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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:

>> >> It's a distinction
>> >> I'm not surprised that not everybody see but it is important to me.
>> > Mmm. You're very special.
>> No, I'm not. 
> Mmm. I thought you just said you saw something that other people didn't?
> Surely that makes you special?

I said that it don't surprise me when people don't make this
distinction not that I'm surprised each time people do.

>> It might be a cultural issue but it is, for me, perfectly
>> sane to say:
>>   1. This is what I believe.
> "That Debian should be 100% free" ?
>>   2. This is how I make them true in the most optimal way.
> "By including non-free stuff in Debian" ?

The status of non-free as part of Debian does not change from being
not a part of Debian (right now) to being part of Debian by removing
it from the Social Contract. That would be an absurd interpratation of
the proposal.

So this is a bit of a strawman and has nothing to do with the
consistency of my opinion. The Social Contract has always had this
twist and I don't see any *new* problems in this respect with Brandens

Quite contrary I see the present contract to say: We will remain 100%
free [Software, but it doesn't matter here] and we promise to support
non-free software. With Brandens proposal we could say: We will remain
100% free and when our goals is served by doing so we will provide
infrastructure for integrating non-free with Debian.

By taking the non-free part out of the Social Contract is turns from
being a promise to the community to being 'something we can do if it
in other ways server our goals'. 

Do you believe that distributing non-free is a goal in itself?

Can distribution serve as a goal to make the best free operating
system guided by the needs of our users and the free-software

I believe it can. 

> No, I'm saying that declaring our support of non-free to be "pragmatic"
> and thus somehow inappropriate for the social contract depends on your
> prejudices, it's not an absolute truth that can stand on its own.

I'm not claiming absolut truth anymore than you do.

I'm not not saying that the above has some kind of a priori truth not
any more than I would agree that the opposite opinion has some kind of
a priori truths.

> Mmm. Given that we have all already agreed to it, and that it's the only
> precedent for the Debian social contract, people wouldn't be saying that
> things already in it just aren't appropriate in that sort of document
> though, wouldn't you?

I have never agreed to the Social Contract being a perfect document
and I have never agreed to the Social Contract being a never changing
document. I've even voted for having the constitution clearly define
how to change it.

I'm fine with having the fifth clause in the contract but I thing it
would be better if it weren't there.

 Peter Makholm     |    According to the hacker ethic, the meaning of life
 peter@makholm.net |            is not Friday, but it is not Sunday either
 http://hacking.dk |                                      -- Peeka Himanen

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