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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR

Matthew Johnson <mjj29@debian.org> writes:
> On Fri Dec 19 13:08, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> 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

No, a 3:1 requirement is still required to change or replace those
documents, and as long as they're not changed or replaced, they will have
a powerful persuasive effect on voting.  This was also Raphael's point.
We all agreed to follow them.  This is not a negligible effect.

> and the SC and DFSG effectively optional.

Majority rule is not equivalent to optional.

> I don't believe that was the intention when they were drafted.

Whether it's the intent or not, I believe what I've spelled out is the
practical effect.  If you want some other effect, you *have* to spell out
who decides what the meaning is.  You cannot rely on everyone "just
knowing" the meaning.  People aren't going to agree, and someone has to
pick which meaning is correct.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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