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Re: Questions to all candidates

On Fri, Feb 28, 2003 at 12:09:24PM -0800, Osamu Aoki wrote:
> I think this SC#4 interpretation is an essential issue with significant
> impact to the future of Debian.  
> Although some of my questions may sounds redundant, I want to verify
> these key points with all the candidates who wish to clarify his current
> view.  Please help me understand you.

Sure.  :)

> > When the Social Contract was originally drafted, the title "Our
> > Priorities are Our Users and Free Software" was meant to strike a
> > balance between meeting the needs of those who would use Debian and
> > the idealism of the Free Software movement that we emerged from.

Hey, this format looks familiar.  ;-)

> Do you agree above understanding of "Debian History"?  (Bdale: skip this)
>  [ ] Yes
>  [X] No
>  [ ] I do not know / No comment
> Comment:

I think Bdale's interpretation is inaccurate in that it appears to be
conceiving of "Our Users" and "Free Software" as entities that are
*fundamentally* in tension, thus the need for "balance".

I do not find that to be the case.  I think cases where our dedication
to our users drives us to neglect Free Software, or vice versa, are the
exception, not the rule.

In general, I think "our users" and "Free Software" have a symbiotic
relationship; thanks to our users, Free Software has an audience that
helps it to grow and thrive.  Thanks to Free Software, our users have
choice and control over their computing environment.

> > The most concrete example of this balance is the existence of non-free.
> Do you agree above understanding of "Debian History"?  (Bdale: skip this)
>  [ ] Yes (even if you want to change current situation in near future.)
>  [ ] No
>  [ ] I do not know / No comment
> Comment:

I cannot answer yes or no, as I feel it is a conclusion that follows
from a misstated premise; see above.

> What shall be done if there is a conflict between "user" and "freedom".
>  [X] Freedom rules!
>  [ ] User rules!                             (I hope no one picks this.)
>  [ ] I do not know / No comment
>  [X] Seek amicable compromise
> Comment:

First, seek to broker a peace.  If that fails, however, I think the
majority of our users are better served by our preservation of their
freedoms, rather than our abdication of them.

> Do you think we need to change situation over non-free?
>  [X] Yes (Within the next DPL term)
>  [X] Yes (Timeline is flexible)
>  [ ] Yes (After the next DPL term)
>  [ ] No
>  [ ] I do not know / No comment
> Comment:

As I said in my platform, I would like to see a more organized effort to
gather the opinions of the developers, instead of just those who visibly
participate in flamewars.  I'd *like* this to happen during the next
DPL term -- hopefully *my* term :) -- but I don't think forward progress
on this issue is absolutely critical to the surivial of the Project.
There are more important priorities, and I discussed them in my platform.

> Do you think DPL needs to place its leadership to steer Debian on this
> issue?
>  [X] Yes (It is within DPL's scope of responsibility)
>  [ ] No  (It is not within DPL's scope of responsibility)
>  [ ] I do not know / No comment
> Comment:

I have already expressed a few times my feeling that the DPL can and
should "steer" the developers towards a more constructive and inclusive
expression of what our intentions toward the non-free section really
are, rather than letting a flamewar blow up every few months to 2 years
that takes up a lot of people's time and energy.

The DPL need not "steer" the developers towards a particular conclusion;
rather, I see the DPL as helping to set parameters for the discussion
and employ mechanisms to keep the discussion productive.

> Please elaborate your thoughts for the forward path on SC#4 issue and
> non-free issue with some time-line and milestones indicated as much as
> comfortable.  (I see some far-eastern fonts and other data packages are
> one to suffer if non-free is killed immediately.)  
> comment:

I'd say that using rhetoric like "killed immedately" puts a slant into
your survey.

I've stated my thoughts for a forward path on the non-free issue several
times now; please see my platform.

On a personal level, I really don't see why using a non-official
repository for things like fonts and data packages is such a mountain
to climb, especially since packages that like benefit the *least* in
practice from adjunct Debian resources like the Bug Tracking System.
But, that *is* a personal opinion, and I know how to keep it separate
from my official duties.  (You don't see me making xfonts-base conflict
with non-free font packages, do you?  In fact, I did the initial
packaging for xfonts-scalable-nonfree myself. :) )

G. Branden Robinson                |      When dogma enters the brain, all
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      intellectual activity ceases.
branden@debian.org                 |      -- Robert Anton Wilson
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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