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Re: [Bug-gnuzilla] GNU LibreJS won't be removed from GNU IceCat

From: bill-auger
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnuzilla] GNU LibreJS won't be removed from GNU IceCat
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2018 23:34:54 -0500
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On 02/27/2018 01:33 PM, Ivan Zaigralin wrote:
> I realized that in order to make the web useful without 
> having to run nonfree software, we must *unscript* it. Fixing individual 
> pages/domains will not solve the problem posed by the disposable software; 

in the 90s the web was mostly unscripted and it worked just fine but it
was understandably quite static and not as pretty, flashy, eye-catching
or dazzling enough to become the new latest and greatest entertainment
and advertising platform that was all the rage during the "dotcom" days
- i think the largest reason javascript got used then was for DHTML
visual effects - then came the idea to script the content itself with
AJAX SAAS calls - but those early DHTML visual effects can now be
accomplished declaratively with CSS instead of programatically with
javascript - so really, the prescription to remove javascript from the
web is not as catastrophic as it may seem at first - mainly, what would
be missing is remote calls to *who knows where* to update content in
real-time; but the web could still look quite dazzling visually

those aesthetic qualities are primarily what impresses upon users and
not the AJAX updates; so most users would not "see" any difference -
what they would notice is that certain services such as web VOIP and web
games would starts requiring binary plug-ins such as flash again -
namely, all things that are far more appropriate as desktop applications
than something crammed into increasingly bloated web browsers - none of
which are novel or irreplaceable - decent FOSS desktop applications
already exist for all of those common casual-user oriented tasks and
people would be quite satisfied using them if the web "apps" did not
exist - but sadly, those services would probably just go back to using
binary plug-ins such as flash; so users who want such things would
probably notice no change at all in the absence of javascript today -
CSS could make the page elements pretty, flash would script the
behaviors and arbitrary network interactions behind-the-scene, and the
trend toward browser-based "apps" would continue unimpeded - in fact if
you can imagine all major browsers removing their javascript engines;
then you should be able to imagine several vendors offering javascript
engines as browser plug-ins immediately afterward; and it would only
take a small number of the big playas in the webby game to simply force
their hordes of users to use a javascript or flash plug-in or GTFO for
the entire endeavor to be rendered pointless - and note that the
javascript plug-ins are the preferable outcome rather then everything
moving to binary form - all of which is possible neglecting to mention
the up-and-coming "web-assembly" platform

it strikes me as so odd when i hear sometimes people say something like:
"what can i use for a matrix replacement?" - i can only roll back my
eyes and smirk, when clearly it is matrix that is the "replacement" for
a real desktop application; the sort of which has countless working and
popular examples in existence for nearly 20 years before the matrix
project began

one might think that web developers would be more sensible in this
respect, but no - i think most web developers would be quite happy if
javascript was the only programming language on earth and chromium and
firefox were the only desktop applications - or maybe every computer
would be running chromeOS - wouldnt that be swell? - erm "convenient"

that is a peculiarly unsavory inversion IMHO - it is inducing people
(mobile users especially) to no longer be able to discern a desktop
application running locally from a website "app" with the same apparent
functionality running remotely - this is where my objection to
javascript really begins - what is really implied when people favor web
"app" is that people will no longer care if their software is some silly
bird game written by a child that they randomly clicked on *some*
website; or the skillfully crafted and well-tested work of an
experienced professional, curated and distributed by a verifiable
trusted source

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