|I’m not quite sure what you mean by, “Policy should not be law”, I think law is a useful analogy.
A map is quite different: it’s a representation of something very real, and if inaccurate, that’s because it fails to conform with reality. There is no “reality” here to be different from, only a set of objectives for a functioning system, objectives which vary from person to person, so we come together and agree on “policy” which sort of helps us to meet all of our objectives. Just like a law, except submission is voluntary here.
Back to law, it is written by imperfect people, and deliberately does not *dictate* its interpretation in every situation. Considerable leeway is given to human beings, in the form of juries and judges, to interpret it according to common understandings, e.g. “Okay, you ran that red traffic light, but with your mother-in-law’s hands around your neck at the time it was understandable, no fine.”
Why is it that so many people treat policy as a set of unalterable dictates? We’ve made exceptions in the past (e.g. Mozilla M18 upgrade in potato mentioned earlier; hundreds if not thousands of packages are released without conforming perfectly to all aspects of policy), and I hope will make exceptions in the future. This clearly is a situation calling for an exception.
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