Bill Allombert | 2 Apr 00:34 2004
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Moving clarifications to an Addendum instead of editing the SC ?

Dear fellow developers,

As far as I understand the motivation for the editorial change 
are twofold:

1) remove some ambiguities on the wording,
2) make the text look nicer from a literary point of vue.

However, the SC is a document which has quite an historical and
sentimental value for most of us, well, at least for me.

So I feel reluctant to change it to remove ambiguities, while I agree
on the interpretations that are reinforced.

For that reason, I would suggest than instead of altering the text of
the Social Contract, we add an Addendum spelling out the clarifications
we agreed upon.

I don't expect to have the resources to introduce a new proposal for this
GR, but I see most of the disagreements on this list being on the
precise wording of the changes than on the actual interpretation of the
SC, so it could be easier to reach an agreement on the Addendum text.

Cheers,
--

-- 
Bill. <ballombe <at> debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 
Andrew Suffield | 2 Apr 06:10 2004
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Re: GR: Editorial amendments to the social contract

On Wed, Mar 24, 2004 at 09:09:33PM -0500, Greg Wooledge wrote:
> Debian Project Secretary (secretary <at> debian.org) wrote:
> 
> > New text:
> > 
> > 5. Works that do not meet our free software standards
> [...]
> > We encourage CD
> > manufacturers to read the licenses of the packages in these areas and
> > determine if they can distribute the packages on their CDs.
>             ^^
> This "if" should be "whether".

Only when you have a list of alternates following it, rather than a
single boolean. The equivalent form would be "whether or not ...",
which I considered to be needlessly verbose.

> > Thus,
> > although non-free works are not a part of Debian, we support their use
> > and provide infrastructure for non-free packages (such as our bug
> > tracking system and mailing lists).
> 
> Misplaced modifier -- it sounds like the BTS and mailing lists are
> non-free software!  Possibly change to:  "Thus, although non-free
> works are not a part of Debian, we support their use and provide
> infrastructure (such as our bug tracking system and mailing lists)
> for non-free packages."

Which is how I had it originally (first draft), and somebody
objected. I recall that they had a valid point, but I'll have to go
(Continue reading)

Andrew Suffield | 2 Apr 06:33 2004
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Re: SC changes

On Sat, Mar 27, 2004 at 10:16:59AM +0100, Michael Banck wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 26, 2004 at 10:57:17PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> > On Fri, 26 Mar 2004, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > > Of course there are interactions between, but there are several
> > > discrete proposals in each of the two version of changes, and I
> > > might like some and not others.  I would hate to have to vote
> > > against the ones I like just because they are tied to ones I greatly
> > > dislike.
> > 
> > Why not propose amendments to the proposal that reflect your viewpoint
> > then?
> 
> Sure, I guess that would be no problem. But I don't get why everybody
> pulls the 'make your own amendment' card right away. We're in the
> discussion period, right? So I don't see a problem with asking Andrew
> whether he'd be willing to do modify his proposal, if he sees the merit
> of othere people's comments.

Still hasn't happened, but in case it ever does, this should cut down
on some noise:

It's way too late to be arguing subtle points of grammar. This has
been in progress for months, so there's been plenty of time for
comments. So, you'd better have a decent argument behind any proposed
change, not just "I like it better this way". As a completely random
example, "maybe there are some things in it that I don't like, I don't
know, I haven't read it" is not a decent argument. I don't believe
this proposal contains anything that can reasonably be considered a
controversial change; while some people may not *like* what the social
contract currently says, this is pretty clearly what it *does* say, if
(Continue reading)

Andrew Suffield | 2 Apr 06:35 2004
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Re: Moving clarifications to an Addendum instead of editing the SC ?

On Fri, Apr 02, 2004 at 12:34:56AM +0200, Bill Allombert wrote:
> As far as I understand the motivation for the editorial change 
> are twofold:
> 
> 1) remove some ambiguities on the wording,
> 2) make the text look nicer from a literary point of vue.
> 
> However, the SC is a document which has quite an historical and
> sentimental value for most of us, well, at least for me.
> 
> So I feel reluctant to change it to remove ambiguities, while I agree
> on the interpretations that are reinforced.
> 
> For that reason, I would suggest than instead of altering the text of
> the Social Contract, we add an Addendum spelling out the clarifications
> we agreed upon.
> 
> I don't expect to have the resources to introduce a new proposal for this
> GR, but I see most of the disagreements on this list being on the
> precise wording of the changes than on the actual interpretation of the
> SC, so it could be easier to reach an agreement on the Addendum text.

I don't think that several pages of mental diffs are conductive to
understanding, so pure conservatism doesn't sound like a good
justification for doing it.

--

-- 
  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
(Continue reading)

Andrew Suffield | 2 Apr 06:36 2004
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Re: GR: Editorial amendments to the social contract

On Wed, Mar 24, 2004 at 09:07:27PM +0100, Andreas Barth wrote:
> Well, IMHO the old version is much nicer. The social contract _should_
> in my opinion have some nice, not too technical start. A promise is a
> very good start, and I'd like to keep that there.

