[Dev] [consensus][due: 2016-06-13]: New version for Parabola Social Contract

fauno fauno at endefensadelsl.org
Wed Jun 8 05:21:30 GMT 2016

Luke Shumaker <lukeshu at sbcglobal.net> writes:

> On Tue, 07 Jun 2016 19:35:56 -0400,
> Luke Shumaker wrote:
>> I wanted to see the changes in the actual thing and proposals over
>> time, so I made a git repository of the social contract.
>> https://projects.parabola.nu/~lukeshu/social-contract.git/
> Ok, I have some comments to make after looking over the history.
> ========================================================================
> # What's going on with the official version?                           #
> ========================================================================
> In 2014-2015, Coadde made a series of edits to the official version.
> I remember no discussion of the changes.
> He did essentially several search/replaces:
>  - "Parabola GNU/Linux" -> "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre"
>    Ok, I guess. Still, it should have been discusssed.
>  - "ArchLinux" -> "Arch" or "Arch GNU/Linux"
>    Saying "Arch GNU/Linux" is wrong, it should be "Arch Linux".
>    "Arch" is acceptable shorthand after the first use.

the name of the distro is archlinux.  we shouldn't impose our point of
view on their name and that's why we forked into parabola (i was opposed
to call parabola an independent distro too, but we grew out of it...)

one of the first parabola hackers even tried to ask arch-devs to have a
[nonfree] repo like debian, it should be on the arch-dev-public mailing
list archive somewhere in 2008-2009 :P

> Then, a bit over a month ago, Emulatorman made a change, which I also
> recall no discussion of.  He changed "our community is democratic in
> its essence" to "adhocratic in its essence".  A one-word change, but
> quite a significant one!

i'm ok with both, but for historical reasons we used democratic, since
back when we started parabola we felt the arch the project wasn't
democratic at all (ie you're an arch dev, a trusted user or stfu)

no idea where the change to adhocratic came from

> ========================================================================
> # Separate contracts for separate operating systems?                   #
> ========================================================================
> Coadde also made a variant of the Social Contract for Parabola
> GNU/kNuBSD-fire.  Which is good!  The current Social contract is about
> the operating system.
> However, I think that the Social Contract should be about the project.
> About Parabola, not Parabola GNU/Linux-libre.  This would obviate the
> separate contract for the kNuBSD system.  This was part of my 2013
> proposal, and is still kind-of present in Emulatorman's proposal.


> ========================================================================
> # "Parabola" vs "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre", "Arch" vs "Arch Linux"     #
> ========================================================================
> Cf. https://wiki.parabola.nu/Nomenclature
> Emulatorman had previously remarked that he didn't like saying "Arch
> Linux" in it, especially because we say "Parabola" (as opposed to
> "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre") in the same document.  I think that
> comment is missing the point, and I don't like some of the wording
> that results from it.
>  - "Parabola" is the project
>  - "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre" is the operating system that "Parabola"
>    makes.


> I was very careful with the wording in my proposal regarding this.
> The current social contract is about the operating system, but my
> proposal made it about the project.
> That is, "Parabola" as used in my draft of the Social Contract is
> *not* shorthand.


> In the social contract, we should be as clear and precise as
> possible.  The operating system is called "Arch Linux".  It is an
> unfortunate name that contributes to the Linux vs. GNU/Linux
> confusion, but that is what it is factually named.  Note that in my
> wording, I wrote "Arch Linux" the first time it appears within a
> paragraph, but simply "Arch" after that.  I believe that this is an
> acceptable compromise.


> ========================================================================
> # Name of the operating system                                         #
> ========================================================================
> Cf. https://wiki.parabola.nu/Nomenclature
> Related to that, when the Social Contract discusses the operating
> system(s) that we make, I don't believe it should do so by name.
> The original wording was:
>> 4. Parabola GNU/Linux and ArchLinux: Parabola is the free version of
>>    ArchLinux.
> In my proposal, I changed that to:
>> 4.  Parabola and Arch Linux: We will produce an operating system
>>     that is a Free version of Arch Linux, and possibly other
>>     Arch-based systems.
> Emulatorman partially reverted that to:
>> 4.  Parabola and Arch**: Parabola is a Free version of Arch, and
>>     possibly other Arch-based systems.
> Again, if we are being precise, then Parabola GNU/Linux-libre is the
> Free version of Arch.
> But I oppose saying "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre" in the Social Contract,
> because it is overly specific.  The name of the operating system we
> make shouldn't be part of the Social Contract; it is an implementation
> detail, not an essential detail.
> What if tomorrow we decided that it would be better to use a different
> libre fork of Linux than Linux-libre?  Should our Social Contract have
> to be ammended to allow that?  No, that would be absurd.


> ========================================================================
> # Free Art Movement?                                                   #
> ========================================================================
> I feel kinda silly saying this, but: I'm not familiar with a Free Art
> Movement.  And even if I'm silly for that, we shouldn't assume that
> the reader of the Social Contract is more informed than me.  And
> searching for it yields results that I don't think are related.
> I am familiar with the Free Culture movement.  How is this different?
> With the Free Software Movement, we have a link to Wikipedia, in case
> the reader is unfamiliar with it.  We have details on what that
> means.
> The same isn't true for Free Art.  It just says "it does not provide
> any type of support for non-free art." and tacks on "and art" after
> "software."  With no real details.  It references the FSDG for
> software, then just says "and art".  What does it mean to "not provide
> … support for non-free art."?

i felt the same way... didn't we have wording stating that since we
supported free software & culture we weren't going to provide non-free
art and documents such as game art and non-free documentation?  i
remember mtjm saying we should remove documentation under gnu fdl with
invariant sections too (though i don't recall any specific package that
contained such documentation).

> ========================================================================
> # External links                                                       #
> ========================================================================
> The links that are in the contract have been there since it was
> created.  I'm not sure I like linking to Wikipedia.  It may change,
> and it may not represent the views we want to endorse.
> I think that we should instead link to the FSF, GNU, or maybe the FSFe.
> Possible links for "Free Software Movement:
>  - https://www.fsf.org/about/what-is-free-software
>  - https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-intro.html
> I can't find a good link to use for "binary blobs", but perhaps we
> should just un-link it?

+1 to not link to wikipedia, where they sistematically changed the
parabola article to be about an "open source linux distribution" :D

(by a guy who only contributed articles on war machinery and nothing
about free software...)

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