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Re: GitLab nonfree JS code

From: Aaron Wolf
Subject: Re: GitLab nonfree JS code
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2021 21:49:27 -0800

There are several that are better. I'd say most notably
which goes so far as not requiring JavaScript at all (I believe) in
addition to all of the software it runs being free. It's definitely a
host that is more proactively allied with the free software movement.

On 2021-03-04 9:42 p.m., Richard Stallman wrote:
> [I sent this message a few weeks ago but did not get a response.
> I think this issue is very important.  We should stop praising GitLab
> if it has done this]
> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
> I've read that GitLab now requires nonfree software both to make an
> account (recaptcha) and to do various operations once you have an
> account.  I'm told that makes it impossible to
> communicate with the developers from the free world.
> Thos needs to be tested, but assuming it is true, we need to downgrade
> our evaluation of GitLab ASAP.  For our evaluation to be incorrect in
> such an important way is an embarrassment as well as steering people
> wrong.
> I suggest making an announcement about GitLab's change for the worse.
> The announcement could also say that GitHub is no better tham it was.
> It would be nice to evaluate another site, if there is one that is better.
> Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2021 09:00:22 +0000
> From: BTD Master <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Gitlab
> Message-ID: <>
> In-Reply-To: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>> Whose is that web site?  Is it run by gitlab?  Is it run by the Tor
>> Project?
> It is run by the Tor Project, using GitLab's open source Community
> Edition self-hosted by them. Hence the root in
>> What job does the site do?  Is it the source repo for the Tor Project?
>> If so, is it the PRINCIPAL source repo for the Tor Project?
> It is the principal source code repo for the Tor Project, but there are
> read-only mirrors of git commits. However, these are nearly pointless
> for reporting bugs or contributing; they only have the source code. Both
> and suggest making contributions
> and creating issues on; although to some
> extent I can maybe understand why making a contribution or creating an
> issue would require running some client-side JavaScript (and even this
> is not always necessary, see or even better
>, reading what issues others created requiring
> this is simply unacceptable in any project supposed to be accessible.
>> Does that JS code carry a free license?  Does LibreJS accept it?
> I do not use LibreJS personally, however I think the source code of all
> of GitLab Community Edition is available under MIT. This means that
> non-premium GitLab users running the open source core CE are running
> free JavaScript, even though this is not mentioned per-file as I think
> LibreJS requires. This is good, but does not solve any of the
> accessibility issues I presented above.
>> Is this true for _all_ Gitlab repos now?  Or does each project
>> have a choice?
> The GitLab devs have confirmed this is intended. Self-hosted instance or
> not, doing anything on GitLab requires JavaScript and this will
> probably not change as issues are being closed regardless of scope
> (e.g. simply being able to read a specific issue from a direct link) as
> duplicates.
>>   > I guess very few people
>>   > have the hardware restrictions to consider running leaner options
>>   > (server-side and client-side) such as Gitea or will complain the
>>   > Codeberg does not have the CI/CD necessary,  
>> I can't make any sense of that -- it depends on a lot of background
>> knowledge and I know none of it.
> There are other options, but it seems that everyone is complaining
> about the development experience on other platforms rather than anything
> else. For example, someone on Hacker News (I can't cite this, I forgot
> where this was; here's something mostly unrelated I found instead
> has praised GitLab for
> their CI/CD as rivaling that of GitHub; hence, self-hosting Gitea
> ( or using a public Gitea instance (personal favorite
> is Codeberg, is impossible due to these
> requirements. I understand the requirements of a large project, and
> maybe this is justified when GitHub is centralised and someone wants to
> have the ability to self-host, but what I am most annoyed is when
> someone uses those features to justify this argument when they're not
> actually using the same features.
> Either way, I am really annoyed by the direction the Web is going, and
> I find it really sad that commercial open source seems to be happy with
> that direction (for the most part).

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