Forward references should be avoided wherever possible, as they make
documents harder to read. "Ooh, promises, shiny, make it bigger" is
just hippie fluff.

The SC should not be fluffy. It should be clear, unambiguous, and easy
to understand. It should not sound like something from Hollywood.

> In the second sentence, I'd like to keep the word "below", as the DFSG
> _are_ a part of the SC.

I'd dispute that anyway, since we recently passed a resolution which
wrote it into the constitution that they were distinct documents, but
eliminating "below" was done along with a few other changes to remove
typographical dependencies. The SC should not have to be formatted in
one specific way in order to read correctly; for example, it could be
reasonably presented on two different pages, but not with the text as
currently written.

> The current third sentence is (at least in my opinion) much more nicer
> said then the new proposal.

It promotes non-free software over free software, and has the software
== ? bug, so it must change. If you'd been paying attention while it
was being rewritten then you'd understand why this is the most
rational way to do it. It's also easier to read this way.
(Continue reading)

Andrew Suffield | 2 Apr 06:39 2004
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Re: GR: Editorial amendments to the social contract

On Tue, Mar 30, 2004 at 07:12:15PM -0500, Sam Hartman wrote:
> I'd like to agree with the people who say that the proposed editorial
> corrections destroy the style of the social contract.  The proposed
> new social contract has similar effect to the current one.  I'm not
> able to determine if the effect is identical, but even if so, I find
> it a less powerful and motivating document.
> 
> As such I prefer the current text to this proposal.

Meh, that's just conservatism, in the political sense. Familiarity,
etc; this is identical to arguments based on "more intuitive".

--

-- 
  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |
Thomas Bushnell, BSG | 2 Apr 06:37 2004
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Re: SC changes

Don Armstrong <don <at> donarmstrong.com> writes:

> If you only like specific parts of a proposal, and there are enough
> people who share you viewpoint for it to matter (6 people to second
> your proposal) then you just need to propose an amendment
> incorporating the parts you like and removing the parts that you
> don't.

So, duh, that was the *point* of my suggestion.  But I don't have the
arrogance to just declare "this is the best way" without hearing
discussion, which is what I was trying to invite.  

Sadly, Debian seems to head for the meta-discussion by a sort of
nervous tick.  

So, can we discuss the different sections separately, and then perhaps
replace the current proposals (much of which I do like) with
section-by-section consideration, so that we can get each section as
good as possible?  

Don Armstrong | 2 Apr 07:17 2004
X-Face

Re: SC changes

[Yet again, I'm subscribed to -vote. Do *NOT* Cc: me.[1]]

On Thu, 01 Apr 2004, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> I don't have the arrogance to just declare "this is the best way"
> without hearing discussion, which is what I was trying to invite.
>
> Sadly, Debian seems to head for the meta-discussion by a sort of
> nervous tick.

I gathered that you were interested in seeing the vote split up into
multiple votes on every single section because you weren't happy with
the amendment in total rather than inviting a discussion on the
perceived issue(s) with different section(s) of the amendment.

> So, can we discuss the different sections separately, and then perhaps
> replace the current proposals (much of which I do like) with
> section-by-section consideration, so that we can get each section as
> good as possible?  

Why not start a discussion dealing with the actual issue(s) then?

If there are sections which you don't particularly like, bring them up
for discussion.

Then if you find people who feel likewise, propose an amendment, get
it seconded by the people who feel likewise, and vote for it when it
appears on the ballot.

I, for one, look forward to hearing what you have to say.

(Continue reading)

Thomas Bushnell, BSG | 2 Apr 07:27 2004
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Re: SC changes

Don Armstrong <don <at> donarmstrong.com> writes:

> I gathered that you were interested in seeing the vote split up into
> multiple votes on every single section because you weren't happy with
> the amendment in total rather than inviting a discussion on the
> perceived issue(s) with different section(s) of the amendment.

No, my goal is not just to cast a vote, but also to hone the
proposal.  I'm still thinking over the details of the wording.

> Why not start a discussion dealing with the actual issue(s) then?

I'm still thinking over the detail of the wording.  I suspect the
meta-issue has taken enough time already so I'll drop this (which was
just a brief idea anyway), and once I've had time for my thoughts
about wording to gel, I'll post them.

> 1: Considering you were trumpeting the debian list guidelines
> recently, could you please consider following them?

I try to remember.  Emacs still doesn't do the Right Thing quite
reliably enough.

Andreas Barth | 2 Apr 10:07 2004

Re: SC changes

* Thomas Bushnell, BSG (tb <at> becket.net) [040402 07:10]:
> So, can we discuss the different sections separately, and then perhaps
> replace the current proposals (much of which I do like) with
> section-by-section consideration, so that we can get each section as
> good as possible?  

I'd certainly like that.

Cheers,
Andi
--

-- 
   http://home.arcor.de/andreas-barth/
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