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Re: Ready to vote on 2004-003?

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> wrote:

> Anyway. Language has no effect on release timing. Release policies have
> an effect on release timing. The following release policies are possible:
> 	* All programs in main must be DFSG-free
> 	* All GPLed firmware in main must comply with the GPL
> 	* All program documentation in main must be DFSG-free
> 	* All documents in main must be DFSG-free
> 	* All firmware in main must be DFSG-free
> 	* All data in main must be DFSG-free

There is at least one more, and it seems to me this is what many people
have expressed:

        * All data (everything) in main should be DFSG-free, and must be
          post-sarge. But we want an exception for sarge.

          The exception should be that stuff that can be distributed,
          but is non-free, and has been in sarge before the SC change,
          and would have been allowed to stay according to the old
          release policy, can stay in for sarge and point releases.

The reasons have also been given multiple times. The difference to what
you wrote is: The main criterion for the exception would not be whether
something is documentation, firmware, whatever, and whether this kind of
stuff is allowed in Debian. The main criterion would be the expectations
of our users (and developers) under the old release policy (together
with legal distributability).

> I don't have any particular estimates on how long satisfying and verifying
> each independent issue would take; 

The question is not only how long you estimate that the changes that
still need to be made will take (e.g. for non-distributable things). The
main question, for me, is whether any of the so-far proposed resolutions[1]
achieves the goal of establishing an exception for sarge. More detailed
answers to this questions could be how the different proposals manage or
fail to define "expectations under the old release policy", and how
those definitions affect release time. But the central question is
whether they allow to establish such an exception at all.

To me, it seemed very clear from the discussion so far[2], that such an
exception was what many people wanted. That you, obviously, failed to
conceive this tells me that it was good to discuss with _you_ what you
think about the effects of the proposals, and not to carry on discussing
with other people who have long understood what the proposers of the
"make an exception" proposals want.

It also tells me that I should keep on with my doubts whether the
desired effect, an exception for sarge, can be achieved with one of the
current proposals. Maybe Raul's can do that better. I hope to find this
out in a discussion with you. Maybe this discussion can get more
fruitful now that we are at a point were it is clear that the wording of
the proposals is indeed bad (in the sense that it made you miss the main
point that I, and probably many others, see).

> None of the above required any special RM superpowers to think through.

But the question of whether any of the proposals would cause the RM to
establish such an exception is a question that can be answered by the
RM. In fact it can only be answered by him or the Tech Committee. And
the purpose of those GR proposals is exactly to do it by a GR, not by a
Tech Committee decision. If we would still need a Tech Committee
decision after one of those GR proposals has won, then this proposal
failed to achieve its goal. This is why we ask the RM. Now.

Regards, Frank

[1] except, of course, the two that do not intend an exception, but
either an enforcement of the new policy or complete reverting to the old
[2] I'm only following the mailing lists, not IRC
Frank Küster, Biozentrum der Univ. Basel
Abt. Biophysikalische Chemie

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