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Re: Editorial changes to the Social Contract

Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:

> On 11 Feb 2006, Jérôme Marant outgrape:
>> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:
>>>>> On 9 Feb 2006,  Jérôme Marant spake thusly:
>>>>>> The only people it made happy are extremists.
>>> Oh, so I am extremist now. By believing that all bits
>>> modifiable by the computer are software? And the overwhelming
>> Yes, I think it is an extreme interpretation of the SC.
>         People espousing what you consider en extreme interpretation
>  of a documents are now extremists? I shall refrain, from the point of

Extermists in the scope of interpretation of the SC, yes.

>  politeness, from characterizing people who hold whatI feel is a
>  silly and moronic interpretation of the SC.

There isn't anything to do with politess. If I hurted you, them please
accept my apologies. But I'm frank enough to express my view as I
feel them. As a non-native English speaker, the vocabulary might
not always be appropriate.

>> Would you please tell me how necessary it is to modify RMS essays,
>> the GNU Manifesto, and so on, and how removing them from Emacs will
>> make Debian more free?  I'm afraid it sounds ideological.
>         Could you tell me why it is necesary tomodify wonderful pieces
>  of software like vim or emacs, and how it makes  Debian more free? I
>  mean, those authors have poured their heart and soul into those
>  programs.

Because if we hadn't the right to modify them, we wouldn't be able
to fix them. Because if their author died, we wouldn't be able to
get any more support for them, nor to make them live and hence we'd
have to switch to another support tool.

There are technical arguments in favour of Free Software.

>         If you do not see how starting with a GNU Manifesto and
>  modifying it to be Manoj's manifesto is a freedom that can be
>  coveted, I am afraid I do not see how you understand the concept of
>  freedom of software actually works.

So, in real life, you shall be free to get a copy of some random novel,
change few life, and sell it as Manoj novel?

Either I do consider it as software, and in that case you are right.
Or I don't because the hardware is just a container and the work could
have an existance out of a computer. A program has no meaning out of
a computer. The GNU Manifesto does.

I know we're not GNU, but by reading the four freedom, it is quite
clear that GNU considers Software as computer programs. YMMV.

>         People have created essays by modifying other peoples works,
>  with proper attribution (this is based on, but not the same as views
>  and essays by foo, and represents my views, not theirs, but the ideas
>  are not mine originally, I stand on the shoulders of giants .....)

People created essays by getting _inspired_ by others' work. So does
the research world work.

>         Being able to create new, derivative essays tailored to my
>  needs and views but based on works by other people is a right that
>  being able to modify software gives me.

Even by taking entire paragraph with the exact wording?  Please note
I don't consider essays and program documentation on the same ground.

>> It will surely not improve Debian freedom but bring a new burden for
>> maintainers who will have to repackage upstream tarballs because
>> some people have an fundamentalist interpretation of the SC.
>         Or some authors bundle non-free works with free works, and
>  yes,, that is a burden. But promoting software freedom is not without
>  costs: every freedom comes at a price (perhaps not quite the blood of
>  patriots, but still).

Then, shall I say I do promote Free Programs instead of Free software?

>>>>>> I'd propose to revert this and clearly define what software is.
>>>>>> Also, I can't see a definition of what Software is.  I've not
>>>>>> seen any definition going beyond that (of wordnet)
>>> ,----[ From Wikipedia: ]
>>> |   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_hardware
>> ...
>>> |         was first proposed by Alan Turing in an essay. 
>>> `----
>> There is no such definition at debian.org either.  Where on our web
>> site can we find what software means for Debian?  Maybe I missed it?
>         Is there a definition of the word definition? Is there a
>  definition of the word "is", to you Clinton watchers out there? Do we
>  define every wrod on the web site?

This is ridiculous.

>         Wikipedia, and the weight of computer sceince history,
>  strongly support the software/hardware/wetware mode of classification
>  as being long and widely held.

While being sometimes controversial in the way of presenting information ...

>>>>>> That was a 3:1 majority out of 200 voters, considering that
>>>>>> Debian counts almost 1000 developers
>>> Let us examine your thesis in more detail.
>>> constitution:      86      out of    357   24.08963%
>>> logo license:     107      out of    497   21.52917%
>>> New logo:         143      out of    509   28.09430%
>>> Condorcet:        160      out of    804   19.90049%
>>> Section 4.1.5:    254      out of    928   27.37068%
>>> non-free section: 491      out of    908   54.07488%
>>> Editorial:        216      out of    911   23.71020%
>>> Release Sarge:    415      out of    909   45.65456%
>>> Declassify mail:  305      out of    967   31.54084%
>>> By no means does the Editorial changes vote stand out as having low
>>> turnout; we generally get 20-30% turnout, unless the issue is seen
>>> as a hot button one a priori.  Now, the vote announcement was sent
>>> to d-d-a no less than 4 times. It is on a mailing list meant to be
>>> read by every developer. The mail said it was modifying the
>>> SC. What would you call people who did not bother to read that
>>> email, and chose not to exercise their right to vote?
>> I said the vote is valid but you cannot draw conclusions. Nothing
>> more.
>         You can not draw conclusions one way or the other about most
>  GR's then.  Are you saying that the Quorum should be increased to

You can't draw _any_ conclusion.

>  30%? 40%? 50%? 
>         If so, you know where to start the GR. If not, what do you
>  think the concept of Quorum means? Why is a vote that meets quorum

When the quorum is reached, the vote is valid. I'm not saying anything

>  requirement not enough to draw conclusions by?

When the quorum is too low, it looks like polls ;-)

>>> If people think the quorum requirements are too low, I would
>>> not be averse to raising K and Q  to be higher than their current
>>> values.
>> I indeed think the quorum is too low.
>         Why are you neglecting your duties as a Debian Developer to
>  correct this lacuna in how the project operates? Are we not
>  supposed to be working for the improvement of Debian?

Yes we are.

>>>>>> and considering that many pros are convinced they have been
>>>>>> deceived. 
>>> I see. If you are saying that they voted on the GR, but felt
>>> deceived by title "editorial changes", then, in essence, they voted
>>> on a GR that changes a foundation document, where the full text of
>>> the GR was available on Debian's web site, and had been sent to
>>> their mail box no less than 4 times, and they call not reading the
>>> actual text "being deceived"? I would label it as gross dereliction
>>> of duty as a Debian developer exercising their franchise, Sloth,
>>> incompetence, or illiteracy.
>> No, people suddenly decided that software was "any bits in Debian"
>> and it opened a door to their interpretation.  This is a deception.
>         I did not suddenly decide that. The term "software" was first
>  used in this sense by John W. Tukey in 1957. In computer science and
>  software engineering, computer software is all information processed
>  by computer systems, programs and data. The concept of software was
>  first proposed by Alan Turing in an essay. 
>         If you think that a concept valid since the 1940's is
>  "suddenly" foisted on a project that did not exist until the 1990's,
>  you have a strange concept of sudden.

So, GNU people are stupid and entirely wrong as well? Some come from
the famous MIT and were not aware of this?

Why are there other definitions around then?

Jérôme Marant

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