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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

On 22 May 2006, Juergen A. Erhard verbalised:

> On Sun, May 21, 2006 at 03:55:53PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
>> [...]  They didn't ask you because Debian is not a democracy and
>> random opinions on this decision *don't* matter.
> Wow, thanks for telling us.  I thought the Debian developers elected
> a DPL every year.  Of course, since I'm not one, I got that
> wrong.</sarcasm>

        I think your sarcasm is misplaced, and results from an very
 superficial analysis of how Debian works.  Very few decisions in
 Debian are taken based on vox populi; indeed, only electing the DPL
 is a significant event that is decided democratically.

On 22 May 2006, Michael Meskes outgrape:

On 22 May 2006, Michael Meskes outgrape:
> On Sun, May 21, 2006 at 11:26:26PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
>> That would make Debian, at most, a republic, not a democracy.
> Would you care to elaborate and explain it isn't a democratic
> republic then?

        A DPL does not have the level of powers that I would expect to
 exist in a republic.  Delegates do not serve at the will of the DPL.
 The DPL does not tell delegates how to decide things, and can not
 fire them if they take a decision he disagrees with.

        No one can tell a developer how to do their job, and
 developers can't be fired as long as they maintain a certain
 standard. Case in point: a company CEO can say everyone uses cdbs as
 a helper package, no way that is viable for Debian.

On 22 May 2006, Thijs Kinkhorst uttered the following:

> You seem to be thinking that a democracy equals that everyone has a
> say in every decision. Have you tried that in Germany? In any
> democracy, there's a spelt out procedure in what way "the people"
> can influence elected officials and decisions.

        Indeed, the converse is in play here: very few decisions are
 made via popular vote. If Germany makes as few decisions based on the
 voice of the people, or the representatives of the people acting in
 their behalf, and responding to the wishes of the people discerned
 either directly or indirectly, then perhaps yes, even Germany should
 stop calling itself any kind of a democracy.  I personally doubt that
 this is the case, however.

On 21 May 2006, Josselin Mouette spake thusly:
> Re-read the constitution. By several aspects, Debian *is* a
> democracy.  Some developers are ignoring it, but this is something
> that should be fixed.

        I was under the impression that I was familiar with the
 constitution, and it does not appear that way to me at all. There is
 a check and balance mechanism where a (super) majority of developers
 may override decisions taken elsewhere, but they have no voice in the
 decision making itself, and they still can't force people to act on
 these decisions.

On 22 May 2006, Michael Meskes verbalised:

> Second if Debian is no democracy what else is it???

        Debian is a project where a bunch of volunteers come together
 to produce the best distribution of Linux -- and not to form a
 hierarchy, nor to have others dictate how one works.  So while we do
 make accommodations required to work as a group, and to integrate our
 software, the kinds of contracts required for a functional democracy
 have not been entered upon by us as a group.  I happen to think this
 is a good thing.

You will contract a rare disease.
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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