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Re: [Bug-gnuzilla] Free Software Add-on for IceCat

From: Loic J. Duros
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnuzilla] Free Software Add-on for IceCat
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:00:24 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:16.0) Gecko/20121011 Thunderbird/16.0.1


As mentioned before, the primary criterion is software freedom. Of course, we also care about privacy, and in fact it is one of my main focuses for the next release on IceCat.

I think that as long as the extension provides a checkbox to stop allowing these whitelisted ads, the user still gets a choice, and because it is released under the MPL2.0, users can also just fork the addon and make their own, without this particular functionality or any other.

Of course we can list the two variants along with the original. As I stated earlier, I'm building a new interface for the addon list. Unfortunately, the GNU webmasters and sysadmins don't want to set up an MVC on the main server, and so I'm building a dynamic addon page entirely in (free) _javascript_ for this purpose. In the backend (which I'm afraid will have to run from another server, such as my own) it will automatically generate lists of free addons, and perform a rudimentary file check for license notices, and provide updated data. I guess  we could blacklist those free addons that are perceived as malicious. I'm not sure it's the case for ABP since I don't use it, but I'll take a closer look at it.


On 10/21/2012 11:26 AM, Ivan Zaigralin wrote:
What you are saying makes sense, and I definitely think this
is a borderline case. Still, I think APB is distributed with
a malicious feature turned on by default. There are forks which
have the malicious feature removed, such as Adblock Lite and
Trueblock Plus. At the very least, they should be listed
alongside ABP. But then why have ABP at all? It is strictly
inferior to its forks, so there is now a redundancy issue.

Than being said, your explanation made me reconsider my position
and I won't advocate removal anymore.

On 10/21/2012 05:55 AM, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
Ivan Zaigralin wrote:
Adblock Lite is MPL. It has the Adblock Plus' current feature set
with the old (pre-2) interface. The main difference is the absence
of Allow Some Ads option, which is enabled by default in Adblock
Plus. In an ironic twist of fate, Palant sold out to advertisers :)
While the code of ABP is still free, IMHO, it should be removed
because its default settings are designed to abuse the user, and
replacements are available.
The criterion for inclusion in the Gnuzilla list is software freedom. If
extensions are barred for other reasons, then the purpose of the list becomes
less clear. There are also extensions in the list that facilitate the use of
Google and other websites/services that have raised privacy concerns. With the
current policy they could only be excluded if you'd argue that they encourage
the use of websites that require running non-free _javascript_.

That being said, the Gnuzilla project does pay attention to user privacy. Loic
could choose to add that as a second criterion for the list (with the
aforementioned risk). Another option is to add warnings to the list. That still
requires that every extension be checked for privacy issues, because it
shouldn't be that no privacy warning could also mean that it hasn't been
checked. So it would take more work to get (certain types of) extensions on the
list, making people less inclined to submit them. And like with SaaS, it's not
always clear cut whether something crossed the line. I'm not opposed to the idea
per se, though. :)

Anyway, I'm not sure ABP's default settings are even a privacy issue. And if I
recall correctly, it does explicitly give users the choice to disable the
whitelist when it's installed.


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