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Bug#594542: debian-policy: add descriptions for main, contrib, and non-free archive areas

On Fri, 2010-08-27 at 18:06 -0400, CJ Fearnley wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 12:17:16PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > CJ Fearnley <cjf@CJFearnley.com> writes:
> > 
> > > However, I do wish that we could figure out how to write a
> > > minefield-avoiding third sentence for your paragraph on the main archive
> > > area that definitively asserts (what I believe we all know to be true)
> > > that Debian main is more or less a guarantee that the software therein
> > > is freely usable (and distributable) in the broadest sense.  That is,
> > > that Debian main is unreservedly usable for personal, non-profit,
> > > for-profit, or, in short, for any purpose.
> > 
> > > But I'm blanking on text that would work.
> > 
> > Isn't that basically what the DFSG says, though?  At least, that was the
> > logic that I was using.
> The DFSG defines freedom in software licenses, but doesn't provide a
> statement of assurance to users.  Maybe a statement that Debian main
> supports the Four Freedoms[1][2] would turn the prescriptive DFSG into
> a qualitative benefits statement.


I think that you're treading on thin ground pushing for that.  The DFSG
is a defining document in Debian, so if you want to narrow or broaden
that coverage you should be doing so by promoting changes to that
document - not to policy.

Personally I'm happy with the freedoms described by the DFSG as it
stands at present, but if you believe it is flawed you should argue
those flaws in the wider arena of Debian via a GR or such.

The clarifications Russ suggested definitely do seem worth including,
and I would say it is especially because they refer out to that defining
document that gives them their strength in policy.  If they were to
place additional constraints on what software was acceptable in main it
would make policy more confusing, not less, and would undermine the DFSG
as a decision-making tool.

					Andrew McMillan.
andrew (AT) morphoss (DOT) com                            +64(272)DEBIAN
           A tall, dark stranger will have more fun than you.

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