Re: [Proposal] Revised Social Contract
On Mon, Jan 12, 2004 at 08:33:21AM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> This proposal serves as a replacement for my earlier proposals:
> one which is not yet in the mailing list archives, but which is quoted at
> I'd like to call for seconds on this proposal, [especially from Sven
> and Hamish, if this new one meets your requirements].
> Changes from the previous version (msg01188.html):
>  replace "programs" with the more general term "software" (part 5),
>  change the free alternatives language to better reflect what
> we do (part 5),
>  Incorporate wholesale updates to parts 2, 3 and 4 as suggested
> by Andrew Suffield at
>  Make explicit the constitutional removal of the DFSG from the
> social contract,
>  Remove a bit of language from the meta-title which I added in
> the previous version (msg01188.html).
> - --
> I propose the following resolution:
> We will replace our social contract with two documents, as specified
> by the recent constitutional amendment. The first replacement document
> will be the social contract below, and the second replacement document
> will be the Debian Free Software Guidelines extracted from the remainder
> of the original social contract.
> Here's the replacement for the social contract:
> Debian's Social Contract
> The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common
> cause to create a free operating system. This is the "social contract"
> we offer to the free software community.
> "Social Contract" with the Free Software Community
> 1. Debian will remain 100% free software`
> Debian exists to distribute a general purpose system composed of
> entirely free software. As there are many definitions of free
> software, we use the "Debian Free Software Guidelines" to determine
> if software is free. We will also support our users who develop
> and run other software on Debian -- free or non-free -- but we will
> never make the system depend on an item of non-free software.
> 2. We will give back to the free software community
> When we write new components of the Debian system, we will license
> them in a manner consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
> We will make the best system we can, so that free works will be
> widely distributed and used. We will communicate things such
> as bug fixes, improvements and user requests to the "upstream"
> authors of works included in our system.
> 3. We will not hide problems
> We will keep our entire bug report database open for public view
> at all times. Reports that people file online will promptly become
> visible to others.
> 4. Our priorities are our users and free software
> We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software
> community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We
> will support the needs of our users for operation in many different
> kinds of computing environments. We will not object to non-free
> works that are intended to be used on Debian systems, or attempt to
> charge a fee to people who create or use such works. We will allow
> others to create distributions containing both the Debian system and
> other works, without any fee from us. In furtherance of these goals,
> we will provide an integrated system of high-quality materials with
> no legal restrictions that would prevent such uses of the system.
> 5. Programs that don't meet our free-software standards
> We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of software
> that don't conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. We
> support interoperability standards such as "Linux System Base", and
> will accept bug reports where our system violates those standards.
[I think it's "Standard Base".]
> <snip here>
> To make our system more attractive to people with mild
> dependencies on non-free software, we have created "contrib" and
> "non-free" areas in our internet archive. The software in these
> directories is not needed by most people, and we do not
> guarantee all software in the non-free area may be distributed in other
> ways. Thus, although we're working to reduce people's dependence
> on non-free software, we support users who are still dependent.
> Additionally, w
> <to here>
[All above snip IMHO]
> [W]e will work to find, package and support free alternatives to
> non-free software so people who use only free software can work
> with users of non-free software.
> - --
I'd be happier with the snips indicated above, reducing clause 5
to three sentences. I'm not sure that the bits about reducing
dependence on non-free are germane.