Not Any Browser (was: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3)

Frank Heckenbach frank at
Fri Sep 29 00:58:20 UTC 2006

Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:

>    > Also, could you use EBCDIC? It takes alot of processing power to
>    > convert your very long message from ASCII to EBDCDIC.
>    I don't use evil proprietary formats like EBCDIC.
> EBCDIC is not a propietary format.

Though OT: A Google search finds quite a lot of pages that claim so.
Are they all wrong, or has it changed recently?

>    (c) The situation is not even like in (b), because not all free
>        browsers are supported, only a particular one.
> You are free to modify the supported browser into something that fits
> your needs, so that your favourite browser works with the commenting
> process.  Would you like to do that?

No, I wouldn't like to, because it's quite some extra work just to
submit a comment. One could take it a step further, and make a web
site that works with *no* existing browser, and just (poorly)
document the required functionality. Then anyone could modify any
free browser to access tht web site. This way, the web site would
give an advantage to free browsers (though not exclusively, as one
could also write their own non-free browser), but I can't see any
way this would be useful for either the site or the FS movement. The
gplv3 site is not quite like this, but it would get close if your
advice was an official recommendation.

>    (d) And even this one, in some forms, is not really free as MJR has
>        reminded us. (According to RMS in
>        "To use Firefox as free software, you have to build it yourself
>        from the source code."
> What he means is that the binaries as distributed by Mozilla are
> not-free (they include a non-free bug reporting tool).  Ututo-e for
> example contains a Firefox, you don't need to compile that your self.

Even assuming that build is really free (which would contradict
RMS's statement, when read strictly, but I can't comment on it
myself ATM); since not everyone uses Utoto-e, it wouldn't change
that, as I wrote, the requirement might have made some people use a
not (entirely) free browser to view this site, instead of a fully
free one they might have otherwise used.


Frank Heckenbach, f.heckenbach at
GnuPG and PGP keys: (7977168E)

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