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09.10.20

The Web is Becoming More Proprietary and Means for Accessing the Web Likewise (Now With DRM and With Limited — by Design — Compatibility)

Posted in DRM, Google, Microsoft, Standard at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’ll get harder to stay a “Gnu”

Wildebeest and Zebras in the Maasai Mara
The first time I installed IceCat was about 15 years ago (it was still difficult to install); Mozilla has changed its spots since, so more Firefox alternatives may be needed

Summary: The Web is becoming a sordid jungle of Google-oriented proprietary browsers with DRM built in; this is a very sad situation and various people are increasingly sounding the alarm about it

THE LATE 90s were terrible for the World Wide Web. All the major Web browsers were proprietary (I used Netscape when it was still primitive, but I cannot recall the exact version number; prior to that I used pre-Netscape browsers, which were light and surprisingly simple although good enough to enter every Web site). Years later I used Konqueror, which I still use today, along with Falkon/QupZilla (the latter on older machines). Sometimes, especially when it comes to WordPress, I use Firefox too (I was a very early adopter of it, some time around spring of 2004 when the name “Firefox” was set in stone; I used “Mozilla” prior to that, along with Konqueror in S.u.S.E. 8.3). I’ve tried almost every browser over the years (as part of my job I had to test compatibility). Chromium is of no interest to me and the monoculture that develops around it reminds me of the MSIE monopoly days. Sure, it’s Google as opposed to Microsoft, but the threat is still real and oughtn’t be underestimated. Google plays a big role in insertion of DRM into Linux (yes, the kernel itself). Thanks for nothing, Google! You’re part of the problem and your bribes don’t sufficiently disguise that.

“Chromium is of no interest to me and the monoculture that develops around it reminds me of the MSIE monopoly days.”Mozilla Firefox is not inherently bad, but when shipped by Mozilla (not via Debian, which I use, as an ESR) it contains some bad things. Thankfully there are forks and branches of Firefox, including some that are (or were) associated with the GNU Project. I’ve used a few over the years. Some projects like WaterFox are in fact connected to surveillance giants and should thus be shunned (same surveillance company that covertly runs Startpage), so not everything Gecko-based is harmless. Mozilla really blew it with XUL because it betrayed a lot of developers and yesterday it revealed plans to charge extension developers (basically volunteers) to become visible.

Not a good direction. Is that like some new effort at finding a business model? Charging developers to participate or get more hits/users?

A lot of people don’t seem to understand that Chromium-derived browsers are “proprietary garbage”, as Derek explains in this new video. That’s true for Opera, Vivaldi, Edge, Chrome and many more.

“Mozilla helped save the (digital) world from MSIE monopoly, which deliberately held back development/advancement of the Web (Microsoft didn’t even bother with newer versions for many years). For that alone we should eternally be grateful to Mozilla.”However, there are pitfalls and gotchas. For instance, Firefox comes with what it calls “telemetry” (basically surveillance) and Google is the default search engine (because Google, a surveillance company, pays for it). Then there’s DRM which is right there ready to be enabled (EME) and there are some side issues such as Firefox hosting sub-projects or components under Microsoft (developed on Microsoft servers, using GitHub). There’s also that concern that Microsoft veterans are now in the board of Mozilla and Facebook veterans are in top management positions. Those are people who came from the surveillance industry, nothing less!

In our Daily Links we include as many links as possible about Mozilla because it’s still important to support this company (it also makes Thunderbird with PGP support after all) and right now all the major alternatives are proprietary and Google-centric.

Mozilla helped save the (digital) world from MSIE monopoly, which deliberately held back development/advancement of the Web (Microsoft didn’t even bother with newer versions for many years). For that alone we should eternally be grateful to Mozilla.

I will, for the time being, keep Firefox installed and use it to compose/publish posts (for 4 years prior to today I used QupZilla to do this). Mozilla relies on the goodwill of geeks and their eagerness to promote it to friends/family. My wife only uses Firefox because I advised her to avoid Google. If Mozilla messes up and throws away all this goodwill (to appease the wrong groups/interests), its market share will continue to erode. Putting Microsofters inside your board is a breach of trust, as was this move. Who are you trying to impress these days?

