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Re: FSD as a Git repository

From: Greg Farough
Subject: Re: FSD as a Git repository
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 12:01:40 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Mon, Jul 12 2021, Bone Baboon <> wrote:

> Bone Baboon writes:
>> * The FSD's plain text files could be compiled to HTML and served as a
>>   static web site without JavaScript using free software (discount,
>>   org-mode, etc). 
> The plain text files could be compiled to be served as HTML over
> HTTP but they could also be compiled so that they could be served over
> other protocols such as Gemini <> and
> Gopher <>.  These two
> protocols avoid the JavaScript trap
> <> and have free
> software implementations of servers and clients.

I'm not sure about Gopher, but as far as I know, Gemini wouldn't work
for something like the Directory. The Gemini specification[1] only
allows for a single text input form on a page, which is then sent back
to the server in the form of a query. That's not really ideal for a
submission as detailed as a Directory entry, and which has multiple
input fields. But don't get me wrong; I love Gemini.

Having the Directory be editable via Git sounds like it would make for
an interesting side project, but I don't think it should become an
officially supported way to edit the Directory. There is nothing wrong
with free JavaScript, especially when the JavaScript a page runs on
the user's computer is light on system resources. I've comfortably
read and edited the Directory on a laptop manufactured in 2007, with 1
gigabyte of memory and a 32-bit operating system.

If MediaWiki were a gigantic web application, things would be
different. But as it is, it's a perfectly acceptable free software
solution that the vast majority of contributors are going to find more
user-friendly than submitting edits over eww.el or a similarly niche
setup. I don't think it's reasonable for a contributor to *expect* a
way to edit the Directory without running JavaScript, but I still
think it makes for a good "hobby project" for a volunteer.

If the Directory's MediaWiki installation is posing problems for
screen readers, that's a separate issue and one definitely worth
closer research.


[1]: (ยง3.2.1)

Greg Farough // Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation

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