Extensions Platform license

Is there a JavaScript licenses page to that website ( extensions.blender.org )? Because I can’t find one and LibreJS blocks me from downloading extensions from there. I’m pretty sure that the website itself is at the very least on something like CC-BY, can this be stated somewhere on the page? So at the very least people could whitelist the JavaScript.

I just found out that the git repository for the website has no license on it. I don’t like it.

Issue about this on the git

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This sounds like a rather fringe problem that’s likely due to the rather particularly combination of browser, browser plugins, and privacy settings that I suspect you are using.

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It’s not my settings issue. I can allow the website manually. But there is no clear answer on what exactly I am allowing. The source code doesn’t have a license. And I don’t know whether the license for the Blender.org is the same as for the extensions.blender.org because there is nothing saying anything on this issue.

It would be very bad to have no access to plugins to those people who care about what they run on their computers. I don’t think there is an intention to make a proprietary software infiltrated website from Blender developers. I just noticed an issue that is very important to a lot of people who use Free / Libre Software like blender.

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the license of a website has no relevance to anything whatsoever. Licenses are not generally distributed for website source code, especially because the code you load in your browser is not the source code anyway. What matters is the license of what you download.

P.S. This site, like all Discourse sites, is CC-BY-SA, so if you can only use “free” sites, you can not use this one

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Before you start reading this, I will be using the words “Free Software” meaning the same thing as what these words mean to Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation and the GNU project. ( GNU’s Definition of “Free Software” )

Blender is Free Software under that definition.

P.S. This site, like all Discourse sites, is CC-BY-SA, so if you can only use “free” sites, you can not use this one

Software under the CC-BY-SA is Free Software, just not backward compatible with GPL. ( Source )

Licenses are not generally distributed for website source code, especially because the code you load in your browser is not the source code anyway.

Webpages could have functionality of two different types:

  • HTML + CSS basic functionality. On the user’s computer this functionality is done by the browser software. It can do some cool things but it is pretty limited.
  • JavaScript. Which are small programs that are automatically downloaded and installed ( temporarily ) inside of the browser. And that JavaScript program does anything it needs to do to implement the functionality.

If the website worked fine with regular HTML + CSS, that would not be a problem because the software is free if the user is using a Free Software web browser. But as long as the browser has to install additional software for the web-page to be useful, there is a problem. Now that additional software has to be checked for being Free Software too.

image

In the bottom of projects.blender.org, for example, you can see a little link Licenses which lists all of the licenses of all of the JavaScript programs that are included in the pages on that website. I as a Free Software user, can go to that page and check for myself that if I allow execution of JavaScript programs on this website, I run only Free Software JavaScript code.

I saw a video demonstration where this blue button Get Add-on could be drag-and-dropped into Blender for it to be installed. I don’t know how it works. Probably some custom JavaScript. Anyway, the button itself doesn’t work. Dragging it with the mouse, or clicking on it doesn’t work. I’m using a browser extension that is automatically checking for a presence of a software license in a JavaScript code and blocks those that are non-free software. It’s called LibreJS. The extension shows one script ( this one ) which probably does the job of this button. The reason it was blocked was because it lacked a free software license in it.

A different website, like for example media.libreplanet.org has much cleaner JavaScript in comparison that doesn’t fail the LibreJS test ( example JavaScript from that site ). But there could be technical reasons, such as speed, to remove from the JavaScript file all unnecessary things, like licenses and white-spaces. For these cases LibreJS lets me disable filtering of JavaScripts on particular domains. And I could potentially do that with extensions.blender.org. But before I do that I would want to check that the JavaScript is okay manually.

https://devtalk.blender.org/t/changes-to-add-on-and-themes-bundling-4-2-onwards/34593/174?u=blenderdumbass

As I already stated in this post, the source code repository has no license what-so-ever which makes it not Free Software ( Source ). Maybe the CC-BY-SA license stated for blender.org on this page also covers extensions website. But it is hard to know for sure.

