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This is a potential revision of the SocialContract, with the following goals:
- current and previous Debian releases don't violate it
- to be inspiring
- to allow us to abandon previous compromises between user interests and free software as they become obsolete (eg, drop the non-free component when it becomes empty without a GR)
- to allow us to introduce new compromises between user interests and free software should they become necessary (eg, supporting users who prefer the FSF's definition of freedom over our own)
- to not be ambiguous (is "Debian" the project or the system the project produces?)
- to add a clause endorsing considerate interactions with each other
If you support this endeavour, please add your name and any comments below.
We, the members of the Debian project, make the following pledge:
- We will build a free operating system
- We will create and provide an integrated system of free software that anyone can use. We will make all our work publicly available as free software.
- We will build a superior operating system
- We will collect and distribute the best software available, and strive to continually improve it by making use of the best tools and techniques available.
- We will build a universal operating system
- We will accept the use of our operating system by all users, for all purposes, without discrimination. We will support our users to the best of our ability in all the choices they make, no matter what our opinion of those choices may be.
- We will be open about our activities
- We will conduct our affairs in public and allow anyone to follow our discussions. Where public disclosure is not immediately feasible we will make any private discussions publicly available at the earliest opportunity.
- We will respect the community
- We will ensure that members of the community can easily and effectively contribute their skills and views to the project. We will respect the membership of the community, and ensure that our treatment of their contributions reflects that respect.
It may not be enough to change the SC, it may be necessary to also make some position statements about how the SC is to be interpreted/implemented currently (being aware that as circumstances change, the implementation/interpretation might change too). What position statements might be necessary?
Is there still explicitly non-free stuff in main? There's license texts (the text of the GPL can't be modified, eg), possibly the logo (did the SPI vote on the license changes ever happen, and get publicised?), what about bits of firmware, etc? -- AnthonyTowns
It might be good to explicitly note that we're distributing non-free and contrib software as part of (2) and (3). -- AnthonyTowns
It might be good to note how the SC gets interpreted and anything in conflict with it gets overruled (I think by maintainers, delegates, the tech ctte or GR, in that order, with the secretary and 3:1 GRs having no role unless we want to change the text) -- AnthonyTowns
Conflicts with what currently happens
Are there any conflicts with how Debian operates currently? Would we rather change the draft, or change our behaviour?
Debian doesn't conduct everything in public, and where things are conducted in private, much of it goes unsummarised. -- AnthonyTowns, who'd prefer that to change
The following people support the changes in principle (ie, all of the goals, and most of the text):
If you're not a DD (and hence don't get a vote), maybe add an annotation as to whether you're a DM, upstream for some packages, a downstream maintainer (Ubuntu MOTU, etc), or a user.
Various people would like to note the following caveats: