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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR

On Fri, Dec 19 2008, Steve Langasek wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 02:46:35PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> > * Why does releasing despite DFSG violations require a 3:1 majority now
>> >   when it didn't for etch?  It's the same secretary in both cases.  What
>> >   changed?  I didn't find any of the explanations offered for this very
>> >   satisfying.
>>         The proposal we used before is choice 5 in the current
>>  ballot, and that does indeed have a 1:1 majority like we did
>>  before. The devil lies in the details (and I have explained the details
>>  before too) -- which is that we state that the fiormware blob be
>>  released under a DFSG free licence.  This means we explictly conform to
>>  the DFSG,
> While I accept that this was your understanding as a seconder of the
> etch GR and proposer of choice 5 on the current GR, this was
> definitely *not* how I understood the etch GR, either as a seconder or
> as RM for etch, because the language quite distinctly refers to
> DFSG-compliance of the license and not of the software.

        I find this actually hard to understand. Most licenses
 themselves seem to not actually fall under the DFSG (I do not think you
 may modify them while still distributing them and the attached Work,
 and distributing modified versions of the entity we are considering to
 be DFSG free 

> This language was no accident, it was deliberately crafted to *not*
> say that firmware had to comply with DFSG#4's requirements for source
> inclusion.  I'm sorry if you understood otherwise when setting the
> supermajority requirements for that vote, or when seconding/voting,
> but we intentionally *did* release etch with firmware in main that
> wasn't DFSG-compliant, and http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_007
> was the justification for doing so.  We certainly weren't pretending
> that binary microcode firmware was its own source!

        This was certainly not how I understood the proposal to be. I
 would deem that interpretation, and thus the release of Etch, to have
 been in violation of the contract we had with the free software

> So if that's not what you mean to say for lenny, I suggest that you propose
> different language than what you currently have for choice 5 on the ballot.

        I thank you for clarifying the interpretation of the proposal,
 and pointing me to the flaw in my wording of the proposal that allowed
 such ambiguity to exist.

>>         I do not think we released before with known violations. We
>>  released with things we strongly suspected as being violations; since
>>  we strongly suspect the blob was not the preferred form of
>>  modification, but we do not know for a fact.
> By your reasoning, http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_007 was a useless
> no-op.  The release team certainly didn't need to be told it was ok to ship
> binary firmware in main if we had a good-faith belief that the binary was
> the preferred form of modification.  That sure isn't why I seconded it.

        I think that the ballot option was over riding the statement in
 the SC that says Debian shall be 100% free, and that what is free is
 determined by the DFSG.  For the project to actually resolve to not
 comply with the foundation document, or do an end run around it,
 certainly should require a 3:1 option.

        I did not mean for option 5 to be considered a get-out-of-jail-free
 card to allow for DFSG violations in formware included in kernel image
 packages in main. At this juncture, I think I must withdraw that
 proposal for any future votes, or add language clarifying my intent
 (which is only to convey to the release team that due diligence on
 whether firmware actually complies with the accompanying license can be
 waived for Lenny, and taking firmware on faith is good enough)

        But i think we must instead clarify, as aj said in his email,
 what the social contract means. I tend to take contract at face value:
 a binding agreement, something we have undertaken to do.

        Some of the options in aj's mail make it sound more like a
 social non-binding statement of intent, which is not how I have
 interpreted it all along. Perhaps it would be better to clarify this
 (which I have been taking as a given); that would certainly help me
 decide whether or not I wish to remain with the project.  I suspect
 that such a memorandum of understanding might affect other people as


I couldn't remember when I had been so disappointed.  Except perhaps the
time I found out that M&Ms really DO melt in your hand. -- Peter Oakley
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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