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Re: Firmware & Social Contract: GR proposal

Anthony Towns wrote:
> The Debian Project resolves that:
>     (a) The Social Contract shall be reverted to its original form,
>         as at http://www.debian.org/social_contract.1.0

ARGS.  This is certainly one of the worst GR proposals I've seen.

Not seconded, of course.

I believe it would be more helpful if we:

 - continue to work on the GFDL problems until no work only licensed
   under this license that we consider non-free is left over in main;

 - continue to work together with the kernel team and the upstream
   kernel developers to fix the firmware issue;

 - build the required infrastructure for the debian-installer so that
   non-free firmware can be loaded;

 - maybe even provide a howto for external vendors to modify the
   official CD/DVD images and/or installer to include non-free
   firmware in a special directory so that it can be added easier than
   by supplying a second CD or whatever;

 - would accept the fact that we are not able to remove all non-free
   firmware blobs from the kernel shipped with etch but will continue
   our effort to do so for future releases.

Several kernel developers have recognised the problem.  Bdale spoke at
a kernel developers meeting several years ago and addressed this
problem.  Now that it has been recognised as problem, and now that
there have been work and effort put into this issue, paddling back
would be the worst we could do.

>     (c) In addition to the commitments made in the Social Contract,
>         the Debian System shall only include documentation, images,
>         sounds, video, fonts and similar works that meet the Debian
>         Free Software Guidelines, and are available in some reasonably
>         modifiable form.
>     (d) Notwithstanding the above, the Debian Free Software Guidelines
>         shall not be applied to logos, firmware or the text of copyright
>         licenses that may be included in the Debian System.

Excluding firmware blobs these two may be discussable and could be
added into an Explanation/Appendix of the Social Contract.

>     (e) 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;

How would the DPL do that?  Walk around, shake hands with members of
the Debian community and explain the issue face-to-face?

>           ii.  ensure that project resources are made available to
>                people working on addressing those issues;

>           iii. provide a report to the Debian community on progress achieved
>                in these areas at DebConf 7 in Edinburgh.

That's nothing that should be part of a GR.  Feel free to make it
happen nevertheless, which would be a good thing, of course.

> Personally, I think it's a mistake to have a social contract that we
> can't meet -- I would much rather say "we're not only meeting our social
> contract, but we're going above and beyond it" than keep worrying about
> how we've overpromised and keep having to underdeliver.

It is totally ok to define high goals and accept that we don't meet
them for a given release.



Open source is important from a technical angle.             -- Linus Torvalds

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