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Re: Please, no GitHub

From: Maxthon Chan
Subject: Re: Please, no GitHub
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 20:37:11 +0800

Github themselves used cURL to send manual requests in their demos, and as far as I know cURL is not capable of any JS. I believe this is a good proof that Github if solely used by their API satisfies the repository selection criteria. Since they also mentioned that the authentication procedure can be done programmatically it means that someone can create a free software front-end that calls Github API, allowing all functions to work, while not requiring the user to even touch anything non free.

About licensing, their list of licenses are in an pretty fair order like this:

1) No license (the default value) is placed first (this is a technical issue not an ethical one - more on this later)
2) The three most popular licenses, according to this (https://github.com/blog/1964-license-usage-on-github-com) are listed right after “None" in bold, in alphabet order - currently, in this order: Apache 2.0, GPLv2 and MIT/X.
3) All other licenses listed after the most popular three, also in alphabet order.

The “License: None” option, together with the “README: None” and “gitignore: None” options, forms a compatibility option (that is, exist for a technical reason not ethical) allowing a repository to be created in a “clean slate” so repositories created locally can be pushed directly using normal git usage. (a --force push is not considered normal usage, and if the source directory does not contain a license file the force-push will remove the pre-commited license file anyway) This compatibility option have to exist in order to allow some (almost all?) IDE to work with Github.

They have created a website to suggest licenses for newcomers (http://choosealicense.com/) and all license listed there are free licenses, with GPLv2 and GPLv3 featured at the same time under one of their three major categories. This site is linked immediately next to their “License:” drop down box. Additionally, the Terms and Conditions dictate that when an explicit license is missing the Github ToC itself become the fallback license for users of Github - effectively all code is under some license explicitly or implicitly. That website consider “no license” a catch-all for proprietary software.

On Dec 11, 2015, at 18:05, Derek Fawcus <address@hidden> wrote:

On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 12:27:51AM -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:

However, rather than just criticize GitHub, we developed a set of
repo criteria (https://www.gnu.org/software/repo-criteria.html) to judge
repository sites by.

As far as I can see,  the existance of the Github JSON API [1] allows it
to meet all of the criteria in section C of that document,  and hence be
an acceptable host.

I tried sending some manual requests to it from within a browser with JS
disabled,  and received the documented responses.  So interactions over
and above the remote git CLI access are possible w/o running any _javascript_.

I'd suggest that on the licencing side,  offering the user the
choice qualifies as 'at least as much as any other kind of licensing.' (C5).

The 'flaw' complained about in another message seems to be B2,  and as
such not necessary to be acceptable.

[1] https://developer.github.com/v3/


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