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Re: non-free firmware: driver in main or contrib?

On Tue, Oct 26, 2004 at 08:41:02PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> I think it's the only rational way to interpret it that's consistent
> with the discussion surrounding the GR. The entire point of changing the
> social contract was to make it clear that the DFSG were supposed to be
> used on everything that Debian shipped or required on, rather than it
> being limited to "software".

No, the entire point was to make it clear that, as far as the Social
Contract is concerned, everything in Debian is software.  (This is
my understanding, based both on the changes made by 2004-003 and the
discussions surrounding it.)  Note that the "DFSG" was not renamed to
the "Debian Free Stuff Guidelines", and the word "software" is still
used four times in the SC (not including its use in the phrase "DFSG").

(The echoes of those discussions are still reverberating in my skull, so
if you disagree with my interpretation above, I'll probably settle with
disagreeing and not try to convince you on that point--debating the
content of the discussions would mean digging them out again, and I'm
just not up to that right now.)

You seem to be arguing, now, that the Social Contract is inherently
unfulfillable, by claiming that 2004-003 made the SC apply to hardware
as well (for the purposes of "require the use ...").  This interpretation
of the Social Contract is simply not the one Debian uses, or has ever used,
nor do I recall any significant discussion during 2004-003 suggesting
that this was the intent.

> If a logical interpretation of the social contract results in an
> impractical situation and no practical situation can be reached without
> some contortions of logic, it implies that the social contract doesn't
> say what we mean it to say and should be changed.

There is no "contortion of logic" involved in the conclusion that the
Social Contract is only talking about the stuff that Debian ships (or
is logically capable of shipping), and not the physical hardware that
stuff runs on.

Now, if you believe that Debian's current interpretation of the SC and
DFSG (ignoring 2004-004) is an illogical one, feel free to pose the
argument to d-project.  If you're correct, fixing this would require
another GR to change the SC; it's not something fixable by policy, as
I understand things.

Glenn Maynard

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