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RFC: General resolution: Clarify the status of the social contract



Hi,

        I like the idea of clarifying what the principles of the project
 actually are, since, as aj said, all the decisions about lenny would
 fall out from the position the project take about the foundation
 documents. While I have always thought that "foundation" implied  the
 proposal below, apparently this is not a universally held view.

        I think we will keep coming back to this biennial spate of
 disagreement we have, as we determine whether or not we can release
 with firmware blobs or what have you. This also would help developers,
 the ftp-masters, and the release team with a clear cut expression of
 the projects goals and clarifies how the project has decided to view
 the social contract.

        Given that, I suggest we have a series of proposals and
 amendments, each in a separate email, sponsored and seconded
 independently, that could look something like this below:

,----[ The Social contract is a binding contract ]
| The developers, via a general resolution, determine that the social
| contract should apply to everything Debian does, now and in the future;
| _AND_ the social contract should stop us from including anything that
| doesn't comply with the DFSG in main
`----

,----[ The social contract is binding, but currently flawed ]
|  This amends the proposal above, and replaces the text of the proposal with:
|  The developers, via a general resolution, determine that the social
|  contract should apply to everything Debian does, now and in the future;
|  _AND_ it is and was a mistake to have the DFSG  cover firmware because
|  we have not yet been able to limit Debian to  only DFSG-free firmware
|  in a suitable way. This mistake should be corrected by amending the
|  social contract.
`----

,----[ The social contract is binding but may be overridden by a simple GR ]
|  This amends the proposal above, and replaces the text of the proposal
|  with: The developers, via a general resolution, determine that the
|  social contract should apply to /almost/ everything Debian does, now
|  and in the future; _AND_ for the few cases where it should not apply
|  now, there should be an explicit GR affirming that variation (by simple
|  majority)
`----

,----[ The social contract is a goal, not a binding contract ]
|  This amends the proposal above, and replaces the text of the proposal
|  with: The developers, via a general resolution, determine that the
|  social contract is an aspirational document: while we aim to achieve as
|  much of it as feasible at all times, we don't expect to get it
|  completely right for some time yet. This includes DFSG-freeness of all
|  firmware
`----

,----[ The social contract is a non-binding advisory document ]
|  This amends the proposal above, and replaces the text of the proposal
|  with: The developers, via a general resolution, determine that the
|  social contract is a statement of principle only, and has no particular
|  force on the day to day operations of Debian, except in so far as it
|  influences individual contributors' actions.
`----

        If all these variations get sponsored and seconded, the ballot
 would look like:

 [  ] The Social contract is a binding contract
 [  ] The social contract is binding, but currently flawed
 [  ] The social contract is binding but may be overridden by a simple GR
 [  ] The social contract is a goal, not a binding contract
 [  ] The social contract is a non-binding advisory document

        I think we need this clarification, so people no longer accuse
 other people of malfeasance based on a flawed understanding on the
 correct status of foundation documents.

        I do have an ulterior motive: clarifying this will help those of
 us currently evaluating whether this is the project they signed up for,
 and whether we want to continue to be a part of it. Some of the options
 above, if they passed, would be a clear proof that the project might
 have moved on from the principles that were in effect when we joined
 the project.

        manoj
-- 
May you do Good Magic with Perl. Larry Wall's blessing
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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