henry_flower: A melancholy wolf (Default)
henry_flower ([personal profile] henry_flower) wrote2017-05-03 08:58 pm

RMS & SaaS

Somehow I've missed a jolly good RMS's scripture:

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html

I think he's reached the point where his logical analysis has levelled off w/ deep medieval theological insights.

To distinguish a pure "communication" server from an atrocious SaaSS we ought to leave out the non-essential details: by definition every network server that (a) has a network card, (b) its OS has a working TCP/IP stack, performs a "computing" for us, merely via parsing our requests & generating responses.

But never us mind. Suppose we attach ourselves, for a moment, to RMS's doctrine, pretend to be convinced by RMS's arguments, pine for a union w/ the only true Church of GNU & re-examine several valid examples of network services that he touches w/ his divine grace.

  1. If we write a comment to some DW post & (perhaps coincidentally) inject <script>alert('Hi, Mom!')</script> string alongside it, then the DW server is forced to perform "a computing" on our behalf via removing such an evil peace of JS code from the comment. Has DW suddenly not become the SaaSS in this case?

  2. If we upload a photo to an image hosting provider (IHP) that doesn't have any fancy filters that make a person on the photo look more "attractive", then we're not using a SaaSS (yet). Righty-oh! But what if the very same IHP sees that the orig photo has a huge resolution, hence IHP decides that it's rather prudent to make a humble thumbnail from it. Has it not immediately become the SaaSS then?

  3. If we host a CI server & advertise it as a handy CI solution for any GNU project, than it (again, according to RMS) absolutely "will not be SaaSS". Why? Because RMS says so. But "If individual users use it for CI for their own non-GNU projects, that would be SaaSS." E.g., it's fine for a server to perform "a computing" when it does it for a Good Cause (== GNU), but it's a mortal sin to "compute" or, heaven forbid, to use the results of such a "computing" for anything else.

Join us for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer for today, yesterday and the next week at www.gnu.org.


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