Christopher Allan Webber at 2017-05-15T18:57:08Z

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NOTE This is not meant to be offensive. It's just an important and personal note.

My worry with WebAssembly is that it won't change the "non-free software automatically being used" scenario.

If the specification doesn't require web browser developers to implement a license verification mechanism and some sort of "per page" package manager (almost like what GreaseMonkey has) and doesn't have filter enabled by default so that non-free software is blocked, then it'll end up being the same thing as non-free JavaScript.

There was an issue openned against WebAssembly, but it was closed due to inactivity: https://github.com/WebAssembly/design/issues/1011.

Accordingo to Stallman, fostering WebAssembly as it is now doesn't change the already existing problems regarding software freedom, see https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/free-software-awards-with-richard-stallman-awards-presentation-and-speech/.

Adonay Felipe Nogueira at 2017-05-15T20:08:14Z

It won't change that problem, and I'm not expecting it to.

However, it may actually help for the kinds of programs I want to write. As you may have seen, more and more programs have become what rms would call "especially nasty websites", which do not even work without javascript enabled. I agree that this is a problem.

However, imagine I'm writing something like an ActivityPub server, and even though the whole program (frontend and backend) are all free, my backend is written in Scheme and my frontend in Javascript. Gee! In the browser side of things, I need to update the interface based on changes on the server end, but.. I don't have access to the same templates on the backend as on the frontend! Suddenly I'm duplicating the templates in both. Well, I say to myself, it's only for being viewed in the browser! I'll just make the templates javascript only and use something like React to drive everything.

And suddenly, I've dropped the option for the javascript-free version of my website. Uh-oh!

But, if I had the option to compile something like Guile from scheme -> webassembly, I could use the same templates in both, and I wouldn't be tempted to go executable-browser-only for my templating.

Make sense?

Christopher Allan Webber at 2017-05-15T20:20:00Z

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