Re: Announcing GNOME's official GitHub mirror

        [ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider
        [ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,
        [ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example.

    > When you say that GitHub is "nonfree", what do you mean by that?
    > We do not have any definition for calling a service free or nonfree.
    > See

    It's as much nonfree as Skype which you mention in your signature:
    > Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.

With all due respect, I think that is a misunderstanding.
I'm talking about a program called Skype, which is nonfree.

Skype is used with a service, but I'm talking about the program, and
say so explicitly.  The service is unjust too, due to Big Brother
surveillance, but that's a different issue.

Until today, I was thinking of GitHub as a service, pure and simple,
and believed that the programs used to access it are git (which is
free) and a web browser (which can be free).  Thus, no nonfree
software required.

However, today Shaun McCance wrote:

    The normal way of interacting with the extra services is using the web
    site, and the web site does require non-free JavaScript to work. But
    GitHub does provide an HTTP-based API that allows you to write entirely
    free software yourself to interact with these services.

If some GitHub features require running nonfree Javascript, that means
users have to run nonfree software.  (See  This is indeed
comparable to the problem Skype has.

If these are only some obscure features that people can do without,
maybe we can ignore it.  I don't know.

If users can avoid the nonfree JS by using the API, that solves the
problem.  Is this a real option or only a theoretical one?  Is usable
free software available NOW to use all the GitHub functionality
through that API?  When we tell people about a GitHub repository, do
we recommend that free software?  If so, maybe things are ok.

If not, there is a problem.  We should not to urge people to run
nonfree Javascript.  What are the alternatives?

* We can try to convince GitHub to free its Javascript.
  That would be the best outcome.
* We can write the free software to do this thru the API
  and then prominently suggest using it.
* We can avoid suggesting people use GitHub.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call.

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