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Re: GR: Editorial amendments to the social contract

Raul Miller wrote:

>> >> >> 1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software
>> >> This states that everything in Debian is software, and futhermore that
>> >> everything in Debian is free.
>> > :%s/and furthermore/and\/or/
> On Sat, Mar 27, 2004 at 05:27:34PM -0500, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
>> No, trust me, we parsed this one very carefully and took an excessive
>> amount
>> of time on this in debian-legal.  There are two possible interpretations,
>> but both come out to an "and".
> That's so bogus I don't know where to start.
Start by learning English better?

> I'll limit myself to two observations:
> *   There's more than two interpretations.
Yeah, but some of them are not possible -- they're just plain wrong, because
they are based in not understanding English well enough.  Your
interpretation above is one of the ones which is just plain wrong --
there's no possible interpretation with an "or" in it.

> *   There are people in Debian.
Fine, there are a bunch of silly interpretations as well.  The context
indicates that "Debian" means "the Debian system" or "the Debian
distribution".  You could interpret it as meaning "the Debian Project", but
that would be silly, because it would make the whole Social Contract make
no sense whatsoever.  (Are you software?  Are you free software?)

> If you want to supply a reasoned argument, feel free.
OK, I'll repeat the *same* explanation for the hundredth time, and I'll put
in lots of detail, because you're being silly.

First, accept that "Debian" means "The Debian system" here.  Second, accept
that the statements in the Social Contract are true only to the best of
people's knowledge and ability -- the fact that non-free things have gotten
in by accident does not materially affect the meaning.

>> >> >> 1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software

I think we both know that the words at issue here are "100% Free Software".

The sentence can be parsed in only two ways.  I can't do sentence
diagramming in ASCII very well, so I'll just show the grouping:

(1) (Debian) ((will remain) (100% (Free Software)))
This means that "100%" of Debian "will remain" Software, and that that
software will be "Free".

(2) (Debian) ((will remain) ((100% Free) Software)))
This means that Debian "will remain" software, and that that software will
be "100% Free".

Either way, Debian will be Software, and that software will be Free.

That's the English language meaning.  When I say "I will remain a male
human", it doesn't mean "I am human and/or male", it means "I am human and
male".  Deal with it.

(I suppose there might be some subtle difference between interpretations 1
and 2 -- in particular, interpretation 2 might theoretically allow for
Debian to be "software" but not "100% software"; maybe only 99% software. 
It doesn't affect things materially.)

Make sure your vote will count.

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