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FSF Suggests That Google Free Gmail Javascript

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-yet-see-what-you-did-there dept.

GNU is Not Unix 413

Phoe6 writes "Apparently, FSF is calling it a 'JavaScript Trap' and wants 'useful websites' such as Gmail and others such as Twitter, Facebook to release their JavaScript code under Free Software License so that users can trust their service."

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In other news.. (3, Insightful)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681086)

FSF wants Windows, Office, Photoshop, and everything else to be free. That's their job. People need to be able to make money on software, or large corporations won't invest in it. That's why FOSS-friendly companies like Sun are going under and being snapped up by profit-hungry pricks like Larry Ellison. Film at 11.

Re:In other news.. (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681120)

Well, except for Red Hat, which last I checked was neither being bought out nor in any financial trouble.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681578)

While Red Hat is financially viable, it is doing worse than the "profit-hungry pricks like Larry Ellison". Oracle/Apple/Microsoft/etc win nearly every financial measure by a large margin. More revenue, more profit, more market share. Even if we adjust for size, each of those three pull in 10-20 times more profit per employee than Red Hat. It really doesn't speak highly of the OSS business model. that Red Hat, which is arguably the most successful pure play OSS company, is so far behind the competition financially.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681588)

Red who now?

Re:In other news.. (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681846)

You know red green. That Canadian guy that shows up on PBS. Funny guy he is.

Re:In other news.. (0, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681122)

Sun went under long, long before it became FOSS friendly. Java was a failure.

Re:In other news.. (4, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681228)

Java was not a failure. Monetizing Java was a failure. The difference is significant.

Re:In other news.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681238)

Java itself is quite successful. It was the horrid mismanagement of Sun that was the failure.

Re:In other news.. (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681312)

Java is still a thriving community today, and Android ensures it will be for a long time to come.

Re:In other news.. (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681558)

Yeah... after all, it's only the most widely-used programming language in the world, having passed COBOL a few years ago.

Moron...

Re:In other news.. (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681682)

That's not informative, that's completely wrong. Sun was open source friendly from the start. Just for starters (I think this was the first large one) where do you think nfs came from?

Re:In other news.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681132)

And why redhat makes a billion a year, oh wait. FOSS had nothing to do with Sun going under. Sun was dieing long before that.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681622)

Comments like that really call into question whether anyone should ever believe anything you post. Redhat's latest financials reported $107 million in earnings for fiscal 2011.

Re:In other news.. (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681706)

Comments like that really call into question whether anyone should ever believe anything you post. Redhat's latest financials reported $107 million in earnings for fiscal 2011.

That's profits I believe. In terms of earnings, I think it is close to a billion.

Depending on what context, it is valid to say that Red Hat "makes a billion a year". In terms of revenue, it's getting there.

Re:In other news.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681820)

That is profit, try looking into revenue.

Comments like that really call into question whether anyone should ever believe anything you post, since you probably already knew that.

Re:In other news.. (4, Informative)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681284)

FSF wants Windows, Office, Photoshop, and everything else to be free. That's their job. People need to be able to make money on software, or large corporations won't invest in it. That's why FOSS-friendly companies like Sun are going under and being snapped up by profit-hungry pricks like Larry Ellison. Film at 11.

Yes, "free" as in the concept of freedom or liberty, not software at no charge or profit.

You embarrass yourself by not understanding the distiction while speaking on the subject. Or you shame yourself by deliberatley mis-stating it.

Oh, I see you're in marketing . . .

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681720)

Right, because when Windows, Office, Photoshop, and everything else are free, I mean, libre, people will still pay hundreds of dollars for them anyway. Makes perfect sense, now I see the distinction.

Re:In other news.. (4, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681726)

FSF wants Windows, Office, Photoshop, and everything else to be free. That's their job. People need to be able to make money on software, or large corporations won't invest in it. That's why FOSS-friendly companies like Sun are going under and being snapped up by profit-hungry pricks like Larry Ellison. Film at 11.

