I'm disappointed in myself, that I didn't recognize the need for
grandfathering in the social contract changes. I should know better.
[I'm also disappointed that I didn't manage to get near my debian key
signing machine during the part of the voting period when I'd made up my
mind about how I wanted to vote. I'm also a bit disappointed that the
editorial changes managed to drop the definition of the debian project
from the social contract.]
I do not think that it's is fair to criticize Andrew Suffield for his
work in cleaning up th social contract. You can blame me. If you're
comfortable with it, you can blame yourself, but the changes he proposed
are quite viable as interpretations of the original social contract.
That said, the project does need a grandfathering mechanism when
introducing changes -- in tis case, the change was the elimination of
some ambiguity in the social contract.
However, I think my original informal proposal (a temporary rollback to
the old social contract) was ill-considered, and I think the more formal
proposals with the same architecture are also notapproaching the problem
the right way.
I think the right approach would be more something like: We have an
obligation to continue to support ackages which we delivered under the
ambiguities of the original social contract.
In other words, if it's already in our archive, if users have already
installed the packages on their machines, we should be willing to
provide cleaned up versions (and, when available, replacements which
better satisfy our goals).
This supprt shouldn't be something we stop after some deadline (though
I'm happy with the idea of having "replace these packages with something
better" as a goal for future releases).
This kind of grandfathering got left out of the most recent social
contract change, but given that our users are one of our top prioriies,
I think that this kind of grandfathering is well within the spirit of
the social contract.
Informally, I'd like to propose that we specifically resolve to provide
our users with this level of support.