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Re: [fsf-community-team] Enhancements and fixes for js-encumbered websit

From: Yuchen Pei
Subject: Re: [fsf-community-team] Enhancements and fixes for js-encumbered websites
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2021 10:49:11 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.4.13; emacs 27.2

W. Kosior via fsf-community-team <fsf-community-team@gnu.org> writes:


I'd like to invite you to take a look at and possibly contribute to our project aiming to deliver user-controlled Internet. We're developing a platform to allow, among others, _replacing_ web pages' scripts with user-provided ones. Besides making websites once again usable with libre software, we also plan to facilitate making, running and sharing
site enhancements (features, styling, alternative interfaces,
translations, accessibility fixes).

Documentation* (also contains non-technical concept explanation):

Nice documentation - lots of food for thought, thanks! (Also the project looks like a great initialtive)

One minor question about the documentation:

LibreJS' strategy of judging scripts based on a license notice fails for example when someone takes an X11-licensed js library, modifies it and serves a minified version of the modified lib on their site. LibreJS will allow this script to execute, even though the modifications are obviously nonfree.

Why would the modifications be nonfree in this case? Minification is a derivative like compilation, and if the source is licensed under X11, and if the modified version is also under a free license, then there's no problem LibreJS allows it to execute.

Another thought I have about the project after reading the documentation (haven't studied all the technical details yet), is that while the goal is software freedom, it tries to address many problems, including malicious js code and crypto mining and verification of source-minification correspondence. But IMO the key is to fix the "tivoization" of the web by easing the action of replacing js scripts of each site with user-supplied freely-licensed ones. I assume it is doable with LibreJS + GreaseMonkey (haven't tried it myself), but perhaps a first step could be just to combine the functionalities of these two to make it dead easy to substitute scripts before they are run, and the second step could be to create the platform of a free js repo for all the webistes?


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