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[sven@powerlinux.fr: Re: Results for General Resolution: Lenny and resolving DFSG violations]


Sven asked me to forward this message to the list. Since it does not
contain any of the vitriol for which he was expelled from the project,
and since it does contain some valid points on the discussion in
question, I decided to comply with his request.

I'd like to say, though, that this does not mean I necessarily agree
with his PoV.

----- Forwarded message from Sven Luther <sven@powerlinux.fr> -----

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Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 11:39:25 +0100
To: Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>, leader@debian.org,
	da-manager@debian.org, listmaster@debian.org, sven@powerlinux.fr
Cc: debian-vote@lists.debian.org, debian-devel@lists.debian.org,
	Theodore Tso <tytso@MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: Results for General Resolution: Lenny and resolving DFSG violations
Message-ID: <20081229103925.GA22351@powerlinux.fr>
In-Reply-To: <20081229050241.GD11976@blae.erisian.com.au>
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)
From: Sven Luther <sven@powerlinux.fr>

On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 03:02:41PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 28, 2008 at 08:45:16PM -0500, Theodore Tso wrote:
> > On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 12:48:24AM +0000, Simon Huggins wrote:
> > > I wonder how many DDs were ashamed to vote the titled "Reaffirm the
> > > social contract" lower than the choices that chose to release.
> > I'm not ashamed at all; I joined before the 1.1 revision to the Debian
> > Social Contract, which I objected to them, and I still object to now.
> > If there was a GR which chainged the Debian Social contract which
> > relaxed the first clause to only include __software__ running on the
> > Host CPU, I would enthusiastically vote for such a measure.
> So what would such a SC look like?
> We previously had a vote to revert the SC to 1.0, and while it defeated
> reaffirming the current SC, it lost to the option of simply postponing it.
> Maybe with nearly four years of experience since then, that's changed
> though.

I think the problem is not really the social contract, what it currently
says is just fine, and we all agree with it.

We have free stuff, which is in main, and non-free stuff of diverse
variety, which is in non-free (plus the hybrid contrib).

My own guess is that all those clamoring to have non-free firmware and
non-free documentation or images or whatever in main, would be just as
satisfied if we decided to support non-free more (and maybe put choice
non-free stuff on our CD medias).

I believe this will satisfy everyeone, there will be no loss of
freeness over what we have now (we distribute this non-free stuff from
our ftp/http servers, which is just another distribution media compared
to CDs), while it allows for transparent installation of those non-free
drivers, and thus those wanting to be able to install on
non-free-firmware needing hardware should be happy too.

So, what is really needed is that we take the time to make the non-free
firmware support upto par to what we promised in our social contract :

  We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of works that do
  not conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. We have created
  "contrib" and "non-free" areas in our archive for these works. The
  packages in these areas are not part of the Debian system, although
  they have been configured for use with Debian

So, in this case, "configured for use with Debian", means that the
non-free firmware is well integrated with both d-i and our kernel.

So, basically, there is nothing to do here, nothing which will cause a
ideological schism, or which makes some of us forget our vows to support
the social contract when we joined debian (independent of what you
consider software or not).

We simply say :

  - non-free firmware and other stuff, are supported through the
    non-free area of debian (which we may subclasify or something such,
    but we need no social-contract change for that).

  - the stuff in non-free should be well integrated in debian, and we
    will distribute the non-free stuff on our CD or other installation
    media, that are needed for installing on modern hardware, provided
    we are legally able to do so.

Then the question that remains is simple :

  - will we hold lenny until all remaining non-free stuff is moved to
    non-free, and support for well integrated non-free is added into
    debian where needed.


  - will we release lenny as is, knowing that serious effort has been
    made to make this separation easier, that non-free firmware has been
    moved into non-free modules, and d-i support it to a degree, but
    more work is needed for it ?

I guess that if asked such, there will be load of support for the second
option, since it is the most reasonable one, and none can deny that
there has been progress made on this front since our last release.

That will also allow us to put all these conflicts aside, and put our
energy in helping the lenny+1 release to be even more free in this way,
and even easier for people needing non-free firmware to install, and
everyone will be happy.

So, please stop this shameful flamewars and maneuvering, which only hurt
us all in the long run, both emotionnally, technically, and in the
perception the outer world has of debian, and let's try for a change to
go toward a reasonable course of action which will please everyone, and
still stay true to the our ideals.

As i have been summarily expulsed, and am censored from posting on
debian lists, i can't propose such a GR myself, so i would welcome a
sponsor to propose it on my behalf. And Anthony, please forward this
mail to the lists (or Theodore for that matter).


Sven Luther

----- End forwarded message -----

<Lo-lan-do> Home is where you have to wash the dishes.
  -- #debian-devel, Freenode, 2004-09-22

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