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Re: [Proposal] Updating the Social Contract

On Tue, Jan 13, 2004 at 06:47:47PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 12, 2004 at 09:15:01PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > Hmm..  if I carry out Andrew Cater's suggetion , I would entirely get
> > > rid of mention of our existing support for non-free.
> > > 

Our existing support for non-free may not continue to exist in its 
current form (contrib and non-free FTP archives), for example, for ever.
Stating that we have no problem with people running non-free software
on the underlying basis of a Debian system is more important. Being
inclusionary is more important than confining ourselves to the 
structures we have inherited and committing to their indefinite support.

> On Tue, Jan 13, 2004 at 11:29:47PM +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> > Andrew S. wants to remove clause 5 and to state that Debian will not
> > release another stable release with the non-free FTP archive, as I 
> > understand it.  He also has suggestions for editing the DFSG. OK.
> > 
> > I'm looking for a via media here.
> "via media" means middle way, right?  Middle between Andrew S and what?

On the one potential extreme, you have "drop non-free now, drop all 
infrastructure to do with non-free": on the other "keep GFDL in main,
loosen DFSG restrictions" - in the middle, you have thousands of
different opinions :)  I'd like to keep the concept of non-free
partly as an interim necessity, partly as a bargaining chip - but
not for Debian to be known for non-free.  That's one of the reasons
I suggested potentially renaming non-free to non-DFSG-free (maybe in 
one of the other threads) -- to _emphasise_ the DFSG and freeness of 
Debian and that Debian main is Debian properly so called.

> More important:  why?  Maybe you've already answered...?
> I like that sentiment, too.
> > By deleting the stuff in the middle and keeping the remainder:
> > 
> > There is an emphasis that we (Debian Project) will allow people to 
> > continue to use non-free software if they wish. [We won't deliberately 
> > manoeuevre the Debian packaging system to exclude all non-DFSG free / 
> > handicap the computer / delete their non-free packages with a sneaky 
> > shell script ... :) ]
No: you can permit/allow them to use non-free by, for example, providing 
compatibility libraries and not deliberately excluding non-free
which may be distinct from explicitly enabling/helping them to run 

> > There is an emphasis that Debian will be interoperable with the LSB.  
> > Big for commercial purposes: potentially less important for a sole user 
> > but, on the other hand, we're playing as part of a wider community.
> That's something I added.  And exactly because of it's significance for
> commercial (non-free) software.  I've got at least one guy claiming that
> that's really not a non-free issue at all.
Not necessarily vital.

> > There is an emphasis that we carry on working to reduce the numbers of 
> > non-DFSG packages and the amount of non-DFSG-free software.
The advocacy bit - beginning "[W]e will ..."

> There is?  I'm not sure what you're referring to, here.
> > The drug dependency metaphors and the statement that non-free software 
> > isn't needed by most people don't add much and may detract from the 
> > overall effect of clarity.  They also add significant length.
> I think you dubbed in the bit about drugs.  There's many kinds of
> dependencies.

Potentially: but it sounded like a drug dependency programme weaning 
people off non-free :)  Potentially laudable, but not here in this 
context in this document - it could go better elsewhere, perhaps.

> Also, if I take out the text you indicated to clip I don't mention the
> non-free distribution at all -- which pretty much means it has no reason
> to exist.  That's what I'm looking for a justification on.
See above.



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