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Re: Proposal - Statement that Sarge will follow Woody requirement for main.

On Tue, May 25, 2004 at 08:29:26PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Foundation documents aren't required to be "rules". They're not required
> to be anything more than a "document or statement regarded as critical to
> the Project's mission and purposes." We could, if we wanted, regarded a
> piece of complete propaganda that was full of lies and misleading truths
> to be critical to the project's success because it's the best or only
> way to get folks involved in Debian.

But that's not relevant -- the Social Contract does contain some

> > I'm not sure in what way you think that "critical to the Project's
> > mission and purposes" is not descriptive.
> It's descriptive, but it's not prescriptive: it doesn't tell us how we
> have to treat the document. Do we put it up on a web page for people
> to admire or hand it out as a pamphlet at conferences? Or do we use it
> to inspire ourselves, without taking it too literally? Or do we follow
> it to the letter as though it were part of the constitution? Or does it
> supersede the constitution in some sense? Or something else?

This is unnecessarily reductionist.

The constitution says that people may not actively work against rules made
under the constitution (which includes those in foundation documents),
and that 3:1 majority is required for supersession of those documents.

That we view these documents as critical to our purposes doesn't make
them any less important.

> > > I can't see a constitutional basis for requiring us to uphold the social
> > > contract in any particular fashion, so if you want to dismiss options
> > > because they're not compatible with a reading of the social contract,
> > > you seem to need a better reason than just "we can't do that".
> > I'm really not getting your point.  You already quoted 2.1.1, which
> > pretty much says "we shouldn't do that".
> It says we shouldn't work against decisions made under the rules of the
> constitution. But "obeying the social contract" isn't a rule that's been
> made under the constitution in any way that I can see. If true, that
> means while we can follow the social contract literally if we choose,
> we're not obliged to do so if we choose otherwise.

In what way has it "not been made under the constitution"?

It's explicitly mentioned in the constitution -- how much more "under"
can you get?

> Folks have advocated that course of action: Thomas Bushnell and Manoj have
> both indicated they don't think the social contract needs to be followed
> so strictly as to require the release policy in question. I don't think
> it's reasonable to dismiss those arguments on procedural grounds, rather
> than looking at their merits.

I, for one, have not dismissed arguments that the social contract
may allow us to follow the old release schedule, and that a strict
interpretation of the social contract may not be correct.  I just haven't
seen any such arguments, yet, that I'm comfortable advocating.

In particular, I don't see that disregarding the social contract entirely
is the right way to go.


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