Yes, "free" as in the concept of freedom or liberty, not software at no charge or profit. You embarrass yourself by not understanding the distiction while speaking on the subject. Or you shame yourself by deliberatley mis-stating it. Oh, I see you're in marketing . . .

Or maybe you're the one in marketing. It's completely obvious that the phrase "free as in freedom, not free as in beer" is a flat-out false statement. It be accurate, it should be restated as "free as in freedom, AND free as in beer". Here's what the FSF says:

"When we call software “free,” we mean that it respects the users' essential freedoms: the freedom to run it, to study and change it, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of “free speech,” not “free beer.”"

Notice the phrase "to redistribute copies" - that's "free as in beer". The FSF wants to paint is as a "freedom" issue when they're also smuggling in "free" under that banner.

Re:In other news.. (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681740)

Yes, "free" as in the concept of freedom or liberty, not software at no charge or profit.

That's a nice theory, but it doesn't work in practice. There is no way to make software that can be easily bug fixed by the end user that cannot also be easily enhanced by the end user, and commercial software fundamentally relies on being able to get money from the consumer for new features.

This basically leaves support contracts as the only practical revenue stream. That works fine if you are writing software for businesses (who want someone to sue). That also works fine if your software is so poorly written that you can make money on technical support, at least up until the point that somebody writes new software that doesn't suck or releases patches that fix your mess.

In general, though, once you give up the source code, you've lost control. From that point on, if you don't make the improvements that the customers want, they can go to someone else for improvements, and you no longer have a revenue stream from upgrades.

Thus, in practice, "Free" software is almost inherently "free" as in beer. The alternative is simply unsustainable, no matter how much the propagandists try to claim otherwise. RedHat and a handful of others are simply the exception that proves the rule.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681310)

free != Free

Re:In other news.. (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681724)

It would go a long ways in these conversations if people would switch to 'Libre' and 'Gratis'. "free != Free" doesn't really explain how he is wrong, libre (freedom) != gratis (no charge) at least makes the difference between the terms more obvious.

Re:In other news.. (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681788)

Actually, free is a proper superset of Free. By definition, all Free software is free, but not all free software is Free. The freedom to redistribute freely ensures this. Even without that freedom, however, it would still be largely true in practice.

Ok. Ridiculous (0)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681094)

Just use Gmail over IMAP and SSL, and Twitter via API. If you don't trust the web site that's your own problem.

Re:Ok. Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681244)

Just use Gmail over IMAP and SSL, and Twitter via API. If you don't trust the web site that's your own problem.

That's one of the suggestions made by the FSF.

Yeah right (0)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681096)

Coz they're going to want to let that happen? How long before people reverse-engineer that source code so they can hack in easier and steal whatever personal data they want to?

Re:Yeah right (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681148)

You do realize that you can already debug it and step through because it's client side?

Re:Yeah right (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681766)

Yeah but the javascript you get is compressed with all white space taken out and variables are renamed to be as short as possible, which makes it next to impossible to debug.

Re:Yeah right (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681828)

Wouldn't FSF's effort be better placed making a tool that intelligently adds whitespace and allows the user to quickly and easily change variable and function names? It would still be above the typical user's level but all it would take is one white hatter de-obfuscate the code and post it somewhere. Seriously, gmail's java script isn't that big, you could probably do it with notepad and find-replace by hand in a couple hours.

Re:Yeah right (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681182)

Good job having no idea what you are talking about there. Javascript runs on the browser, you get a copy every-time you visit google.

On top of which if you have source, you don't need to reverse engineer anything. Plus hiding access to source is not security, just obscurity.

Over all your entire comment was pretty much totally pointless and uninformed.

