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

On 28-Nov-01, 09:55 (CST), Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> wrote: 
> I don't think you've been reading my messages.

I have. I didn't go back and re-read before I posted, so I stupidly
managed to pick a bad example.

> 2) I've said every time I've mentioned threshholds that they are numbers
> off the top of my head and that someone should do empirical analysis to
> determine better ones.  Are you volunteering?

No. My point is not that the numerical limits you've picked are wrong,
but that *any* numerical limit is going to lead to problems.

> 3) Nowhere did I say that exceptions could not be granted on a
> case-by-case basis, just as we do for Debian Policy violations.  Where
> it makes more sense for a package to violate Policy than abide by it, we
> let a package do so.  I don't see why this should be so different.

As I understand it, the problem you foresee is abuse of invariant
sections, and that if Debian does not have some sort of quantitative
rule to apply, we won't be able to point at a particular instance and
say "That's abuse, and we're not going to let it in." In other words,
we would be making an exception to the general policy that the GFDL was
an acceptable way to license documentation and other works that were
primarily "book-like" rather than software.

You'd rather have a quantitative rule, and the ability to occasionally
say "Yes, it violates the numerical limits, but it's not abuse, and
we're going to accept it." (Again, that's how I understand your
position.) But this ends up being as open to flame wars and nitpicking
as the other way, at least once the first exception is made ("but you
made an exception for foo, so why are you trying to censor me??!??!").

I'd rather admit up front that it was judgement thing.

> > Obviously not. But this is the kind of problem one has when trying to
> > quantify what is basically an issue for qualitative judgement.
> It's certainly the kind of problem you have when you distort someone's
> position and make straw-man arguments.

I'll cop to the straw-man, but I don't think I distorted your basic
position. You think that it's better to have a quantitative measure of
how much non-modifiable stuff we can have. I think that leads to more
problems than it solves (or alternatively, that it doesn't solve the
real problem).


Steve Greenland <steveg@moregruel.net>

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