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Re: Web versions

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Web versions
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2021 19:25:22 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Alfred M. Szmidt <> [2021-03-13 18:49]:
>    Sounds like multi-user UNIX-like system, or modern GNU/Linux
>    multi-user system.
> On a multi-user system you can keep your own files in our home
> directory.  You can decide to copy a program you like from one
> location to your home directory.
> With Webassembly / Javascript (specifically in the form of SaSS) you
> are at the mercy of whoever is hosting the program to run it.  Maybe
> even depending on that site for storing your data.  The issue is
> _intent_ of how these things are to be used -- depriving users of how
> they can run their programs.

I don't know Webassembly, never tried it. But if hosting provider or
remote provider keeps files of the user then it is equivalent to shell
provider or VPS or dedicated server where hosting provider keeps files
of the user or system administrator of multi user system.

Users depend on system administrator to store the data. System
administrator and organization is a host in that sense. It may be host
in companies, universities, organizations.

I would like to understand your point.

I see Webassembly, while admitting not ever to try it, as a window or
door to execution of programs. As long as programs are free software,
why not.

For example there is SSH client as Javascript, then I can access VPS
through Javascript. This I do seldom, but such exists.

Another example is Emacs, I use it as a door or window to execute
programs remotely. As one of thousands users of a shell hosting
provider, I have no control what system administrator is doing with my

Let us say GNU users, they probably have email and shell account, but
they also do not have full control what software will be installed on
the main system, what software they can run, and who is reading
emails. It is based on trust.

Let us say I am user of Webassembly hosted website and website allows
me to run my daily software like mutt to send and receive emails,
Emacs maybe or have my hosting storage. I would be fine with it from
freedom reasons, I would not be fine from technical reasons, I don't
like running stuff in browser or having it slower than usual, as so I
imply about it. But I will not use it for data sensitive purposes, as
I am aware what hoster can do with it.

> The suggestion in this thread was to make GNU port to webassembly, and
> then be run in a web browser, from someone elses machine.
>    In my opinion question is if that all is free software. Not if it runs
>    remotely.
> That it is free software is a side issue.  Sometimes the issues of
> software freedom are not just about the four freedoms.

I wish I could understand clearly what is the issue. Can you try to
define it?

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