> Condorcet:        160      out of    804   19.90049%
>> Section 4.1.5:    254      out of    928   27.37068%
>> non-free section: 491      out of    908   54.07488%
>> Editorial:        216      out of    911   23.71020%
>> Release Sarge:    415      out of    909   45.65456%
>> Declassify mail:  305      out of    967   31.54084%
>> By no means does the Editorial changes vote stand out as having low
>> turnout; we generally get 20-30% turnout, unless the issue is seen
>> as a hot button one a priori.  Now, the vote announcement was sent
>> to d-d-a no less than 4 times. It is on a mailing list meant to be
>> read by every developer. The mail said it was modifying the
>> SC. What would you call people who did not bother to read that
>> email, and chose not to exercise their right to vote?
> I said the vote is valid but you cannot draw conclusions. Nothing
> more.

        You can not draw conclusions one way or the other about most
 GR's then.  Are you saying that the Quorum should be increased to
 30%? 40%? 50%? 

        If so, you know where to start the GR. If not, what do you
 think the concept of Quorum means? Why is a vote that meets quorum
 requirement not enough to draw conclusions by?

>> If people think the quorum requirements are too low, I would
>> not be averse to raising K and Q  to be higher than their current
>> values.
> I indeed think the quorum is too low.

        Why are you neglecting your duties as a Debian Developer to
 correct this lacuna in how the project operates? Are we not
 supposed to be working for the improvement of Debian?

>>>>> and considering that many pros are convinced they have been
>>>>> deceived. 
>> I see. If you are saying that they voted on the GR, but felt
>> deceived by title "editorial changes", then, in essence, they voted
>> on a GR that changes a foundation document, where the full text of
>> the GR was available on Debian's web site, and had been sent to
>> their mail box no less than 4 times, and they call not reading the
>> actual text "being deceived"? I would label it as gross dereliction
>> of duty as a Debian developer exercising their franchise, Sloth,
>> incompetence, or illiteracy.
> No, people suddenly decided that software was "any bits in Debian"
> and it opened a door to their interpretation.  This is a deception.

        I did not suddenly decide that. The term "software" was first
 used in this sense by John W. Tukey in 1957. In computer science and
 software engineering, computer software is all information processed
 by computer systems, programs and data. The concept of software was
 first proposed by Alan Turing in an essay. 

        If you think that a concept valid since the 1940's is
 "suddenly" foisted on a project that did not exist until the 1990's,
 you have a strange concept of sudden.

> My definition is still computer programs and their documentation.

        Your definition can make software to be dolphins swimming in a
 circle -- it is unlikely to change mine. Telling me that espousing a
 view held by people as central to CS as Turing to be extremist earns
 that a special niche in my estimation.

Being a mime means never having to say you're sorry.
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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