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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Thu, Nov 06, 2003 at 02:48:32PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 05, 2003 at 01:54:39PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > > 	[ 1 ] Change social contract, remove non-free
> > > 	[ 1 ] Change social contract, keep non-free
> Depends who they want to punt to. If they're happy to punt to other
> developers (ie, the ones that do express a preference between the first
> two options), or to the DPL (the elector with a casting vote), there's
> no problem.
> > And suppose there is an explicit option 
> >     [ ] Change social contract, remove non-free
> >     [ ] Change social contract, keep non-free
> >     [ ] Change social contract, punt on archive

Anthony's example splits a potential "change social contract"
supermajority into two, and yours splits it into three.

This pretty much ensures the defeat of any option that requires a 3:1
majority, and makes it extremely difficult even to satisfy a propostion
that requires only a simple majority.

Again, the point of my proposal to strike clause 5 from the Social
Contract is to make the removal or preservation of the non-free section
an administrative decision.  Anthony has said elsewhere that he
considers this "daft", but it nevertheless is my intention.

If people who agree with the proposal are nervous about passing it for
fear of rapid and precipitious action on the part of some cabal, then I
suggest we subject our administrative procedures to more scruitny.

If SC #5 is the *only* thing stopping some nefarious actor within the
project from taking single-handed, irreversible, and unaccountable
action to drop non-free from our archives, then we have a big problem,
and it has nothing to do with clause 5 of the Social Contract.

I have been assured from various quarters over the years that the above
is not the case, that we have archive administrators who are beyond
reproach.  If those assurances were ever warranted, then I must wonder
why they have suddenly evaporated.

If we need time to put in place controls on actions by wayward archive
administrators, then I suggest we get cracking; someone needs to propose
a GR to that effect and collect seconds for it.

I suspect that if we had more confidence in our mechanisms for making
administrative decisions, people wouldn't need to wring their hands so
much over the so-called "true meaning" of removing clause 5 from the
Social Contract.

Whither our much-touted pragmatism[1][2]?

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2003/debian-vote-200311/msg00135.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2003/debian-devel-200311/msg00041.html

G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      If encryption is outlawed, only
branden@debian.org                 |      outlaws will @goH7Ok=<q4fDj]Kz?.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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