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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] The GNU ethical repository criteria will only

From: Alexander Berntsen
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] The GNU ethical repository criteria will only harm free software.
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 11:44:18 +0200
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On 22/10/15 16:27, Aaron Wolf wrote:
> Alex, that argument is simply unreasonable. That's comparable to 
> Facebook saying "people who oppose our closed, 
> non-neutral, censored system are against poor people" or Microsoft 
> saying "people who oppose our no-charge licensing of Windows and 
> Microsoft Office to these schools are against poor people" or even 
> "people who oppose sourcing Pizza Hut for subsidized school
> lunches are against poor people".
I don't see it comparable to the former two. To the latter analogue, I
am almost willing to agree with to a certain degree. But this is all
moot and besides the point.

> The FSF defines SaaSS specifically as services that are run over a
>  network specifically where they could be run on local machines 
> effectively enough. This is not weird edge cases where someone gets
>  access to a super computer for some advanced scientific analysis. 
> The vast majority of these cases do not require any sort of 
> high-qualiy, latest, expensive hardware.
Have you considered that a vast population does not even own a local
machine, because they barely have power? These people might use the
community centre's one computer, and to them SaaSS is *paramount*. I
work with making AGPLv3 SaaSS e-learning -- is this unethical per the
FSF? If so, that is in my opinion completely unreasonable. It would be
like not opposing Netflix on grounds of unethical DRM, but on grounds
of video streaming being unethical per se, because it means that you
don't need to find storage for thousands of films.

> Public hosting of code in a repository is not SaaSS, as it isn't 
> your own private computing done instead on someone else's server. 
> It's about public serving of data. The whole point here is that
> the FSF recognizes that people can't all easily run their own
> servers and services, even though that might be ideal.
Repository hosts rarely only mirror a tarball or .git. If they did,
they would be mostly uninteresting and pointless. Repository hosts
offer code review, continuous integration, and several other things
that are decidedly SaaSS.

But in any event this is all moot, since the criteria are only for
hosting GNU projects. Which makes them not that interesting. One way
GNU could make them more useful to the rest of us would be by
evaluating every host *per criteria*. If this were then presented
nicely with a way to filter criteria, I could look at more concrete
things, like which host is accessible, which host respects software
freedom, and so on.
- -- 
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