08.28.20

Linus Torvalds Explains Git (Not GitHub, the E.E.E. Against Git, Now Controlled 100% by Microsoft)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Standard, Videos at 12:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Distributed nature, not centralisation, repeatedly emphasised during this talk

Summary: Now that Microsoft is pushing against E-mail (decentralised and standards-based) workflows in Linux it’s time to understand why Linus Torvalds made Git in the first place (meanwhile they tell us that the real issue is branches being named “master”)

The master tempo

08.14.20

It Was Mozilla — Not Google (or Chrome) — That Liberated the World Wide Web From MSIE Monoculture and O/S Vendor Lock-in, But Firefox is Likely Dying

Posted in DRM, Standard at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A lot of people could not and would not leave Windows behind if it weren’t for Firefox

Panda/Firefox
It became fat like a Panda, not light like a Fox, as F for Freedom no longer matters

Summary: Mozilla’s attitude towards software freedom, privacy, and the most widely used free/libre operating system (O/S) isn’t helping the “protected media” (DRM) Fox because its biggest selling point is becoming outdated/irrelevant/neglected

THE FIREFOX Web browser is a very important piece of software. I first used it in 2004, after a colleague had recommended it to me. I installed it in S.u.S.E. and over time let it replace Konqueror and even more ancient browsers. Back then a lot of sites were inaccessible or barely accessible to me; multimedia features barely worked (think ancient MPlayer and no sites such as YouTube).

This morning someone sent me Mozilla is dead and Web browsers need to stop. I agree with the latter, not the former. Mozilla can still rescue/salvage itself.

“…we regret to see how Mozilla left out GNU/Linux on occasions (no cross-platform support, just Apple and Microsoft malware) despite the fact that GNU/Linux is the only mainstream operating system that typically preloads (bundles) Mozilla Firefox without asking for anything in return (like financial incentive).”I am very thankful for what Mozilla did to the World Wide Web. It really opened it up and in the early days it was open to many third-party developers, who contributed extensions (I even made a couple of themes for it myself). But that Mozilla is gone. Nowadays it’s spying while calling it “telemetry”, talking about justice while talking people down, outsourcing to Microsoft (GitHub) while bemoaning the closed Web, and hiring executives from Microsoft while talking to us about the harms of monopolies. Mozilla just isn’t consistent and sometimes it feels like it lacks a direction and inspiring message.

For a number of years we’ve followed Mozilla blogs very closely and promoted their messages; we regret to see how Mozilla left out GNU/Linux on occasions (no cross-platform support, just Apple and Microsoft malware) despite the fact that GNU/Linux is the only mainstream operating system that typically preloads (bundles) Mozilla Firefox without asking for anything in return (like financial incentive).

“This, we believe, is to do with a project’s leadership as in Mozilla they have more activists than engineers.”Learning about the Mozilla layoffs is painful, albeit somewhat predictable. It’s the second time in less than a year. Mozilla already divided its userbase (developers pool alike) by entering politics where there was no justifiable reason to. Canning XUL also alienated their most important fans: developers, not users. Maybe it thought that the most compelling reason for people to still choose Firefox was some shallow messaging, even in one’s newly-opened tabs. Free software is inherently political, but rarely does it shove politics right into people’s faces. This, we believe, is to do with a project’s leadership as in Mozilla they have more activists than engineers.

I wish Mozilla well, I hope Firefox will survive another decade (Gecko keeps us from complete monoculture) and I hope that Mozilla’s strategic mistakes will serve as a cautionary tale to Free software projects everywhere. See the following old posts of ours from 2014 as well as this one from February:

Keep safe, Mozilla, and keep wise. Charging people to use Firefox is a misguided strategy, as LibreOffice/TDF recently found out (and withdrew from). Making money isn’t unethical; you received billions from Google and paid millions to 'fat cat' executives. Don’t be the Linux Foundation.

08.12.20

Twitter Appears to Have Taken Vendor/Platform Lock-in up Another Notch, Having Become Almost as Malicious as Facebook

Posted in Standard at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The long-lost data or what’s sometimes known as ‘Internet rot’ is only a matter of time (planned obsolescence when the monopolistic business model says so); information destruction assured as addiction-optimised Twitter gets worse and worse (now it seems to be rejecting landlines as one’s phone number, which becomes essential for identity under circumstances in which an account gets locked; Twitter uses mobile numbers and harvesting these by blackmailing users — all this to profit through third parties, to which it illegally sells all this data, with impending fines for the unlawful practice)

Twitter lock-in
Oh, wow! Has Twitter jumped the shark?

