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Re: Links to javascript-based websites from orgmode.org: Paypal and Gith

From: Bastien
Subject: Re: Links to javascript-based websites from orgmode.org: Paypal and Github
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2022 09:57:15 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Hi Ihor,

Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com> writes:

> To clarify, I did not intend to make you remove those links, but rather
> wanted to hear your opinion and open a discussion.

Sorry if I seemed to act upon this too hastily.

Here is my opinion on the matter.

I think we should consider two separate issues: (1) whether the
donation mechanism requires users to load non-free Javascript and (2)
whether the support mechanism is from an organization that actually
supports Free Software maintainers and developers.

Paypal is bad on (1) and irrelevant on (2): removing the Paypal link
seems like a good move.  The amount I receive from paypal (~150€ per
year) is not something that can justify promoting Paypal for the ~30K
monthly visitors of https://orgmode.org.

GitHub Sponsors is bad on (1) and looks better on (2) but it requires
donators to use GitHub, something that the GNU project does not want
to encourage.  If _I_ want to use GitHub Sponsors this is my decision,
but a website from the GNU project should not advertize this donation

Liberapay is apparently not so good on (1) but the source code is
under the CC0 license (this choice seems weird but I won't argue about
it) and we can contact the developers so that they get better on (1).
It seems to me a good solution for (2): it is run by people who care
about Free Software developers and maintainers.

So, promoting liberapay.com as the *only* donation mechanism seems the
best move here.  If we give the choice between GitHub Sponsors, Paypal
and liberapay.com, donators will take the easy way and liberapay.com
will miss opportunities to get more users and supporters.

> As Michael pointed out, https://my.fsf.org/donate itself contains a
> paypal payment option:
>>> PayPal (not recommended: requires nonfree JavaScript)

The FSF is not the GNU project.  I think it is good that GNU software
maintainers can be more strict about this and avoid Paypal.

> The entry barriers are important. From my own experience, compared to
> just bank details, some online payment made a difference in my decisions
> to donate. Easy and familiar web services really facilitate actual
> donations (as well as feedback from new users).

I understand.

If one day more Org contributors appear on a Worg page where they
advertize their need for donations (and I encourage Org contributors
to add such a page), I would have no problem with links to donations
services that are not aligned with GNU standards.

But that's because Worg is a community-driven website, distinct from
the official https://orgmode.org page. (As I said, perhaps a dedicated
domain name for Worg would be useful.)

> I wish there were more easy donation options for an ordinary user to
> donate to FSF projects without a need to rely on non-free software. 

Sure!  In the meantime, M-x list-packages RET could advertize ways to
support maintainers.  GNU ELPA packages would follow GNU standards on
what donation services to accept, while NonGNU ELPA and MELPA would
probably be less strict.  But in general, having the links there would
raise awareness about the maintainers need for support (I myself often
install GNU and NonGNU ELPA packages without reading the associated

> I just tried to setup a payment via liberapay using firefox with librejs
> extension. I was unable to complete the card payment. 

See https://github.com/liberapay/liberapay.com/issues/1374 - I think
there is room for progress.

> But it leaves us with no real option to allow _easy_
> donations yet committing to FSF guidelines.

My experience is that increasing donations is less about making it
technically easier for potential donators and more about communicating
about the need for donations.  Which is not easy to do _at all_!

>> I guess we shall remove references to non-free software (like the
>> Sublime Text editor - I will do this later on.)
> Sounds reasonable.


> If we really want to be very strict about following FSF, we might advice
> users about alternative ways to view youtube (invidious/youtube-dl). 

Adding this a notice for Worg would be useful, yes.  (There is no
youtube.com links on https://git.sr.ht/~bzg/orgweb.)



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