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Re: Proposal: Keep non-free

Quoting MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com>:

> On 2004-02-21 20:09:57 +0000 Stephen Stafford <ssta@linuxops.net> 
> wrote:
> > I firmly believe that keeping non-free and contrib until such time as 
> > ALL of
> > the needs of our users can be met from main is a good thing.
> As you write it, this is an unreasonable demand: who judges it? I 
> suggest that there are some who will never accept that alternatives to 
> non-free packages meet all the needs of our users until everything is 
> in main. If you are willing to let consensus decide, then the converse 
> "drop" proposal will stand or fall accordingly and this serves little 
> purpose.

IMO it will be decided by simple evolution.  When everything that users want to
do can be done with software in main, then there won't be the incentive for
developers to carry on maintaining packages in non-free.  

Perhaps that won't be the case and we will have to forcibly remove non-free at
some point.  At *this* point though, I don't consider that all of _my_own_ needs
are met from main, so I can't say that all of our users' needs are.

It's very easy to simply say "so write Free alternatives".  This implies
limitless time and skill, neither of which I have.  If you weren't about to say
that then I apologise.

> However, you "second this proposal" rather than "second this 
> amendment"? I am truly confused about what this proposal is. We have 
> the OP's beliefs about what is best, but not a clear statement whether 
> he actually is proposing afresh or amending the "drop"!

I saw it as a proposal of a statement made by the developer body.  When I read
it, I thought it was worded as such.  I don't think it amends anything, it is a
positive statement that we, the developer body, in the majority support keeping
the status quo.  Since all of our documents already support the status quo
(perceived ambiguities are matters for other GRs) I don't see that anything
needs to be amended.  

I seconded this as a position statement under 4.1.5 of the constitution, to me
it read pretty clearly as such:

[the developer body with a GR may...]
Issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy documents and statements.

These include documents describing the goals of the project, its relationship
with other free software entities, and nontechnical policies such as the free
software licence terms that Debian software must meet.

They may also include position statements about issues of the day.

   1. A Foundation Document is a document or statement regarded as critical to
the Project's mission and purposes.
   2. The Foundation Documents are the works entitled Debian Social Contract and
Debian Free Software Guidelines.
   3. A Foundation Document requires a 3:1 majority for its supersession. New
Foundation Documents are issued and existing ones withdrawn by amending the list
of Foundation Documents in this constitution.


I see a statement that unambiguously states "we will continue to provide
infrastructure and resources to the non-free tree as this best serves the needs
of our users" falling under `a position statement about an issue of the day'.

Stephen Stafford

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