Summary: As yesterday I had my 800,000th “tweet” posted — or automatically exported from Diaspora as I don't post directly to Twitter anymore — I was going to make a backup of the Twitter account, originally exported from Identica (account backups may be essential assuming it can be ‘locked’ or terminated at any time without due process, as happened many times before); shockingly, at first sight it seemed like Twitter may have silently removed the “download” option (perhaps for more platform lock-in), but instead I always get (perpetually): “The download your data feature is unavailable right now. Try again at a later date.” (see screenshot above; it’s supposed to look like this) Moreover, if one uses the older interface it seems like many users and tweets that link to Techrights.org are being omitted (made invisible), so censorship in the shadowban sense prevails and probably broadens so as to de-platform views/narratives/perspectives not supported by the corporate press (even if they’re well supported by hard facts and evidence).

07.08.20

Fraunhofer is Again Evergreening Software Patents to Maintain Its Codecs Cartel, Forcing Everyone to Pay to View/Stream Multimedia Files

Posted in Europe, Patents, RAND, Standard at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fraunhofer

Summary: The roller-coaster of software patents on multimedia isn’t stopping; we know the culprits who can be named for perpetuating this injustice

THE links below [1,2], which were included or will be included in Daily Links, show that little has changed for the better. Old multimedia formats are being phased out in favour of ones that have newer (not yet expired) software patents on them. This is a big problem for Free software. In the past, for instance, Mozilla paid millions of dollars to “license” some patents for Firefox. Even patents that 35 U.S.C. § 101 likely rendered obsolete and invalid (but the USPTO grants such patents anyway). They’re of course leveraged in bulk, in order for legal challenge of them all to be impractical. It’s an extortion racket; it is not only facilitated by the US but also the ‘European’ Patent Office (EPO), where a large majority of the patents aren’t even European. António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli defend those rackets and even occasionally meet the people behind those rackets.

Regarding Fraunhofer, there’s a lot worth condemning, e.g.:

Days ago Fraunhofer, a Microsoft ally, also published an anti-Linux ‘study’ which the media was quick to exploit for FUD.

“It’s already embraced by DRM giants like Google and Netflix (the same ones that pushed for DRM on the Web and EME in Web standards).”OIN, a proponent of software patents, had the audacity to publicly defend Fraunhofer. That said a lot about OIN and what it really stands for. So here we are in 2020 and the cartel goes on, even without the media studying the subject and blasting MPEG-LA the way it did a decade ago. Puff pieces like the ones below (pure fluff) are a symptom of the death of journalism. They make it sound like Fraunhofer has just given us a gift when in fact we already know that Fraunhofer did intentionally counter-productive things (making codecs less efficient, performance- and storage/compression-wise) just so that they can stockpile more patents. This cartel ought to be rejected, not embraced. It’s already embraced by DRM giants like Google and Netflix [2] (the same ones that pushed for DRM on the Web and EME in Web standards). It reinforces monopolies.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Fraunhofer’s new H.266 codec promises to cut the cost of streaming 4K video in half

    The codec’s full name is H.266/Versatile Video Coding, as Fraunhofer says it’s designed to be a successor to the industry-standard H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC) and H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) formats that combined make up about 90 percent of global digital video transmission and compression on the market today. While HEVC was first released in 2013, the codec has proved controversial due to aggressive patent disputes from its various stakeholders. That’s why AVC, the predecessor to HEVC, still remains the more dominant standard, despite first releasing back in 2003.

    But Fraunhofer says VVC could be a path forward for the industry, as almost every major hardware and software company is currently tied up in a messy patent royalty system that dictates how much various stakeholders must pay to use different compression and transmission standards for devices, websites, and apps. With VVC, Fraunhofer says you can get something far better than AVC and HEVC without any of the licensing headaches.

  2. Fraunhofer HHI H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) Halves the Data Requirements of H.265

    There’s a lot of hype around AV1 royalty-free video codec since it has backing from large companies, better characteristics than H.265 or VP9, and is already used by YouTube and Netflix.

05.25.20

Features Considered Harmful

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Standard at 1:46 am by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

Stop

Summary: “But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn’t in control.”

I‘m a fan of BASIC. In fact, my favourite modern language, now 5 years old, was originally named after Basic. While Dijkstra is famous for hating on the language, it was his editor (Wirth, I believe) who incited decades of clickbait titles by working the infamous line attributed to Dijkstra into the top of his article.

I do not hate Dijkstra in return. In fact, his stance on Basic was reasonable enough, so long as we are talking about the actual arguments he made — which applied more to the original line-numbered versions of Basic than today’s versions, which look like Pascal by comparison. Basic was good enough as a first language for Linus Torvalds. Dijkstra actually had a number of great ideas that Basic once lacked. And in more ways than one, it doesn’t bother me that software evolves.

