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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR


On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 02:24:35PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > > Superseding a document is easily recognizable: it's when you explicitely
> > > say that you're going to change its _content_ (ex:
> > > http://www.debian.org/vote/2004/vote_003 ).
> > 
> > I wouldn't say that it is that easy. 
> It is. Does the resolution say what the new version of the foundation
> document will look like if it's accepted ? If yes, then it supersedes the
> document. Otherwise it doesn't.

Well, I could now they "No, its not" but that wouldn't help us.
I guess we need to agree to disagree in this point.
My opinion stays the same: The effect of superseding a foundation
document and temporary overriding it is the same, except that the latter
is timely limited.

> > We do not have rules for temporary overriding a foundation document, therefore
> > we need to apply one of the rules we have. 
> I'm sorry, you don't have to pick one of the existing rules and stretch it
> to cover some unexpected case. The default rule for position statement
> applies and it's a GR with a 1:1 ratio.

Its not stretching, it is following the spirit of the rule.

> No. In one case, we alter our (long-term) goal, in the other we don't.

No. We _do_ alter a (long-term) goal in both cases. You seem to forget
that every point in our DFSG is a goal in itself. The only difference is
that the altering becomes undone automagically.

> Anthony Towns is right. Some people take the social contract as a law.
> Other take it as a goal. We probably need to clear up this. But even if
> we consider it as law, the social contract is written in such a way that
> there's room for interpretation, whereas the constitution is much more
> precise in all our rules.

Well, the "room for interpretation" is the biggest problem. As we see
our interpretation is different for something where no explicit rule
exists. There is no "default case" explicitly spelled out in the document
and so I think we should decide consistent with the existing rules.

And I really disagree that this is just a "Position Statement".
IMHO you cannot override rules with "Position Statements", you can only spell
out how you think rules are to be applied. For example you can say
that from your point of view Firmware does match the Source
Requirements, because it *is* the preferred form of modification, but
you cannot say "No, I don't care that we need source for everything, let
them (the firmwares) in."

So I think we probably should amend the consitution instead of endlessly
discussing about our different interpretations. We should decide which
rules shall apply for cases that are not yet described in the
constitution, like for example the "What majority is required to
temporary override a DFSG-rule?".

And I tell you: I'd vote for a single majority requirement. But I don't
think that a single majority requirement is right *right now*.

> I'm at a loss… I don't know how I can better explain the problem. I'll thy
> nevertheless:
> If you consider that we all agree on the goals (and for me this is a
> given, we all agreed to the social contract), imposing a 3:1 ratio
> on any vote that should decide how we will handle the next step (that
> should bring us closer to our goals) is an effective way to block
> any progress: we've seen at numerous occasions that consensus is
> almost unachievable and that we need fair decision-making process.

Its nice that you try to make your point better understandable, but its
not neccessary. I do understand the problem. I know that it is _hard_ to
get a 3:1 majority. But it is _possible_ if the (!) majority of the
developers have the same opinion. And its exactly what is wanted by
having a 3:1 requirement for changing any kind of rule: making it hard
to change/replace that rule.

If you say that we need a "fair decision-making process" that implicits
that we don't have that already. This means we would need to
change/alter the consitution. But we cannot simply forget about it and
decide as we see fit, when there are others who have a different

> Imposing consensus is okay when it comes to changing/altering our
> objectives. But it's not okay when it comes to decisions on how we want to
> reach our objectives. 

We do not decide about how to reach our objectives. We decide
weither we want to ignore a certain objective, or not. That is a big

> I hope this clears it up.

No. It only shows, that we disagree in interpretation of our foundation
documents and the constitution. Thats not that bad, because binding is only the
interpretation of the majority or existing rules.

BTW. I really would like to see a pro-firmware decision, but I have a
different view on how easy it should be.

Best Regards,

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