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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Sun, Nov 02, 2003 at 08:46:54PM -0700, Joel Baker wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 02, 2003 at 04:18:19AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 11:04:03PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > > 	The draft so far adds no such proscription for the admins
> > >  (indeed, the whole point is to remove such a proscription).

> > Yes.  If the Social Contract had a provision proscribing the Debian
> > Account Managers from disabling developers' accounts, and we voted by a
> > landslide to remove that proscription, would it follow that the Debian
> > Account Managers should immediately disable all developers' accounts?

> > After all, they'd have a mandate, right?

> It would follow, so far as I can see, that they would deactivate developer
> accounts under whatever criteria they saw fit. Given the proscription that
> existed previously against doing so, this would (likely) raise the number
> of such events from 0.

> Raising the specter of disabling all accounts is both hyperbole; however,
> it is not unthinkable that the FTP admins would take the removal of the
> terms regarding non-free as a mandate allowing them to remove portions of
> the archive as they saw fit, beyond the current standards applied to all
> packages.

Er, I'm not sure what you mean by a mandate /allowing/ something.  A
mandate that does not /compel/ is no mandate at all.

> Perhaps they would, and perhaps not. I'm not even saying that I disagree
> with removing the clause about supporting non-free. But I do firmly believe
> that, short of a clearly expressed opinion in the GR itself directing them
> to take a certain course of action (removal, or continued support status
> quo, or some other option), they will excercise their power in whatever
> manner they see fit.

This seems a reasonable conclusion.

> Given that it would take another GR for the developers as a whole to
> formally counter this, I'd prefer to simply settle the question in the
> first pass (besides, it's polite to the folks we're asking to do the work
> to tell them what, exactly, we want them to do).

Unless you hold the view that the GR to amend the SC isn't actually
asking anyone to *do* anything? :)

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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