firefox, iceweasel, burningdog, icecat, ...

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at
Wed Oct 29 21:57:03 UTC 2008

Bjoern Schiessle <schiessle at> writes:
> People who have no problem adding non-Free Software to their browser
> probably don't care that much about having a complete free operating
> system and/or browser. So they are probably not the main target group of
> IceCat.

Yes, but there is still some value in promoting IceCat to these people.

One reason why most Firefox users don't care about free software is that
they've never even heard of free software.  They will learn about it
someday.  If, when they learn about free software, they already use and rely
on non-free plugins, then they will find it awkward to agree with our
ethical stances.  So if we can get people started with IceCat instead of
Firefox, they will be more likely to value software freedom in the future.

But, getting them from IE to Firefox is still a big improvement.  

> doesn't have any non-Free blobs.

One problem is there non-free images (non-free trademark licence).  If you
want to publish a modified version of Firefox, you need the Mozilla
Foundation's permission to use their images.  So if you're using Firefox and
you spot a security hole, you cannot fix it and distribute you're modified
version (unless you also strip out and replace all logos and Mozilla
Foundation trademarked stuff).

A second problem is that Mozilla Firefox prompts users telling then to
install non-free plugins.  So the software might be free the moment it's
published, but it becomes a mix of free and non-free soon after a user
starts using it.

CiarĂ¡n O'Riordan, +32 477 36 44 19,

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