[Dev] [RFC] Let's solve the Chromium freedom issues, definitively

bill-auger bill-auger at peers.community
Sat May 30 01:43:10 GMT 2020

regarding iridium/ungoogled, this has all been discussed before
on the FSDG and FSD mailing lists - from what i remember,
ungoogled is not a browser, but a set of patches - iridium is a
browser which is made using the ungoogled patches - as we build
everything from source, the two projects are probably identical,
for the purpose of discussion

FWIW, people rarely even ask about chromium anymore - im not
sure why you think it is worth rescuing - for all the massive
effort it would take, it would be more practical to focus on

* it is a much smaller code-base, so less work to do
* the qt5-webengine devs have expressed an interest in accepting
  patches for any freedom bugs that are found
* it would rescued most of the programs which are blacklisted
  for this association with chromium

focusing on chromium would be much much more work to audit than
qt5-webengine - electron is a hopeless cause; so all that
extra effort would result in removing exactly one additional
program from the blacklist

you are right that there is little collaboration of central
discussion - this issue pops up on various lists from time to
time - about two years ago, david and adfeno setup a wiki page
on the FSD, for exactly the same purpose as this OP describes:
"chromium-fsdg-research"; but it did not get any attention from
any distro devs - about a year ago, oaken-source suggested on
the FSDG mailing list, to focus on qt5-webengine rather than
chromium, and again no one was interested - it is just too much
work - no one wants to do it

the FSDG mailing list is the appropriate one to discuss
this - that is unfortunately the FSDG mailing list is totally
dysfunctional now, and the chromium quagmire is one of the
central issues which broke it - i would not waste another moment
wishing for cross-distro collaboration before that situation is

sadly to say, even if this were conducted on the FSDG mailing
list, parabola would be the only distro that would benefit from
the result - the two FSDG distros which wanted chromium and
webengine, chose to dismiss the concerns, rather than doing the
work of auditing and liberating them, and added them to their
repos anyways, against the recommendation of the FSDG work-group
- the others have shown no interest at all

if only the *concrete known issues* are considered, then
probably the ungoogled chromium solves them - that is quite
irrelevant though; because the current FSDG recommendation for
chromium is: "use icecat instead" - i would not want to add
chromium of webengine to parabola before the FSDG work-group
changes the recommendation - none of the FSDG should want to do
that - it just makes the problem even uglier

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