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Re: Proposal - Defer discussion about SC and firmware until after the Etch release

On Tue, Sep 12, 2006 at 01:47:18AM +0200, Frans Pop wrote:
> The project acknowledges that a lot of progress has been made with regard
> to the removal from the distribution (main) of "software" that could be
> considered non-free given the current wording of the Social Contract.
> However, in some cases for valid reasons, this work is not finished and

I suggest striking the above phrase, which adds nothing of substance to the

> requiring this to be finished before the release of Etch would result in a
> serious delay of the planned release.

> There are also indications that a significant group of people within the
> project feels that the current Social Contract does not meet the best
> interests of the project in that the current wording is too restrictive and
> that a limited and conditional inclusion/support  of some types of
> "software" should be possible. Example: support for loading sourceless 
> firmware during installation.

This paragraph seems to be speculation about the intent of other people; I
think it would be better to either leave it out, or make it a statement
about the voters' *own* views.

> The Debian Project resolves that:

>     (a) The inclusion in main of sourceless firmware and support in Debian
>         Installer is not a release blocker for the release of Etch.

>     (b) For the release of Etch, the Release Managers are given discretion
>         to waive RC issues in other cases where the letter of the Social
>         Contract is currently not being met, provided there is no regression
>         relative to the Sarge release and that waivers are done consistently
>         and with proper consideration of past resolutions (e.g. GDFL) and
                                                                  ^^^^ GFDL

>         work already done on other (comparable) packages.

>     (c) Following the release of etch, the Debian Project Leader shall:
>           i.   ensure that the Debian community has a good understanding
>                of the technical and legal issues that prevent the Debian
>                Free Software Guidelines from being applied to logos and
>                firmware in a manner that meets the needs of our users;
>           ii.  ensure that project resources are made available to
>                people working on addressing those issues;
                                                            ^^^ and
>           iii. keep the Debian community updated on progress achieved
>                in these areas.

>     (d) Following the release of etch, the Debian Project as a whole shall
>         reopen the question of which commitments should be codified in the
>         project's Social Contract. This shall include both an online
>         consultation with Debian developers, users, Debian derivatives and
>         the free software community, and a public in-person discussion at
>         DebConf 7 in Edinburgh in honour of the 10th anniversary of the
>         original publication of the Social Contract on the 4th of July 1997.

As a release manager, I am comfortable with this proposal as a solution that
lets us proceed with etch according to the schedule.  Even though it doesn't
amend a foundation document, I do understand it as overriding one, so would
likely expect a 3:1 majority requirement for it (i.e., if it passes with a
lesser majority, I'm not sure I would take that as an endorsement by the

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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