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


I second this proposed foundation document:


                           Transition Guide
 A working guide to achieve the transition for changes in Foundation documents
         containing explanations and Rationale, and defining
                  guidelines for future transitions
 The Social Contract represents the core commitments of the Project.
 The Social Contract leaves its marks in many ways; it is deeply
 intertwined with all parts of the Project. Potentially, 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. Whenever we change these commitments, we may need an
 interval of time before we can approach compliance. 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. Indeed, a minor version
 was released just days after the Debian Free Software Guidelines were
 accepted, and this release by no means complied with the new

 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 one developer has

     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.

 We, the Debian Project, do so affirm this judgmen. 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.

 Whenever a change to our foundation documents 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), and providing all
 the Project's infrastructure such as bug-tracking and mailing lists.

 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.

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