Re:Yeah right (3, Informative)

doishmere (1587181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681190)

Well, the source is already technically available, since they ship you non-compiled javascript code. FSF's has several problems with this. 1) Gmail has not granted the user the right to modify the Javascript code. 2) Even if (1) is conceded, the FSF is arguing that the obfuscated code transmitted to the client browser does not truly constitute source code. They would like a link to be placed in a comment in the obfuscated code to the original, un-obfuscated code. There is a broader problem, however; even if a website transmits GPL'd code in the clear, the user does not have any easy way to replace the transmitted code with their modified code. They would like browsers to support hot-swapping websites' scripts with modified copies.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681364)

They would like browsers to support hot-swapping websites' scripts with modified copies.

Am I the only one that sees this as an enormous security vulnerability waiting to happen? We've already got flash ads and dodgy popunders trying to execute malicious scripts as it is... why give them yet another attack vector?

Re:Yeah right (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681402)

You are the only one, because you have no idea what you are talking about.

The FSF would like to see you be able to substitute sites scripts with your own modified copies only on your own browser. Oh no, you could run exploit code on yourself.

How about you register an account and come back in a few years when you have learned something.

Re:Yeah right (2)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681668)

The problem with this logic is that cross-site-scripting, flash, hell, even your garden-variety "computer virus" all require you to run software "only on your own computer." Any hot-swapping technology has to be implemented with extreme care, and even then, you're still opening up a new attack vector. I seem to recall Greasemonkey, an open-source Firefox addon which allowed users to run external scripts within their browsers, having a history of vulnerabilities to this type of attack.

Re:Yeah right (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681548)

...enormous security vulnerability...

For whom? Who would be responsible for that vulnerability? Browsers? Web site designers? Users?

Certainly the browser should make it as easy as possible for users to execute (or prevent execution of) any arbitrary javascript. Anyone with Chrome or Firefox can already do this with relative ease. I don't think it would be very hard for browsers to provide this ability exclusively to users, though the Vista effect ("are you *sure* you want to...?") could be an unfortunate side-effect.

Re:Yeah right (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681648)

They would like browsers to support hot-swapping websites' scripts with modified copies.

Can't you do that with Greasemonkey? I wouldn't know as I've never tried it, but it's the sort of thing I'd expect you to be able to do with it from how people talk of it.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681670)

Opera does this. I've made use of it in the past to fix buggy javascript on a site.

I'd suspect Firefox does something similar.

Re:Yeah right (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681784)

With the Firebug plug-in you can change the JS (and HTML and CSS too for that matter) in the debugger and see instant results. But I don't know if it allows you to swap a complete script. I guess you accomplish that by changing a link to a script in an HTML file to point to your own. I've only ever used it to debug my own scripts or someone's I had to take ownership of.

Re:Yeah right (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681844)

Can't you do this with greasemonkey (and presumably other tools) already?

Re:Yeah right (2)

adamchou (993073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681200)

Considering that Javascript runs on the client side, I don't see how someone couldn't already do that. On top of that, if someone can hack the server side by exploiting a flaw found in client side code, then that is EXACTLY the reason why the unobfuscated source code should be released. Server side could should not be susceptible to an exploit a client can induce by manipulating code or data packets.

What I don't understand is what the hell the FSF is asking for. JavaScript runs on the client side and the source code is already available.

Re:Yeah right (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681280)

They want the user to have the four freedoms over this code. They also want an unobfuscated copy. Right now you sure could copy the JS and modify it yourself, but you would be in violation of the license google has placed on it.

i guess that was a sanctioned comment (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681118)

I was going to be all snarky about some blog post probably not being the voice of FSF, but then, http://www.gnu.org/people/speakers.html [gnu.org] and he's on there.

So I guess I disagree with the FSF, and not just him!

Re:i guess that was a sanctioned comment (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681408)

Out of interest, what do you disagree with?

Re:i guess that was a sanctioned comment (1, Flamebait)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681572)

If they care so much, why don't they raise money and build their own free FSFMail? They can make it as free as they want.

What's that? They can't afford to? So, basically it makes it look like FSF stands for FreeLOADER Software Foundation.

