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Re: Enhancements and fixes for js-encumbered websites

From: Colby Russell
Subject: Re: Enhancements and fixes for js-encumbered websites
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2021 15:54:07 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 7/2/21 2:23 PM, W. Kosior wrote:
> Anyway, my thought was that at some point (just not now yet) we will
> start distributing this extension prebuilt and then the availability of
> the build process will not be a problem.

It will remain a problem for people attempting to actually exercise
their freedoms (by e.g. modifying it, in contrast to those who consider
the matter settled when the software is merely nominally free, i.e.
available under a free license).

> Do you think assuming POSIX in just the build system, after we start
> distributing prebuilt versions, will still have the potential to hamper
> the adoption?

Viewed from the perspective that adoption for the software in question
is probably a function of quality, and quality is a function of whether
or not the contribution process is accessible to as many of the
developers capable of imbuing the project with quality as possible, then
yes, I think so.

Most free software projects suffer from a form of tunnel vision or
oversight when it comes to matters of the accessibility of their build
systems.  The last 35 years of the free software movement have furnished
ample evidence that we need to be concerned with not just whether
software is nominally free, but to push further still and work towards
making sure that actual *practical software freedom* (Fredrickson,
Gerwitz, et al) is an option for those who desire it.  A good overview
of this topic is available here:


In general, though, path dependencies are something to be avoided where
possible.  For Hachette in particular, by its nature we can count on
there being a browser involved at some point, so the POSIX dependency
can be easily avoided.  So why not avoid it?

> So by `build.html' you meant an html file with javascript capable of
> performing the entire build?


> Forum offered by Redmine[1] is separate from the actual issues. I think
> we could safely use forum as a message board and bugtracker as a
> bugtracker. Do you think this is a good approach?

I have no experience or opinions about Redmine (although I am happy that
it is not yet another Discourse-powered forum).  My approval should not
count for anything, however.

Colby Russell

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