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Resolving the controversy

I have followed the inner workings of Debian since the early days of
the project, and I have seen numerous debates on the same topic as the
current one.

I think they all boil down to a very core problem:

The first paragraph of the SC is a lie!

Debian is not 100% free software, and it never has been. At one point
in time, people may have believed that the entire code base was free,
but you have grown wiser. There have always been exceptions, though
you were not aware of them. There will be exceptions for a long time
to come, because you will continuously find bits that are not in
accordance with the DFSG, or some interpretation thereof.

To replace the lie with something that is motivating and helps Debian
move forward, I think there are two paths to choose from. Unfortunatley
they are not compatible with each other, and there will be strong
proponents for each direction.

1. The SC states that the goals of Debian is to promote the general use
if free software and that whenever a decision is made, the choice that
maximses the use and promulgation of free software will be taken.

This implies that non-free software (firmware, documentation) may at
times be part of the Debian offering, because the alternatives would
harm the spread of free software.

2. The SC states that the goals of Debian is to produce a totally free
software distribution.

This implies that practicality for users is not a concern and that
Debian is produced for a select few, who get to live in full freedom.


I would suggest putting the two choices to a vote among the Debian
Developers. The winning choice (simple majority) would be used to draft
a GR for amending the SC.

The people on the losing side will have to decide wether they can
accept working in the project under the new SC or if they should
leave. This is still much better than the recurring battles over
the wordings of a social contract that can never be resolved, since
it is in conflict with reality.

Jacob Hallén

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