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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 07:15:13PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> On Sat, 1 Nov 2003 15:41:15 -0500, Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> said: 
> > On Fri, Oct 31, 2003 at 08:31:58PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >> On Fri, 31 Oct 2003 13:16:54 -0500, Branden Robinson
> >> <branden@debian.org> said:
> >>
> >> > No, you're wrong.  The mechanism for achieving large-scale
> >> > archive changes isn't presently formally defined at all.
> >> > Informally, it appears to be the exclusive domain of the Debian
> >> > Archive Administrators (who, the last time I checked, were not
> >> > official delegates of the Debian Project Leader[1]).
> >>
> >> So, the proscription in the SC is the only thing that stands
> >> between an admins whim to remove non-free?
> > I think it's the only formal or structural impediment, yes.  But
> In which case this needs to be pointed out; since this is likely to
> be the last chance that the mere mortal developers have of having
> any say in the process of elimination of non free.

The archive admins still need to answer to the project. If they
weren't barred from removing non-free right away (which may or may not
be case with the proposed GR, I don't claim to know) and went ahead
anyway they would either need to be ignorant of the immensely
controversial nature of removing non-free or simply not care. In
either (IMHO) unlikely case, their decision could be overruled by the

I think it's a little far-fetched to claim that they would move ahead
with something so clearly controversial, public, and central in
Debian's history without a mandate.

> If this proposal passes, wouldn't it be a mandate to also remove
> non-free, and the admins shall be acting in accordance with the
> wishes of the developers?

Branden's justification makes it *explicitly* clear that this is not
the case. I don't see how anyone could see that as a mandate as its
worded and justified in a way that explicitly claims that this is not
the case.


Benjamin Mako Hill

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