Re:i guess that was a sanctioned comment (4, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681674)

I feel like it's asking too much. The concern is, "hey gmail maybe your code triggers some js machine bugs, and we dont trust it." That's valid. But asking them to open source it for inspection, well that lets other folks pick the pieces up and start hawking their own version. Isn't there a middle ground [to ask for, and be denied]? I've just become jaded enough to start agreeing with that crappy business model "let the 10% that complain cancel their service". So long ago that seemed like a joke answer a fake company would use, but now we see it all the time. And I agree with it, alas. If you dont trust gmail, dont use it. Dont ask for their trade secrets either under the veil of security auditing and the intended benefit of legally copying it, or legitimately security auditing it and haphazardly allowing competing services to glean legal copies. Ask for some NDA access to have yourself or someone you trust inspect it. Just because something can be open sourced, doesn't mean it needs to be.

The Code is the Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681124)

It's not like you can't inspect it if you're paranoid and that would erode a competitive advantage if it were freed. There is no sane reason to do this.

Re:The Code is the Design (1)

moberry (756963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681160)

The way they obfuscate and "minify" it, it might as well be in binary.

Just like all other software (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681154)

The FSF wants all software released under a free software license. So it really isn't news that they want Javascript software released under a free software license.

Nice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681176)

nicee i like it
http://googletrendsukhotnewshotnews.blogspot.com/2011/03/atlanta-braves-0-0-at-washington.html

over the top (1)

applematt84 (1135009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681186)

i'm all for the FSF, but in my opinion, this is a little over the top. this kind of complaint from the FSF just borders on whining.

Re:over the top (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681250)

What exactly makes the complaint over the top? The purpose of the free software foundation is to promote free software. A web app is software, and the AGPL has not exactly caught on yet. It seems entirely reasonable and in line with their goals for the FSF to push for Gmail to become free software.

We cannot go around talking about how modern and awesome web apps are, then turn around and claim that the FSF has no business discussing the implications of web apps on software freedom.

Re:over the top (1)

applematt84 (1135009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681420)

it's over the top because (as i understand it) they are complaining because the code is compressed and as a result of compression, the code is obfuscated.

Re:over the top (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681484)

You missed the biggest part of their complaint. They want you to have the right to modify that code and have the rest of the four freedoms. They want this code under a free software license, as they want for all code.

Re:over the top (1)

applematt84 (1135009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681650)

that doesn't make sense; the javascript comes from the hosting web server. how do they expect Google (and other providers) to allow one to change the code? that's like expecting a 4.0 GPA from a struggling C-average student.

Re:over the top (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681698)

They just have to provide the code under a free license. Running the code is another problem entirely.

Re:over the top (1)

applematt84 (1135009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681850)

i don't know ... i feel a web application is something completely different than, say, a software package you can download and install on your computer. to me, if i were Google, i'd feel like the FSF is trying to strong-arm me into revealing the bread-and-butter of my product. it's like showing your cards during a poker game.

Re:over the top (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681752)

That is not their problem, but grease-monkey already lets you do this.

This is just done in the users browser.

Re:over the top (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681470)

What exactly makes the complaint over the top? The purpose of the free software foundation is to promote free software.

I agree that the FSF is doing exactly what they've always said they'd do, and for those stated reasons.

It's just that sometimes the FSF come across as being zealots. They're like old communists and the like talking about the ideological purity of software. The rest of us are just trying not to make contact with the crazy person.

Commercial entities aren't generally interested in the notion that all software should be libre.

It's like hippies (or whomever) advocating we should stop all modern technology, and start living in a peaceful, agrarian society and sing songs around the campfire ... everybody but them is sorta like "sure sport, you go right ahead, we'll meet you there".

JavaScript is client-side (2)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681202)

Releasing the client-side code isn't a big deal (it's right there in the page source!) I'd be more interested in the server-side code.

