Here is a first draft social contract, adapted from the Debian Social Contract.
- Source Mage will remain 100% free
We promise to keep the Source Mage GNU/Linux distribution entirely free (as in freedom). This means that all software we release will be licensed under the GNU Public License, and all of the software included in our distribution will be under a GPL compatible license, as defined by the Free Software Foundation (fsf.org). All of our documentation will be released under the GNU Free Documentation License. While we recognize that these are not the only "free" software licenses, we choose to maintain the simplicity that this solution provides. We will support our users who develop and run non-free software on SMGL, but we will never make the core system depend on an item of non-free software.
- We will give back to the free software community
When we write new components of the SMGL system, we will license them as free software. We will make the best system we can, so that free software will be widely distributed and used. We will feed back bug-fixes, improvements, user requests, etc. to the "upstream" authors of software included in our system.
- We won't hide problems
We will keep our entire bug-report database open for public view at all times. Reports that users file on-line will immediately become visible to others.
- Our priorities are our users and free software
We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environment. We won't object to commercial software that is intended to run on Source Mage systems, and we'll allow others to create value-added distributions containing both Source Mage and commercial software, without any fee from us. To support these goals, we will provide an integrated system of high-quality, 100% free software, with no legal restrictions that would prevent these kinds of use.
- We will not limit user choice to our free software standards
We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of programs that don't conform to the strict SMGL Licensing Guidelines. While SMGL will never rely on non-free software, we do not limit a user's choice of software. We will provide the tools for a user to make their own informed decisions, via each spell's "LICENSE" field, and the sorcery spell filter. Thus, although non-free software isn't a part of Source Mage, we support its use, and we provide infrastructure (such as our bug-tracking system and mailing lists, as well as spells) for non-free software packages.
- Working on this project is about FUN!
We, the developers, work on this project to maintain a distribution that WE like to use. It is about enjoying what we are doing, so that if you notice that deadlines are not met, that things are not happening for you fast enough, then by all means you are welcome to join in. Roll them up and get dirty by fixing what is bugging you the most. We are always glad to have new developers join in and welcome all who share this philosophy.