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Bug#917995: debian-policy: drop section 1.6 Translations


On Wed 02 Jan 2019 at 09:38am -0800, Jonathan Nieder wrote:

> Section 1.6 of policy is interesting to me for other reasons.  Its
> function is to make Debian policy usable as a normative document.


> That leads me in a few directions:
>  1. There is no reason in principle that policy in another language
>     could not serve just as well in that capacity, as long as it is of
>     sufficient quality and well reviewed.  We could change this
>     section to list criteria for a version of policy to have normative
>     status --- e.g.
>      a. in a language understood by at least one of the policy editors
>      b. unilateral changes to that version are only made by policy
>         editors or their explicit delegates
>      c. non-unilateral changes following the usual process of review
>         on the policy list to gather seconds from a Debian Developer
>  2. There is something very idealistic about treating policy as a
>     standards document.  In practice, even in English, it has not been
>     air-tight enough for that, and has worked best as a part of a
>     system that includes the ability to get help interpreting it from
>     the policy list.

Very interesting.  I had never thought of treating Policy as a standards
document as something involving a fair dose of optimism, but I think
you're right that it does.

It seems that some parts of Policy are much closer to being parts of a
standards document than other parts are.

>     In that context, would removing section 1.6 be so bad?  We could
>     add a note to section 1.1 to help people parsing standardeses to
>     understand the best way to resolve confusing or ambiguous
>     passages: instead of trying to read deeply into confusing
>     language, file a bug and work with release managers and/or policy
>     editors to get it clarified.
>  3. I would be against removing section 1.6 without a change along the
>     lines described in (1) or (2) above happening at the same time.

Perhaps you could share the wording you have in mind for such a note.

I'm still inclined to prioritise unblocking people, by giving them a way
of resolving disputes between versions of the document without asking on
d-policy, but let's see.

Sean Whitton

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