Re:JavaScript is client-side (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681320)

It is a huge deal. It is right there in the page source, and you do not have the right to do a thing with it according to the current license on that code. Giving you the four freedoms on software you are running is a huge deal and the goal of the FSF.

Re:JavaScript is client-side (2)

Terwin (412356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681410)

With the stated reason of: "so that users can trust their service", the important part is being able to examine the source-code.
Admittedly the GWT generated JavaScript is not very reader-friendly, but it is all there for you to look at if you should choose.
 

Re:JavaScript is client-side (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681562)

But you currently do not have the right to do that. The license google uses forbids this, I am pretty sure.

Re:JavaScript is client-side (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681746)

Oh, please. I'm pretty sure a judge would side with me if Google complained that I right-clicked the page and viewed source.

Re:JavaScript is client-side (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681792)

Google licensing prevents you from reading plain text?

Re:JavaScript is client-side (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681570)

You can do at least one thing with any code you have in front of your eyes, including client side javascript, and that is examine it to see if you can "trust" it. No, you may not have the right to do anything you want with it, but that's within their rights to license the code however they wish. If you don't like how they license their code, don't use their service, find one that meets the four freedoms and live happily.

Re:JavaScript is client-side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681504)

The client side code is often compressed, making it near impossible to modify. They need to release the code as their developers see it, comments and all.

Re:JavaScript is client-side (5, Insightful)

twebb72 (903169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681702)

I would agree that client side code is (relatively) accessible via the programmer (even if it is compressed); however trusting their server side execution of those includes is really where the trust factor comes into play. Most browsers will lock down cross domain requests. The real power is controlling what the server serves to the users that use that include.

For example, www.xyz.com decides to include a couple lines libraries from google.com, say, jquery, and analytics. By virtue of making the include, that third party site has the ability of pass messages back and forth via code generation (to bypass the cross domain issues) and manipulate the DOM of www.xyz.com in however it sees fit. Now, a security minded person wouldn't include a resource that's off-site, for this very reason. Good examples of this are bank sites like usaa.com. No where on that site will you see a third party domain resource, once you've signed to your account. Putting the resource files on www.xyz.com makes a lot of sense for versioning, but also securing the site from potential hacks of the third party (hacking that google's analytics includes or akamai servers is a juicy opportunity, but only if you could execute code server side).

When it comes to javascript, the best way to secure your site is to host your own resources, and DON'T use off site includes that are from untrusted sources. Even if the source is trusted, it doesn't mean your in the clear. Your best bet, is to always host your own site resources.

Would not help so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681248)

Releasing the javascript of gmail would not help; google asks for copyright assignment (as does the FSF for the GNU project). Google could release a clean javascript source and add a nasty patch to their server.

If you do not trust google (and I don't), just do not whitelist their services for javascript in your navigator.

Re:Would not help so much (1)

doishmere (1587181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681366)

The FSF also calls for browsers to support loading modified (or saved) Javascript instead of what is given to you by the server. So, in your example, you would just make sure that your browser loads your copy of their 'clean' source code, rather than something they've patched and re-served.

Re:Would not help so much (1)

cranil (1983560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681594)

AFAIK, CAs wouldn't matter unless you want to contribute code to Google. If Google does release the source, we can use it to do whatever we want.

Idea assumes everyone knows Java (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681304)

Most Facebook users have no clue how to read javascript, so releasing code will not help them. They would in turn simply have to trust another potentially untrustworthy source for information about whether Facebook's code is harmful.

Re:Idea assumes everyone knows Java (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681428)

Most Facebook users use a browser written in C++ -- they don't know that either, yet free software browsers and rendering engines remain in common usage.

Re:Idea assumes everyone knows Java (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681616)

That doesn't mean that the justification for releasing code under an open license is to "let users trust the service."

Releasing Facebook's code will not "let users trust the service" because most users, and I imagine the overwhelming majority of them, wouldn't know what they were looking at. It would not enable them to trust the service any more or less than before.

