Nonfree JavaScript on pidgin.im

David Woolley forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Sun Jun 3 09:14:39 EDT 2012


Jackson wrote:
> Hello, I noticed that the website pidgin.im contains nonfree JavaScript 
> that it wishes for it's users to run.
> This is a concern to me because
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/javascript-trap.html
> I wish for the JavaScript to be made free as in freedom as per
> http://www.gnu.org/software/librejs/free-your-javascript.html

Although I sympathise, I'm afraid, on the web as a whole, this is a lost 
cause.  I personally would prefer that public web pages didn't use 
scripting at all, but over the last year, I've have become used to pages 
regularly producing runaway script warnings, because I'm using an old 
PC, and the scripts are causing CPU usage bloat.  Although I haven't 
looked in detail, I think GoogleAPIs is responsible for a lot of this.

The Pidgin website is still responsive, although, amongst non-commercial 
sites,  Wikipedia has started producing non-responsive warnings.

The original concept of HTML was that it would be simple, and run on 
almost any hardware, unlike the advertising authoring tools of the time. 
  Unfortunately, the browser (even open source ones) and standardisation 
committees, are now dominated by people who are trying to create the 
tools for advertisers that the original HTML concept wanted to steer 
clear of.  They are continually pushing for the lowest common 
denominator level to be raised

HTML has become a tool for marketers, rather than consumers.

I am more and more forced to use a Windows Netbook to access web sites 
because of their non-universal design, although I've also recently had 
to fall back to IE, even on that, for one big internet building products 
supplier.

I find the use of such techniques by banks particularly worrying, as the 
resulting complexity increases the security risks and can make it 
difficult to verify that the page is secure.  Financial institutions 
should use the simplest possible pages.

As well as the performance hit from AJAX, one big problem is that it 
forces you to use one of a small number of tools, which are primarily 
for visual access, and particularly for younger users.

I would note that the non-executable content of most web sites is 
non-"free".

(Incidentally, the article you quoted mentions disabling scripting.  The 
problem with this is that bad design of sites means a sufficiently large 
number of sites will fail sufficiently badly that disabling scripting 
makes the web unusable for most people.)


-- 
David Woolley
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RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.



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