Javascript JIT in web browsers

David Eisner deisner at
Thu Aug 19 19:58:31 UTC 2010

On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 2:54 PM, Kevin Kofler <kevin.kofler at> wrote:
> Well, that's not what HTML, nor the underlying HTTP, was designed for. I
> don't see it as being an appropriate platform for software at all. (And I

Like it or not, the web browser has become a runtime environment,
capable of executing both Free and non-Free code.  HTML and HTTP were
designed to present hypertext documents.  And yet here we are, two
decades later, and HTML has evolved (with the help of other
technologies like CSS and Javascript) so that the browser can also run

Predicting the future is a fool's errand, but I suspect it is going to
look more and more like this:

Warning: contains video and img tags (the latter a perversion of HTML
introduced by Marc Andreessen in 1993).  (I'm not predicting an
alien-infested post-apocalyptic future, btw.)

At one extreme (and not something you're suggesting), the browsers
available on Fedora could be patched to blacklist non-free web apps,
like Gmail.  The browser could instead display the GNU gnu holding a
stop sign, or wagging its finger.

Alternately, these browsers could make web apps second-class citizens,
with poor performance. I don't think that's a good idea, either. At
the very least, it will create the impression that Free software
doesn't perform as efficiently as it's non-Free counterparts.

Or Fedora could endeavor to provide a top-notch web app runtime
capable of executing both Free and non-Free applications (just as it
ships a libc that can run both Free and non-Free applications).  That
would be my vote.

Whatever choice is made, it shouldn't be based on what Sir Tim
Berners-Lee intended HTML to be used for in 1990.


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