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Re: Bug#353277: Please reject to rule on the ndiswrapper question

On Wed, Mar 01, 2006 at 01:03:56AM -0300, Henrique de Moraes Holschuh wrote:
> On Tue, 28 Feb 2006, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > The Section: field of a Debian package's control file is a technical detail
> > of the package, as is the location of a package on the Debian mirror.  You
> > may consider that a particular decision has political motivations, but this
> > may be true of many technical decisions; the technical outcomes are still
> > under the purview of the Technical Committee.

> (OBdisclaimer: I could care less wether ndiswrapper is in main, contrib, or
> /dev/null)

> Steve, it is rare that I disagree with you, but frankly, that makes no sense
> at all.  Either that, or I misunderstood what you meant.

> You have here a political/social fact "A" which causes a technical
> device/method/procedure "B" to exist/happen.

> The ctte can override how B is done, but only insofar as to implement *the
> same* "A".

> Otherwise, the ctte could overrule just about everything in Debian.  Were
> they not bound by the SC themselves, they could overrule even the SC itself
> by determining that the files that determine in which suite a package go
> should make all packages in the non-free suite go into the main suite.

I wonder why you think it's *not* the intention of the constitution that the
technical committee be in a position to overrule "just about everything in
Debian".  The exact phrasing of the constitution is:

  4. Overrule a Developer (requires a 3:1 majority).

  The Technical Committee may ask a Developer to take a particular technical
  course of action even if the Developer does not wish to; this requires a
  3:1 majority. For example, the Committee may determine that a complaint
  made by the submitter of a bug is justified and that the submitter's
  proposed solution should be implemented.

Nowhere do I see anything that says the committee must limit itself to
requiring a developer to take a particular technical course of action *that
agrees with the developer's pre-existing political views on the issue*.  I
mean, it shouldn't have to be said that developers are going to disagree
with a technical committee who is overriding them for some reason or
another, and I think it's rare that a technical decision is free of all
non-technical considerations.  Given that the technical committee is the
only appelate body defined in the constitution, I don't believe it was ever
intended that their authority could be vetoed by claiming that a particular
technical decision was made on religious grounds.

The bottom line is, the technical committee can't override our foundation
documents, and it would be unwise for the committee to run around randomly
overriding developers all the time; but otherwise, this *is* the power that
the constitution invests in the TC, and you kinda have to trust that we
won't abuse it.

> > The question we have been asked to consider is, "which section should the
> > ndiswrapper package list in its control file?"  This is a technical

> The answer to that question is: the one policy determines it to.  The ctte
> can not say much more than that, packages are not placed into a *suite*
> (main or contrib) because of any sort of technical concern.

Policy claims to be a technical document.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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