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Re: GR: Removal of non-free (with explanation)

On Sat, Jan 10, 2004 at 10:01:47PM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> -------8<---------------------------------------------------------------
>  The next release of Debian will not be accompanied by a non-free
>  section; there will be no more stable releases of the non-free
>  section. The Debian project will cease active support of the
>  non-free section. Clause 5 of the social contract is repealed.
> -------8<---------------------------------------------------------------

I remain concerned that this appears to make contrib violate the social
contract, but doesn't explicitly authorise its removal. If the social
contract is to be changed, it's best to make it clear what's going on,
so we don't have to make confusing semantic distinctions like we do at
the moment.

> There are no time constraints. It is written on the assumption that
> anybody who has the power to block the removal of non-free via
> deliberate inaction (such as ftpmaster) will act in good faith, and
> deal with it in a reasonable manner. 

I don't believe there are any technical issues that would stand in the
way of implementing the proposal as written.

> The only thing vaguely resembling
> a time constraint is that non-free is cut out of the next stable
> release - but there should be nothing difficult about that. Testing
> and unstable can be cleared out whenever we're ready.

The only concern I'd have would be that contrib might end up being
mishandled.  If significant bits become uninstallable due to the lack
of non-free, they'll be dropped, eg.

> The fate of contrib is left undecided because there doesn't seem to be
> any real objection to its presence, so there's no reason to force it
> out with a GR. 

If that's the case, then the decision should be made to keep it.

Personally, given the social contract as amended by the proposed GR,
I'd object to the presence of contrib as being in violation of the
social contract.

> I anticipate that if this resolution passes, people will formulate
> timetables and transition plans as appropriate;

If it passes, non-free will be dropped, and the social contract will
be amended. It might not happen within ten seconds, or even a week,
but I wouldn't expect it to be delayed in time for transition plans to
be developed, or new archives to be setup.

The above should be taken as a prediction, not as an official statement
nor an ironclad promise. FYI, FWIW, etc.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

               Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we can.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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