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Re: PROPOSED: interpretive guidelines regarding DFSG 3, modifiability, and invariant text

Sunnanvind Fenderson <sunnanvind@fenderson.com> writes:

> > Or, we could point out that it's the Debian Free *Software*
> > Guidelines, not the Debian free-everything-in-the-world guidelines.  I

> Isn't that exactly what this is?

No, this goes way way beyond that...

> I do think your informal guidelines are clear enough. But Branden's
> are cooler, they look more arcane... but then again, yours are more
> taoistically elegant. Oh, choices, choices.

I think Branden's (despite his plea at the end) will end up getting
interpreted as narrow legal rules, and we will see people (perhaps
with pseudonymous initials JG) saying noise like "this meets the
letter of the rule, why are you complaining".  

The danger with rules that attempt to cover every case is that they
invariably will not, and you therefore end up tying your hands and
doing the wrong thing in the corner case--or--you just go ahead and
break the rule.

So my proposed alternative is deliberately structured to convey to
other developers the rough consensus that we have achieved here,
without trying to go beyond that and give a rigid definition.  That
way, cooperative developers *will* be able to figure out what's
allowed and what's not.  And, as a practical matter, they will ask
debian-legal just like they always have.


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