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GNU LibreJS: New and improved!

by Andrew Engelbrecht Contributions Published on Jan 31, 2018 04:21 PM
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is pleased to announce the release of a new and improved version of GNU LibreJS, a plugin designed to protect the freedom of users on the Web.

LibreJS is a Web browser plugin that protects the freedom of its users by blocking nonfree JavaScript code. Recent Mozilla-based browsers are supported on GNU/Linux and other major desktop operating systems. We encourage everyone to use the new plugin with the latest version of Abrowser, a browser that ships with Trisquel GNU/Linux. IceCat support will be available once version 60 is released.

The new version of LibreJS comes with the following improvements over the previous version:

  • Web pages load very quickly, by analyzing each file independently.
  • Enabling and disabling the plugin does not require a browser restart.
  • It is compatible with WebExtensions, and thus newer Mozilla-based browsers, including Abrowser and a future version of IceCat.

The new version of LibreJS is available for download here.

Nathan Nichols pushed the new version of LibreJS forward as the primary coder and maintainer. Nathan deserves our thanks for improving LibreJS, and thereby helping the free software community.

As the the Web continues to grow in importance, we must continue to improve user freedom on the Web. The primary aim of the free software movement is to release all code as free software, and that includes all JavaScript.

Nonfree JavaScript denies us control of our computing by denying us the freedom to use it for any purpose, and to modify and share the code that runs locally in our browsers. Sites that don't provide freely licensed JavaScript with human-readable source code don't respect our freedom, and the FSF discourages their use. That's where LibreJS comes into play, as it ensures that the JavaScript we do use is free software, by checking licenses and blocking nonfree JavaScript.

Nonfree JavaScript is not the only freedom-related issue on the Web. It is part of a broader concern about services that are "SaaSS," or "service as a software substitute," and thus nonfree.

Many others have contributed to LibreJS in the past, including Loic J. Duros, Nik Nyby, and Ethan Dorta, an FSF summer intern. Anyone interested in assisting with the maintenance of the project is welcome to get involved.

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