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Re: Results for General Resolution: Lenny and resolving DFSG violations

On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 04:38:25PM +0100, Romain Beauxis wrote:
> To me, the social contract is a very good compromise. It states first an 
> idealist acheivement, but moderates it by some pragmatism concerning the 
> users. "unproductive" discussions fall into the same category, when they do 
> not end as flames or trolls.

It's a claim which has never been true.  "Debian shall _remain_ 100%
free"?  Remain implies that at one stage Debian had reached such a
state of Nirvana.  That has never been the case!  The disputes that we
have had, at each stable release since the 1.1 revision to the Social
Contract, have been precisely because some large, and vocal, set of
developers have not been willing to be pragmatic, but who have instead
argued for a very literalistic reading of the Social Contract.

> That is mainly why I am against the notion of Code of Conduct.

I don't see the connection which leads you to be against a Code of
Conduct, but I will note that Ubuntu CoC does not use any absolute
words.  It merely asks participants to:

	* Be considerate
	* Be respectful
	* Be collaborative
	* When you disagree, consult others
	* When you are unsure, ask for help
	* Step down considerately

These are idealistic goals --- by your own argument, what's wrong with
having them?  We need to moderate them by an understanding that human
nature being what it is, we will occasionally fail at this ideal; and
then ecourage and remind each other to try to strive for this as an
ideal --- not throw people out of the project when they fail to live
up to such a goal. 

Maybe you don't like the name "Code of Conduct", because it implies a
certain amount of inflexibility?  If so, maybe a different name would
make you more comfortable?

> Eventually, that is also the same vision that drives me in politics:
> an ideal goal moderated by pragmatism. Not the converse.

That's my vision as well; we might disagree about how far our
pragmatism might take us, but our ideals tell us which direction to
go, even if we are far from it at the moment.  The question is how
much patience do we have, and should we have?

I do feel quite strongly, that aspirational goals, if they are going
to be in Foundation Documents, must be clearly *labelled* as
aspirational goals, and not as inflexible mandates that _MUST_ be
kept.  In politics, can have aspirational ideals such as "a chicken in
every pot and two cars in every garage" which get used in campaign
slogans, but you don't put such things as a MUST in a country's

						- Ted

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