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Re: Amendment to the Constitution: Add a new foundation document

  I really like the new version of this GR, but I noticed a few minor
problems with it.  Since even editorial changes to a foundation document
require a GR (and a supermajority), I think it's best if we clean this
up as much as possible before the vote.

Content-Description: Transition Guide
>   A working guide to achieve the transition for changes in Foundation
>  documents with specific remedies for the change in the social contract
> made by GR 2004_003 containing explanations and Rationale, and defining
> 		   guidelines for future transitions
> In General Resolution 2004_003, the wording of the Social Contract was
> modified. The Social Contract represents the core commitments of the
> Project. The Social Contract leaves its marks in many ways, it's deeply
> intertwined with the all parts of the Project.

  The ", it's" is awkward: the contraction is out of step with the tone
of the rest of the language, and the sentence structure is odd.  Also,
note "the all" instead of "all the".
  I would prefer:

  The Social Contract leaves its marks in many ways; it is deeply
intertwined with all parts of the Project.

> Any change to the Social
> Contract has major ramifications, and may require a period of
> potentially deep changes to the roots of the Project before it can come
> into compliance with the changed Contract.
> Meeting our commitments as described in the Social Contact is an ongoing
> process. Since we have recently changed these commitments, we need an
> interval of time before we can approach compliance.

  This last sentence shouldn't be in the present tense, since it won't
always be true :)

  I suggest:

  When we change these commitments, there will be an interval of time
before we can approach compliance.

  (I wanted to say something about "...with the new SC" there, but it
   should be implicit and makes the sentence awkward)

> Unless we shut down
> the Project completely - abandoning users and our developers - the
> regular activities of the Project must continue while we work towards
> compliance.
> There is precedent for a gap between ratifying a change to the
> foundation documents of the Project and implementing dictates of that
> document; when the Project first accepted the Social Contract and the
> Debian Free Software Guidelines, there was an interval before we came
> into compliance with those then-new documents.

  s/those/these/, maybe.  (honestly, I don't know why I feel that should

> Indeed, there was the
> release of a minor version just days after the Debian Free Software
> Guidelines were accepted, and this release by no means complied with the
> new commitments.

  I think the first sentence is a bit cumbersome, try:

  Indeed, a new minor version was released just days after...

> We also continued to support older non-complying releases, and did not
> make them unavailable to our users.
> The binding principle here is that we have to balance the needs of our
> users and the need to make Debian strictly free. As seen on the mailing lists:
>     In my opinion, the needs of the free software community take
>     precedence in the context of adopting new packages, in the setting
>     of release goals, in our choices about infrastructure and
>     philosophy, and of course in the context of any development work we
>     do.
>     In my opinion, the needs of our users take precedence in the context
>     of security fixes, in the context of support for packages and
>     systems we've released, and in the context of the quality of our
>     work.
> With this document, we, the Debian Project, do so affirm this. We affirm
> that while we are working towards complying with a change in the goals
> or identity of the Project, or towards compliance with any change to a
> foundation document, the needs of our users will be catered to. This may
> mean that for a limited time, Debian will not be compliant with the new
> Social Contract.
> We affirm that whenever a change to the Social Contract, or the
> Constitution, takes place, the activities required to provide ongoing
> and proactive support for the Debian user community shall
> continue. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, providing
> security updates for previously-released versions of Debian, providing
> point-release updates to previously-released versions of Debian,
> preparing for the next (compliant) release of Debian, actually
> releasing the current non-compliant version of Debian if such a
> release is imminent (as well as any further updates to that version of
> Debian), as well as providing all the Project's infrastructure such as
> bug-tracking and mailing lists.

  Suggest "and" before the "actually" (comma-separated lists usually say
"A, B, C, and D").  I guess it isn't there because of "as well as", but
I'd put it there anyway.

> In the specific case of General Resolution 2004_003, since that release
> currently in preparation, code named "Sarge", is very close to release,
> and the previously released version is quite out of date, our commitment
> to our users dictates that the "Sarge" release should go on as planned -
> even while we are in the process of reaching compliance with the new
> Social Contract. This exemption for "Sarge" applies to security releases
> and point releases as well.

  Looks ok, and it's going to go poof in a finite amount of time anyway
so I didn't look to closely at it.


/-------------------- Daniel Burrows <dburrows@debian.org> -------------------\
|                 Voodoo Programming: Things programmers do                   |
|                 that they know shouldn't work but they try                  |
|                 anyway, and which sometimes actually work,                  |
|                 such as recompiling everything.                             |
\-Evil Overlord, Inc: planning your future today. http://www.eviloverlord.com-/

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