Whether it was his intention to save Basic or get people to use a better language instead, Basic itself isn’t harmful. Some of its features may lead to worse programming, but I think Torvalds (as a coder) proves that using it doesn’t necessarily prevent you from gaining good programming skills. Some languages indeed will teach better discipline, but if you’re determined to be lazy, you’ll probably find (or create) tools that suit your preferences.

I am not against features, per se. I’m also against prohibition and the drug war. But the great harm done by heroin cannot be dismissed — it kills people, and although there is no law that says you must try heroin, getting away from it isn’t always as simple as “just don’t use it”. Fortunately, while I did find Basic somewhat addictive in practice, I have not tried heroin. Though I’ve certainly lived in places where it was a problem. In fact, it’s a problem that tends to increase when the alternatives are fought harder against.

GitHub could arguably be the heroin of the Free software world. We know the harm it does, we’ve been warned about it for years, there’s absolutely no mandate to use it at all — yet people keep finding themselves addicted to it. GitHub isn’t known so much for killing people, but it poses a great threat to projects that use it. What GitHub actually kills, is software freedom.

I’ve written a lot about GitHub lately, but in this article it is just one example of a larger problem. Like with Basic, it is not “GitHub” itself, but some of its features that we should worry about. And the warnings against it have come from Torvalds and Stallman alike.

The complaints from Torvalds against GitHub are closer to Dijkstra’s complaints about Basic — GitHub encourages bad practices in Git management, and breaks existing features. It trains you to be a worse Git user. I think this is a minor problem next to the others. But just as Dijkstra is a pioneer of structured programming, Torvalds is the original author of Git. That makes the critique much more notable.

The fact that GitHub breaks Git the way that it does, fits in with a larger complaint of my own — even if Torvalds decides (or is paid to) change his mind about it. It was developed by Chris Wanstrath, but it was developed along lines that are not entirely different from Microsoft’s EEE tactics — which today I will offer a new acronym and description for:

1. Steal
2. Add Bloat
3. Original Trashed

It’s difficult conceptually to “steal” Free software, because it (sort of, effectively) belongs to everyone. It’s not always Public Domain — copyleft is meant to prevent that. The only way you can “steal” free software is by taking it from everyone and restricting it again. That’s like “stealing” the ocean or the sky, and putting it somewhere that people can’t get to it. But this is what non-free software does. (You could also simply go against the license terms, but I doubt Stallman would go for the word “stealing” or “theft” as a first choice to describe non-compliance).

I came up with this SABOTage acronym when I was going to sleep, and originally it was Steal, Add Bloat, Attack — I guess spelling isn’t a strong point when I’m tired. But this is what people do even in the Free software world today; they take away compatibility (as GitHub did with some Git features Torvalds thinks should work properly), they add stuff that is easier for a large corporation to host (Gitlab too, is terribly bloated I’m afraid — but it can be self-hosted at least) and they attack the original — by dragging everyone into GitHub (as it’s “better”).

I really do understand the appeal of GitHub — I’m a former user as well. While the complaints of Torvalds are relevant to this discussion, the complaints by Richard Stallman are more important to me. In 2015, he said to GNUstep developers:

“GitHub does things that are quite bad for free software and is not interested in changing them. If you want to move off Savannah, please pick some other place.”

This led to a shallow debate on the merits of GitHub vs. alternatives, and Stallman argued that GitHub negatively affects the license choices people make. One person replied that he was having an unrealistic expectation of GitHub, but this was the thing — we can make it about the design of GitHub, or we can look at the effects. In effect, GitHub successfully gets people away from making good choices.

It also includes non-free Javascript, which many people are willing to forgive or overlook sometimes. But this discussion was about code hosting for the GNU Project itself! If any project should not rely on GitHub and non-free Javascript, it’s the GNU project.

“But it still works if you turn Javascript off” they said… again, this is one situation where many of us are willing to overlook non-free Javascript: if the website still works when you disable it. This is still wildly inappropriate for the GNU Project to endorse, because they’re still encouraging users to run it.

Other than the fact that running and promoting only Free software (yes, I’m familiar with Stallman’s latest article on the topic) is one of the goals of the GNU Project, I think there are worse things about GitHub. And I think that GNU projects that continue to use it unapologetically, such as GNU Radio and GNUstep, are proving that their developers DON’T care about your freedom, and do not represent (nor achieve) the goals of the GNU Project.

