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Re: Firmware & Social Contract: GR proposal

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

> On Tue, Sep 05, 2006 at 10:35:49AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
>> > It therefore seems to me as though we're going to be failing to meet the
>> > social contract again, and as a consequence I think we should seriously
>> > reconsider whether the change we made in 2004 was the right one. So I'd
>> > like to propose the following course of action for consideration:
>> ... you do a gigantic leap to this conclusion, which is not at all waranted by
>> the above poll.
> There's two steps:
>     (1) we're not going to meet the social contract for etch
>     (2) having repeatedly failed to meet the new social contract over
>         an extended period, we should reconsider whether it was a
>         good idea to adopt it in the first place

Note that "repeatedly" means exactly "twice", but only if you replace
"having failed" by "going to have failed".  And "extended period" is
about 2 and a half years, where 10 months of that time the project was
in a state of paralysis because everybody was told "we're going to
freeze (something like) next week and release real soon afterwards".
For me, the paralysis was prolonged by the "no uploads with library
soname changes" soon afterwards, since working on non-free stuff in the
old upstream version didn't make any sense - maybe this was similar for

Therefore I think it is hardly fair to say "repeatedly ... over an
extended period".  Maybe you talk like this because the fact hurts you
so much; but honestly I think if we look at it from an objective point
of view, we've achieved a lot, maybe more than could be expected.

> Only (1) is justified by the poll. (2)'s my opinion; I think it makes
> sense, but YMMV. Without (1), (2) is irrelevant, of course.

Why should it be irrelevant without (1)?  Would you feel less of a
failure if we release etch in summer 2008, without non-free firmware in
main?  I'm sure you wouldn't; just the argument would be phrased
differently (drop the "repeatedly", replace "meets" by "make a release
that meets" and "extended" by "incredibly long").

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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