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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR

On Fri Dec 19 13:08, Russ Allbery wrote:
> There's nothing in the consititution that prohibits passing nonsensical
> GRs or GRs that contradict foundation documents, as long as they don't
> actually alter the foundation documents.

Given a ballot option which does not explicitly specify whether or not
it is a. pointless or b. overriding the foundation document with which
it clearly conflicts I think for sanity's sake it should be assumed to
be the latter and hence have a 3:1 majority requirement. Either that or
the secretary should refuse to list any options which do not explicitly
resolve their conflict with a foundation document

> > Nvidia drivers are just a placeholder here. Insert firmware or anything
> > else which might have support. I wanted an example that was clear I'm
> > talking about definitely non-free stuff, not arguing whether binary
> > vectors in header files are defacto source form.
> Unfortunately, by simplifying, you're removing the factor that makes this
> vote so problematic, namely the disagreement over whether what the GR says
> is contradictory or not.  One of the many sides in the current debate is
> the position that putting source-less firmware into main does *not*
> contradict the DFSG.

Indeed and the option which said that was 1:1. The options which said
that even though they contradicted the DFSG we would let them through
were 3:1

> > NVidia drivers are just a placeholder to illustrate the point. You
> > definitely _can't_ claim that they meet the DFSG (but you could change
> > it to allow them anyway). However, you do raise something here which
> > people may be confusing. A vote that said "we will assume that firmware
> > is in source form" is very different to one which says "we don't care
> > whether or not it is source form". The former says "we keep the DFSG as
> > it is, but we are asserting that they comply unless we can prove
> > otherwise" and the latter says "even if we can prove otherwise we will
> > change the DFSG so that it is allowed" The former is 1:1 and the latter
> > is 3:1.
> I agree with this, since the latter says that you're going to change the
> DFSG.  But the firmware case doesn't necessarily say that.  One of the
> positions held about firmware is that it's not a program provided by
> Debian in the sense used in the SC and DFSG.  Holding that position
> doesn't require changing the DFSG.

Sure, that's fine, but not what I'm talking about

> This is the root of the argument, really, and is what I'm trying to get
> across.  Foundation documents do not have some sort of Platonic True
> Meaning that exists outside of the governance process.  The words mean
> what people with the authority to make decisions decide they mean, and
> those decisions have no special protection or role in the constitution.
> Therefore, in a very real sense the DFSG and SC mean whatever a simple
> majority of developers decide that they mean in each specific case where a
> GR is applied.

Then the 3:1 requirement is nonsense and the SC and DFSG effectively
optional. I don't believe that was the intention when they were drafted.


Matthew Johnson

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