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Re: Final Draft: Interpretive Guideline regarding DFSG clause 3

Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> writes:

> On Fri, Dec 14, 2001 at 04:41:52PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> writes:
> > 
> > > It's been discussed to death.  Some people want to be able to include
> > > megabytes upon megabytes of invariant non-technical sections in main.
> > > Others don't.
> > 
> > Has anyone suggested that?  I haven't.
> You suggested a proportional limit, so there is nothing to rule out
> megabytes of invariant text, if either or both the allowed proportion
> or the package's raw size are large.

You've misunderstood two different statements I made and treated them
as interchangeable.

My preferred standard would only permit reasonably small amounts of
invariant text.  From your quote above, I expect you think that
"megabytes upon megabytes" would not be reasonable.  I agree--it would
not be reasonable.  Therefore under the "reasonably small amounts"
test, it would fail.

But, if my preferred standard, the non-legalistic one, is not likely
to gather support, then I would be willing to see something like your
earlier proposals, but with a replacement of the
byte-count-per-package limit by a percentage limit.

Under your proposals, in which you have a byte-count limit, there is
nothing to prevent the inclusion of megabytes upon megabytes of
invariant text in main--this is true whether one uses a per-package
bytecount or a per-package proportionality test.  I just think a
proportionality test is more appopriate.

While both tests can be worked around, it's harder to work around a
proportionality test.  Working around a per-package byte-count
requires merely splitting things into different packages.  Working
around a proportionality test requires the integration of real content
into Debian.  This requires Real Work and not mere
splitting-into-multiple-packages, so it's harder and therefore less
likely to happen.  Also, if someone does do it, they have to make a
proportionately large contribution of real stuff to Debian, which is
some sort of offsetting gain.

This is a technical point, not a political one.  My preference for a
proportionality test is not any kind of attempt to make your proposal
go away; it's a simple technical fix of a certain kind of problem that
I envision, and one which, in fact, would make your proposal entirely
satisfactory to me.  (Assuming we set the percentage appropriately; my
guess is that something like 0.1% is going to be more-or-less right,
though I'm not sure.)

Division into packages is a somewhat artificial thing, in other
words--it's an artifact of technology and not an indication of
anything "real" in the content being packaged.  Accordingly,
guidelines like the one your proposal is concerned with should not use
"per-package" as the metric; I simply want to replace that with
"per-bytes-of-content" so that it tracks something that isn't so


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