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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 01:01:47PM +0100, Peter Makholm wrote:
> I support Branden's proposal but I don't support the removal of
> non-free. 

The social contract says that "we have created "contrib" and "non-free"
areas [for non-free software]. [...] We support its use, and we provide
infrastructure [this software]". Presumably you don't disagree with that,
or think it's inaccurate, and further you presumably think it should
remain true.

Why then would you want to remove that text? The only reason that I can
see is so that that support can be dropped by some process other than
the formation of a consensus by supermajority.

> Distribution of non-free works is not the goal of
> Debian and they are a kind of second class packages. The Social
> Contract describes our common goals, beliefs and ideolegy.

At present britney will happily block packages in main from progressing
to testing if they'd break a non-free package. This is done because the
alternative means leaving users of that non-free package out in the cold;
and since we've publically declared that we support users of non-free
software, and provide infrastructure to assist with that, it makes sense
and fits with the project's overall guidelines. If we really want to treat
non-free as second class, then it would be completely inappropriate to
do that. But that in turn means we can't maintain testing for non-free
packages: the point of testing is to offer some guarantees for users,
if we can't even guarantee their non-free packages will keep working,
it's not appropriate to include non-free at all.

And that aside, I, personally, am utterly uninterested in working on
stuff that people think has some sort of stigma attached to it. It's
easy enough to get demoralising attacks when you work on things in Debian
that're widely recognised as important; but there's no way I'm going to
put up with that sort of crap over something that's specifically had 75%
of interested developers say they don't care about it.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

Australian DMCA (the Digital Agenda Amendments) Under Review!
	-- http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/blog/copyright/digitalagenda

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