banned-- worldwide! No exceptions!! Never mind the fact
that the majority of the web assumes your browser can
not hip to the hacker jive, I'm referring to an article
written by Dr. Richard Stallman (founder of the Free
Software Foundation). The article is known as "The
in its entirety.
Here is a list of Dr. Stallman's reasons for banning the
the world wide web unusable):
contain variable names that are one character long.
3. A web page may rely on a website to function.
informing a user.
No, seriously. Those are the reasons!! That's not a
misprint. In hindsight, Dr. Stallman is the same man who
shuns using the linux kernel because it contains non-free
software. Most people consider that normal use of free
software-- it's free, but it was built with some non-free
software that was laying around. Not Dr. Stallman and the
Free Software Foundation! Dr. Stallman is the same man who
refers to Digital Rights Management as "Digital Restrictions
Management." Most people accept the fact that streaming
media across the internet is a privilege provided by
vendors. It's not a replacement for hardware-- like DVDs,
CDs, and Blu-ray. Not Dr. Stallman and the Free Software
list are true of any program. If you can't understand how
code functions because you don't like a variable name, I
don't think we're addressing the real problem. Perhaps--
you are not a programmer?? If you're worried something is
malware, we're still not addressing the real problem.
Perhaps-- you should stay off websites you don't trust??
All modern programs rely on external libraries. Without
libraries, open operating systems are simply not possible.
Yet, libraries are maintained separately of programs that
rely on them. Thus, the dreaded "dependencies" issue
developers run into when they compile from source. :/
Apparently, it's okay for free software to have dependencies
deal breaker?? That's ridiculous. The fourth issue Dr.
Stallman listed is remedied by..... simply informing a user
More About Issue #1
Dr. Stallman's actual words: "Google Docs tries to download
megabyte, in a compacted form that we could call Obfuscript
because it has no comments and hardly any whitespace, and
the method names are one letter long. The source code of a
program is the preferred form for modifying it; the
compacted code is not source code, and the real source code
of this program is not available to the user." Ignoring the
fact that Dr. Stallman's writing is filled with run-on
sentences that are barely coherent (an entirely separate
issue), he has not introduced any real problem. For those
of you who are not programmers, programming "comments" are
extra language added to source code to explain what the code
does. They are always hidden from a compiler or translator
by surrounding them with special characters. Personally, I
refer to programming comments by another name: "useless crap
that makes code more difficult to read." Either you
understand what the code does, or you don't. And if you
don't, *learn*. Developers have no need to explain it to
you. Nor, do we care if you understand it. Quit being a
lazy bastard and read a programming book-- like the rest of
Secondly, arguing that "compacted code" (not that there is
any proof the Google Docs code in question is such a thing)
is not source code is ridiculous. Either the code is
not. And if a web browser can translate it, a human can.
If the length of the variable names bother you, I suppose
you could rename them. I'm not sure what the purpose of
that could possibly be. A function operates the same way
whether it is named "function a()" or "function
hildas_bra()". And other than function names that are
called within a function, the code will be identical. The
functionality of the function remains the same. Hence, we
refer to it as a "function." That's just basic programming.
More About Issue #2
Dr. Stallman's actual words: "In addition to being nonfree,
many of these programs are malware because they snoop on the
user." Dr. Stallman has not been clear. What he's getting
considered an issue by people because they are so cynical
they assume data stored in a cookie will be used to track
their preferences. It is possible to do that. I'll let you
know when I encounter a website that does that using
cookies. :/ Back on planet Earth, cookies are used to
store data needed for variables when a page is reloaded.
That's all they are *ever* used for on Insanely Witty
Stupidity. And, they'll never be used for any other
reason. You have my word. For those of you who lay awake
at night worrying if websites can obtain information about
you from cookies they read when you visited their website,
your sleepless nights will soon be over. The software
developers are to blame. You want to point a finger at
someone? Blame the maintainers of web browsers. It's their
decision to leave cookies full of crap after you close your
browser. The simple fix for cookies is to simply delete
them-- the moment you leave a website that made them.
That's what web browsers *could* do. Web browser
maintainers choose not to do that. You (a user) can also do
something about cookies. You can browse in incognito mode--
meaning all of your cookies are deleted the moment you close
your browser. That's half the battle! So, always browse in
incognito mode. And, only visit one website when your
browser is open. Then every time you finish using a
website, simply close your browser. Solved!!
More About Issue #3
programs are meant to work with a particular page or site,
and the page or site depends on them to function. Then
another problem arises: even if the program's source is
available, browsers do not offer a way to run your modified
version instead of the original when visiting that page or
site. The effect is comparable to tivoization, although in
principle not quite so hard to overcome." What Dr. Stallman
is really suggesting you did: "You modified a web page that
a website relies on. Now, you need to inform other webpages
of the modification." Let's put this another way: "You
modified a source file for a program. Now, 178 other
functions fail to compile because you need to notify them of
the change." So, what do you do? You acquire the tainted
source files. And, you modify them. And, it's the same
modified, modify them, then host all of them from your
desktop or whatever you're doing. I don't know any other
way to accomplish this. It's the same if you modify someone
else's html. Sometimes, you end up hosting more than just
one file. That's an issue developers run into all the
time. I compared it to dependency issues, earlier.
More About Issue #4
Dr. Stallman's actual words: "Browsers don't normally tell
aware of this issue, it would take you considerable trouble
to identify the nontrivial nonfree programs and block them.
However, even in the free software community most users are
not aware of this issue; the browsers' silence tends to
conceal it." So, the issue is "the silence??" Okay, web
developers. Now, you quit being silent! I know you're
trying to hide something from me! I need *you* to tell *me*
how to use my computer!! So, what I need is for all the web
browsers to open a dialog box and ask a user for
That will make Dr. Stallman happy, I guess. By the way,
takes me all of five seconds to turn it off in Firefox.