And the fact that Microsoft has spent decades trying to co-opt and control Free software? Who honestly cares about that?

But I am aware that such Microsoft-neutral or Pro-Microsoft developers are not necessarily agreed with by every developer on these projects. In the instance of GNUstep, we are talking about the leader of the project who doesn’t care about your freedom.

I did say that GitHub was just an example; it’s a very big example, though not the only one. Microsoft is taking over Python as well. And the way it’s taking over Python does have the aim (and the success) in dragging it into the GitHub trap, because GitHub is perfect for that sort of thing — but the tactics being used would hurt Python with or without GitHub as well. It conquers projects the same way as empires conquer nations — by planting flags in whatever they want to own:

This Techrights article is from 2010, and though they have done this farther back than that, and continue to do the same, Microsoft is still planting flags all over the place. It wants to run your conferences. It wants to host your code. It wants you to agree to its terms. It wants you to adjust your development to its heavily contrived, self-serving “standards” from OOXML all the way back to Rich Text Format.

Again and again, Microsoft “Steals” or “Steers” the development process itself so it can gain control (pronounced: “ownership”) of the software. It is a gradual process, where Microsoft has more and more influence until they dominate the project and with it, the user. This is similar to the process where cults (or drug addiction) take over people’s lives, and similar to the process where narcissists interfere in the lives of others — by staking a claim and gradually dominating the person or project.

Then they Add Bloat — more features. GitHub is friendly to use, you don’t have to care about how Git works to use it (this is true of many GitHub clones as well, as even I do not really care how Git works very much. It took a long time for someone to even drag me towards GitHub for code hosting, until they were acquired and I stopped using it) and due to its GLOBAL size, nobody can or ought to reproduce its network effects.

I understand the draw of network effects. That’s why larger federated instances of code hosts are going to be more popular than smaller instances. We really need a mix — smaller instances to be easy to host and autonomous, larger instances to draw people away from even more gigantic code silos. We can’t get away from network effects (just like the War on Drugs will never work) but we can make them easier and less troublesome (or safer) to deal with.

Finally, the Original is trashed, and the SABOTage is complete. This has happened with Python against Python 2, despite protests from seasoned and professional developers, it was deliberately attempted with Systemd against not just sysvinit but ALL alternatives — Free software acts like proprietary software when it treats the existence of alternatives as a problem to be solved. I personally never trust a project with developers as arrogant as that.

I should thank Roy for inspiring this article, today he made what I consider a minor error in sharing this:

“Kushal Das: A few new generation command line tools” #cli #freesw #gnu #linux

“New generation” indeed. (Original Trashed). Let’s look at what these “new generation” command line tools are like:

“…ripgrep was the first Rust tool I started using daily as a replacement for grep”

Great! a GitHub-based tool written in Rust, which is also GitHub-based. Not unlike this illustrative effort to recreated GNU coreutils in Rust: https://github.com/uutils/coreutils

“Cross-platform Rust rewrite of the GNU coreutils” — and what’s the license?

“uutils/coreutils is licensed under the MIT License”

“A short and simple permissive license with conditions only requiring preservation of copyright and license notices. Licensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.”

“And without source code.” Steal, Add Bloat, Original Trashed.

But there are still more little goodies from GitCrap that inspired this article:

“…exa is the replacement for ls.”

Oh good, I was hoping to replace a standard GNU tool with something from Microsoft GitHub. Wonderful.

“…bat is the one stop replacement for cat and less.”

It’s difficult for me to get excited about these “next generation” tools, when I spent several years working to GET AWAY from Microsoft, and they want me to get all my software from GitHub. If I wanted to get all my software from Microsoft and the rest of GIAFAM, I’d just use Windows.

And speaking of, the coup continues this week, with the new COO at Microzilla: Adam Seligman — “formerly of Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft.”

GREAT! That’s also how they gradually took over Nokia, Apache Software Foundation and became the boss of Linus. [Editor's note: Even the COO of GitHub now bosses Linus]

Of course I don’t really blame Roy for sharing that link — there are several ways he ends up with stuff like that, and just as often it comes with a warning or complaint that it needs to #deletegithub. And if this article helps, the link surely inspired it. Much worse than the link itself is the mess that it leads to.

Here’s something else to consider — the way that websites subtly (and sometimes innocently) add to the problem with handy Share icons (which I’m not entirely against). A colleague informs me that one of the things that draws people to GitHub is the way that other websites make it easier to integrate with it. I can’t fault his logic, he’s right. But here’s the reality of that. Such tie-in features will always be implemented for the largest option first, and typically the largest option only.

