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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Discussing the FSF endorsement process going forwa

From: bill-auger
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Discussing the FSF endorsement process going forward
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 21:49:31 -0500
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On 02/28/2018 12:08 PM, Jean Louis wrote:
> It would be good to have your own
> workflow. Steps, one by one on what is to be
> done.
> Not just a checklist for free system
> distributions, but rather a checklist for the
> whole process.

the only thing that the announcement does mention regarding documenting
the process was regarding the work-flow stages of the process itself;
not anything was mentioned about a checklist of specific criteria - i
would very much like to invert that proposal however

the "one-by-one procedure steps" of "what is to be done" are only and
entirely the evaluation of individual criteria - these criteria have no
inherent order - they are appropriately representable by a checklist -
and a criteria embodies all of the important information that anyone
would care to know - that is what should be documented

there is little to document specifically about the progress through any
meaningful stages - there are only three such over-all work-flow stages
above the details of the criteria evaluation:

* stage 1) a brief initial shallow evaluation done by GNU web-masters

* stage 2) the presumably longest, if not exhaustive, community
evaluation where the meaningful criteria checklist is filled

* stage 3) the final approval phase by the FSF where there would be
presumably very little remaining to do

so a work-flow checklist, as something distinct from a criteria
checklist, would only be three items long - there would probably be only
a trivial amount of time spent in the first and last phases - and the
proposed work-flow checklist itself would not even be created until
moving out of stage one into stage two - so the information that a
work-flow checklist would convey could be as accurately derived from the
criteria checklist alone, as such:

* stage 1) the criteria checklist has not yet been created
* stage 2) none or some criteria items have been evaluated
* stage 3) all criteria items have been evaluated

the only meaningful semantics of stage 1 is: "the GNU web-masters
received a request for review and will decide *whether or not* to begin
the process" - as soon as that is acted upon, either stage 2 would begin
immediately or i assume the sender would get some private reply in a
timely manner - in stage 1, there is really nothing to document yet

the only meaningful semantics of stage 3 is: "the checklist is complete
and pending final approval by the FSF" - after that happens, either the
distro will appear on the endorsed distros web page or perhaps a problem
was found and the distro is sent back to stage 2

so the initial and final stages are each singular states and should
consume only the smallest proportion of the overall time; and so are the
least interesting to anyone - but that is so far the only thing that is
to be documented

clearly, stage 2 is the only one worth documenting - and as i said, it's
semantics is only and entirely the evaluation of individual criteria
checklist items - and nothing of this phase is decided to be documented
other than in the form of this mailing list - but no one in posterity
would want to comb over the mailing list archives to root out these
details - an explicit checklist would be vastly more helpful to anyone
interested - and i underline, especially in cases where the distro takes
a long time to achieve 100% criteria conformance - even if 100% criteria
conformance is never achieved, the existing checklist would still be a
valuable resource to anyone who cares to takes the distro to the next
step in the future or liberate their own copy of it

it seems very simple to me - do people agree?

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