Simple click and download could be implemented without a need for JavaScript code. So people that do not want to run potentially proprietary software in their browser could do some extra work, but at least have the addon installed. And even this is impossible with the current design.

Problem

If blender will remove many potentially useful addons and the only way to install them would be through this website. Blender will decrease in functionality to all those people that use exclusively Free Software. ( And believe me or not, there is a huge community of those people ). Because, the website ( as of this moment ) doesn’t allow downloading addons for free software users.

Solutions

Either of them would do:

  • Add HTML-only way of downloading the addon.
  • Add a license into the repository. Making the JavaScript of the site Free Software.

Additional optional extra step if you want to really be the best ever:

  • Make it so the JavaScript is LibreJS compatible.
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I know how websites work, I’m a full stack developer by profession. From that perspective, you should be far more concerned about the security prospects of JavaScript than the licensing. I’ve seen “free” JavaScript with malware- it’s incredibly easy to find, in fact. The only way a license can help you there if if you have full confidence in your ability to decipher and understand exactly what every line of JavaScript is doing

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JavaScript being malware is a separate issue. There are different browser extensions to detect that. What I’m talking about is an issue of Freedom and not Security. But yeah, security is important. Maybe just for that reason alone, an HTML-only way to download addons should be available.

You have the freedom to use a standard internet browsing configuration that doesn’t require whitelisting sites based on javascript license type detection.

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You have the freedom to use a standard internet browsing configuration that doesn’t require whitelisting sites based on javascript license type detection.

We all have freedom to use standard 3D modeling software that isn’t Blender and doesn’t require having to struggle with things. And we all have freedom to use windows instead of GNU / Linux that will make things more convenient.

But we choose GNU / Linux and we choose Blender. Because using exclusively free software is very important. ( Sourse )

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I’m talking to people on #fsf:libera.chat IRC about this issue. They have problems loging in to this website, they asked me to send it.

image

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It’s one thing to decide to use the internet in a bubble that does not expose you to software code which is completely benign, but that doesn’t align with your personal ethics.

It’s a different thing entirely to expect that a website provide you with such a bubble.

And if you think every server between the one you’re reading right now and your device is running on , is built only with code that is absolutely open source to the world, you are sadly mistaken.

It is unreasonable to expect that from those actively against Free Software like Microsoft or Autodesk. But it is more worth fighting for with those representing Free Software ( in this case Blender )

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Most people I know in the FOSS scene think the FSF are fanatics, the sort of fringe that is useful to have as it defines the limits, but isn’t where the majority would choose to sit. To push everyone into that paradigm rather than allowing them to remain on the part of the spectrum they feel most comfortable, you are once again no longer free.

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Blender though has had enough contributors over the years that it is pretty much impossible for Blender to move to a more permissive license outside of building an entirely new DCC app. from scratch.

To change the license requires a 100 percent consensus from everyone who contributed, and this does not come with exceptions or provisions in the case a developer cannot be contacted, has died, or has gone missing from geopolitical turmoil. All code from people who do not agree would have to be removed, which would destroy Blender as an application as there are key developers who work on it because it is under the GPL.

All we can do is work to ensure that Blender becomes that one-stop-shop for most content creation and foster the growth of a robust FOSS ecosystem (so the license does not end up being a prison that can’t be escaped from).

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And (not that I advocate it because it could get very messy, very fast) have some parts as outside programs with a different license integrated into Blender somehow. Like Cycles or UVPackmaster for example - also a very seamlessly integrated, external standalone program with just a GPL bridge to Blender.

It’s possible in some cases but still mostly theoretical.
And of course, this still would not remove Blender from GPL.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Please stay on topic, GPL vs other licenses is not part of this topic.

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I forked this out of the main discussion, and I will close now.

There is already a bug report for this. There is no reason to continue the discussion here any further.

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