They’re not going to bother reinforcing smaller choices usually, they’re going to reinforce the largest one. So this practice itself — while technically and theoretically neutral (as it could offer several options for code repos) actually encourages monopoly in practice most of the time. I’m not really against the practice — I’m against its outcome. Which means we should be sceptical or think critically about the practice as well.

There’s a meme about creepy vans with “FREE CANDY” painted on the side, which I took one of the photos from and edited it so that it said “FEATURES” instead. This is more or less how I feel about new features in general, given my experience with their abuse in development, marketing and the takeover of formerly good software projects.

People then accuse me of being against features, of course. As with the Dijkstra article, the real problem isn’t Basic itself. The problem isn’t features per se (though they do play a very key role in this problem) and I’m not really against features — or candy, for that matter.

I’m against these things being used as bait, to entrap people in an unpleasant situation that makes escape difficult. You know, “lock-in”. Don’t get in the van — don’t even go NEAR the van.

Candy is nice, and some features are nice too. But we would all be better off if we could get the candy safely, and delete the creepy horrible van that comes with it. That’s true whether the creepy van is GitHub, or surveillance by GIAFAM, or a Leviathan “init” system, or just breaking decades of perfectly good Python code, to try to force people to develop differently because Google or Microsoft (who both have had heavy influence over newer Python development) want to try to force you to — all while using “free” software.

If all that makes free software “free” is the license — (yes, it’s the primary and key part, it’s a necessary ingredient) then putting “free” software on GitHub shouldn’t be a problem, right? Not if you’re running LibreJS, at least.

In practice, “Free in license only” ignores the fact that if software is effectively free, the user is also effectively free. If free software development gets dragged into doing the bidding of non-free software companies and starts creating lock-in for the user, even if it’s external or peripheral, then they simply found an effective way around the true goal of the license. They did it with Tivoisation, so we know that it’s possible. They’ve done this in a number of ways, and they’re doing it now.

If people are trying to make the user less free, and they’re effectively making the user less free, maybe the license isn’t an effective monolithic solution. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. They never said “The cost of freedom is slapping a free license on things”, as far as I know. (Of course it helps). This really isn’t a straw man, so much as a rebuttal to the extremely glib take on software freedom in general that permeates development communities these days.

But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn’t in control.

Don’t get in the van.

“The freedom to NOT run the software, to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies; meaning any free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives (freedom 4).” – Peter Boughton

Long live rms, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

02.27.20

The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use ‘Big Browsers’ That Spy)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Standard at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux Foundation access issues

Summary: The Linux Foundation’s message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness

“The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness,” say several pages, including this one in the title.

“It is only getting worse over time; months ago I was no longer able to access the site at all using my GNU/Linux (KDE) browser.”We’ve already mentioned that this site has spyware in all the Web pages and other usability (“UX”) type issues, not to mention severe accessibility issues (see above).

It is only getting worse over time; months ago I was no longer able to access the site at all using my GNU/Linux (KDE) browser. I cannot press the X, as it has no effect.

Linux Foundation diversity

I cannot move anywhere. Same here:

Linux Foundation diversity programs

I cannot click on anything or highlight anything. Scrolling up and down is all I can do. Even with JavaScript fully enabled!

“Scrolling up and down is all I can do. Even with JavaScript fully enabled!”It’s clear that whoever develops the site only bothers checking if it works in GAFAM+Firefox browsers, nothing else. They’re all proprietary with DRM.

It’s pretty damning that every single page is like this. So to access the site of something called Linux Foundation I cannot use my Linux Web browser.

“It’s clear that whoever develops the site only bothers checking if it works in GAFAM+Firefox browsers, nothing else.”Then you have to wonder if they’re inclusive of blind people or other people who have special needs when navigating the site. The Linux Foundation made even me feel disabled; for failing to use the site with an actual Linux Web browser.

GitHub is moving in a similar direction and is now Director at Large in the Foundation.

The Foundation says it helps setting/crafting standards, but that too isn’t a consistent message (actions not matching one’s words or perceived values). 81 validation errors/warnings in the front page alone.

01.25.20

Nothing Has Truly Changed Since Netscape and Antitrust

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Standard at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This kind of thing is all but uncommon

GitHub warns Firefox for iOS isn't supported, and doesn't work (infinite loading, unresponsive buttons). Does anyone have the same issue?

Summary: The same old crimes persist, as well as the blatantly anticompetitive behaviour

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