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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Sun, Nov 02, 2003 at 04:24:20PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> What, exactly, is the point of removing non-free from the social
> contract, if we're not going to remove non-free entirely?
> Who, exactly, would vote for removing non-free from the social
> contract, but not from the archive?

I would for one.  I don't believe it is our responsibility to distribute
and provide non-free packages, but I also do not believe that we need to
halt distributing the packages currently in that archive.  Removing the
statement from the SC simply removes the obligation to provide the
archive in the future, it doesn't mandate it.

Debian will remain open to supporting third-party software, all concerns
for licensing asside.  The only thing that matters on a Debian system is
the package.  The packaging system doesn't really care where a package
comes from, as long as it meets its dependency requirements and has the
require installation files.

So, Debian has fulfilled its historical mandate to support non-free
software through its generic approach to package management.  Anyone may
create an apt-get accessible archive.  The physical location of a
non-free archive is irrelevant to the network-centric apt.  Software
maintainers can even direct where bug reports from "reportbug" go by the
software control file.  Everything is still open and accessible to
the end-user.

> I think it's very far-fetched to claim that a GR to remove non-free
> from the social contract isn't a mandate to remove non-free from the
> archive.

A mandate is not an implied thing; it is an explicative.  It may be
reasonable to assume someone will bring up a mandate should section 5 be
removed from the SC, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.  They are
distinct and individual issues.

Chad Walstrom <chewie@wookimus.net>           http://www.wookimus.net/
           assert(expired(knowledge)); /* core dump */

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