It would enable a few users, let's call them group G, to trust the service. The remainder of users, call them group L, would then have to trust Group G. This has the same trust problem as trusting Facebook in the first place, so nothing is accomplished.

Facebook's code is their property, and they have every right to keep it secret. If you do not trust Facebook, don't use it.

Re:Idea assumes everyone knows Java (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681438)

Meaning they could actually get a second opinion. Seems like that would be great. I am no doctor, but I get access to the records so I can show them to another doctor. Getting a second opinion is a valuable thing.

Re:Idea assumes everyone knows Java (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681652)

Why do you trust the second doctor any more than the first? Your trust problem is not solved at all in this analogy.

Re:Idea assumes everyone knows Java (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681796)

Because the odds that all doctors are evil is lower than the odds that one doctor is evil. Trust is not an all or nothing thing.

If the rest of the world worked like the internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681308)

Can I get the source code to my car's ECU too so I can trust that the brakes work?

Can I get the source code to my alarm system so I know that no one will break in?

Can I get the source code to DVR so that I can make sure it records the channel right?

99.9999% of people don't care, you either trust the vendor or you don't, if you trust them the source code is un-needed and if you don't trust them, how do you know that the source code they give you is right.

Re:If the rest of the world worked like the intern (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681368)

You should be able too. You can always replace the code on your devices to be sure.

Most people might not care, but that does not mean anything. Most of those people would be ok without freedom of speech or freedom of thought either.

Re:If the rest of the world worked like the intern (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681704)

I at least want the circuit diagrams and all images of the (E)EPROMs so I can fix the device when it breaks. It was like this in the past (circuit diagrams were in the manuals or in some magazines, at least in the USSR). I can find service manuals for some devices, but I want them included with the device and also have images of the chips that need to be programmed before they can be used.

Re:If the rest of the world worked like the intern (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681824)

Greetings from 2163! Patents were sooo last century...can't imagine how you got any collaboration done with that crappy system. Patent law encouraging innovation...hah! (spoilers) World War IV pretty much put an end to that silly "intellectual property" idea. But for you "free software" geeks, I suggest you go into hiding before the Sharer's Inquisition a few years after WW III.

What about WebKit? (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681334)

Nobody complained when WebKit, an open source product, had a vulnerability in it that allowed for remote code execution. Sure, it was eventually found, but having it open source didn't make it instantly safe. I don't see why we should force companies to publish all of their javascript. It is plenty open as plain text, no need for a free license. Open sourcing the code would encourage modification, which could easily lead to the attacks that we are all afraid of.

Re:What about WebKit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681444)

....and an attacker couldn't do this today, how?

You figure the malware writers are particularly worried about Google's license restrictions, then?

Re:What about WebKit? (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681462)

We're not talking about forcing anyone to do anything -- but JavaScript is programming code too.

The FSF's goal is for all the software a user runs on their computer to be free software -- without a license, the software would be full copyright and not in a fit state for modification. This is completely within the goals of the FSF.

Re:What about WebKit? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681590)

the js client can't do anything the API doesn't already provide access to. you can modify it all you want, the server doesn't trust the client any more than the user privileges allow.

cant stand these fruits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681404)

God, again FSF hippy commune wants business to give away their IP. I'm getting tired of hearing from these loones, between gplv3 driving apple away to their incessant hounding of linux to join their fold its getting old. I for one value both the software i make and use, So if I want to live off of it I will.

Next thing you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681412)

Headline : "FSF suggests That Google opensource its Search Engine"

Crap Idea (-1, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681416)

Personally I think this is a crap idea and leads me to think less of the FSF. Google, no doubt, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars minimum working on their application. They put their expense and effort into it in order to make gMail a superior product. For FSF to try and confiscate their work in this public shaming sort of manner so that their competitors don't have to work nearly as hard as Google did in the first place -- all in the name of elusive security -- is a bad joke and demeans the FSF overall.

