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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 10:39:20PM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> 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 mandate is not the correct word; the intent was to say "it does not
seem unreasonable to believe that they might take the removal of the terms
as not only removing a prohibition, but actively approving of taking the
actions that were formally prohibited".

Mandate in the sense of 'approval', which is probably not correct. :)

> > 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? :)

We already (implicitly) ask them to do the job of maintaining the archive,
through the simple expectation that the archive maintainers will, well...
maintain the archive. This GR has the potential of changing what that work
involves (though it does not force a change); giving them guidance in what
changes we are intending to come about as a consequence (including "no
immediate changes") is a way of avoiding misunderstandings.
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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