firefox, iceweasel, burningdog, icecat, ...

Yavor Doganov yavor at
Fri Oct 31 19:05:26 UTC 2008

sam.liddicott wrote:
> To me whether or not iceweasel should support non-free flash is
> another incarnation of the older question: Should Stallman have used
> a non-free compiler to develop gcc? The answer NOW is "yes" because
> it clearly DID lead to more freedom,

You are comparing apples and oranges.  RMS and other GNU developers
used non-free software in the beginning because there was no way to
solve the circular chicken-and-egg problem.  Once GCC managed to
compile itself, GCC was used.  The same can be said to a limited
extent for other essential packages, too.

You can think of this like using the prison's tools to build a ladder
in order to escape from it.  The whole development history of GNU is
just that -- replacing one non-free star with a free one.  Sometimes,
to build the next piece you really need other non-free tools, so the
only way to continue the effort is to resort to using them, at least
temporarily.  TTBOMK, this did not happen since the 80's when all the
important parts of the toolchain already had free replacements.  There
is no reason or justification whatsoever to use non-free software now,
especially based on this historical "argument".  We're out of prison
for more than 15 years now, and we have the free tools to build
whatever we need, rescuing those folks who still wish to spend their
life (partially or not) in the cyber-jail.

Using the proprietary Flash plugin cannot possibly lead to such an
escape, on the opposite -- you are only incresing the adoption and
dependency on this format, perhaps even pressuring your friends.  It
is also self-explanatory that using a non-free flash player cannot
help a free player to automagically appear from the mist, or to become
technically better if it already exists.

Reinhard Mueller wrote:
> Am Freitag, den 31.10.2008, 10:57 +0100 schrieb Andreas K. Foerster:
> > We are - at least I am - talking about the freedom of choice for
> > the users!

The question here is to teach users to treat only freedom as a valid
choice.  Becoming a digital slave should not be an option.

You can surely install all kinds of non-free plugins/extensions with
IceCat (as you can install many non-free packages on a GNU system) --
but what's the point in using it then?

> Somebody who has to install and use the proprietary flash player to
> view content (because, for example, gnash isn't able yet to display
> it) does *not* have the freedom of choice.

Sure he has.  He has the choice *not* to install and use that
proprietary flash player.  I am still alive after making this choice,
so it works.

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