Re:Crap Idea (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681518)

Wow, that is one really good troll.

They already give you a copy of this code numbnuts, the FSF just wants them to change the license on it. Confiscation is done against your will. the FSF does not have the force of law they just are asking.

The FSF is never demeaned when they try to have software come under a free software license, that is their goal at all times.

Does anyone seriously believe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681422)

that this would be a BAD thing?

Whistle away with the prejudice accrued towards the messenger and ignore the message it conveys.

Why does this always have to happen, puuh.

Ask for the server code, damnit (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681510)

Sorry, but this it stupid. The real brains that we'd need to trust is in the SERVER code. And all of Google's procedures. Knowing what the client is up might make some feel good, but this all very centralized.

Greasemonkey (1)

Nushio (951488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681542)

The popular Greasemonkey Firefox extension (Which I believe is built-in on Google Chrome) lets the end user modify the javascript/css running on the site to the user's desires. There's a huge database on UserScripts.org that lets you browse site-specific mods to Twitter, Facebook and yes, Gmail.

Another very popular extension is "Better GMail 2", which basically packages some greasemonkey scripts into a single extension.

Fair enough. I want a pony! (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681604)

And a space unicorn! And free candy!

Javascript is evil! Use GnuWebScript! (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681612)

You may not know it, but the website you're reading RIGHT NOW is a festering hotbed of evil. EVIL. Evil code that will steal your information, kill your wife and children, and damage the transmission on your car.

The ONLY way around that is to use our new FSF GnuWebScript, which is Totally Open and Free. Not only is it a Force for Good, it whitens your teeth and makes your toes smell nicer. It will never do those evil and nasty things that the Javascript does, because it's not Javascript - it's GnuWebScript!

GnuWebScript is a free side-set* of ECMAscript, a tragically unfree industry standard. GnuWebScript implements everything in ECMAscript slightly differently using free, non-proprietary language extensions.

GnuWebScript - to be free you must chain yourself to it!

* side set is not a superset or a subset - it's a sideset.

Could it be... (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681636)

That someone at the FSF has been using Gmail and started feeling guilty about using "non-free" software and instead of switching to something else is trying to get Google to change?

Why? (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681644)

From TFA (emphasis mine):

JavaScript code is no different to languages like Python, C++ or Ruby — applications written in those languages running on our computers should be free software, so we can run, modify and share them if we wish.

Should? Why?

I understand it's RMS's and FSF's belief, but why must it be everyone's? What's clearly missing is the qualifier, "We believe that ..." or "It is the FSF's position that ..."

FWIW, that's a rhetorical question. I know why he believes what he does. I also know that his is an extreme position that not many people share. That he wants some corporation to open up their code for others to use/share/modify is Not News ®. <yawn>

Re:Why? (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681782)

You think the FSF should prefix all of its opinions on its own website?

red herrings (1)

cthlptlk (210435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35681744)

Speaking of obfuscation, the article by the FSF drags Node.js and V8 into the discussion, even though they have nothing at all to do with the client-side javascript that the ostensible topic of the article.

Also, as the author mentions, it is possible via greasemonkey to do essentially what is wanted--modify the client-side javascript--so it seems like an ideological point rather than a practical one. The "obfuscation" of the javascript source is as much about reducing the bandwidth consumed by javascript as is it about hiding the source code from the People's Republic of GMail Users, so it would be silly to transmit the original source.

Of course, linking to the original source would help people write better GreaseMonkey scripts. Since I live in Michigan, which is being turned into a banana republic by its governor, you will pardon me if I throw up a little when you conflate freedom and convenience.

hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681768)

Thank you for sharing it ! Very nice
http://colorfashion.co.cc

you can disable javascript in gmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35681832)

Works fine, if a little clunky (try doing that in any anything MS sends through a browser!)
I do, because I don't allow js anywhere on my machine, for security.

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