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Re: Web versions

From: Colby Russell
Subject: Re: Web versions
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:47:25 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 3/11/21 3:18 AM, Schanzenbach, Martin wrote:
I am confused regarding the issues raised here against "porting" a GNU package
to WebAssembly and would very much welcome clarification.

Don't be confused, Martin.  It's guilt-by-association and nothing more.
There is no subtle or sophisticated philosophical argument here.

(If there were any serious introspection into the issue on the matter of
philosophy, those complaining about WebAssembly would not just agree
with you that it's a compilation target like x86_64 ELF binaries, but
that WASM and JavaScript can be wielded to *increase* user
freedom--since someone who is required to use, say, Microsoft Windows in
their lab can set up a bunch of services running free and open source
software under their control on their own networked computers, and then
use that software through a Web browser instead of the non-free programs
they'd otherwise need to use.)

The agitation that you see here in this thread is the byproduct of a
cultural battle--a form of xenophobia whose underlying principle is,
roughly, "POSIX is the only acceptable platform, and any technology
related to the Web = bad".  It has more to do with dumb machismo and a
form of techno-supremacy[1] than anything to do with user freedom. It
certainly has nothing to do with the actual point that RMS is making in
cited article ("The JavaScript Trap").

1. i.e. the *opposite* of the type of concession you see in essays like
<> and

Colby Russell

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