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Re: [linterna-magica-users] Youtube JS changes

From: Ivaylo Valkov
Subject: Re: [linterna-magica-users] Youtube JS changes
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:15:45 +0300

В 23:42 -0400 на 07.09.2017 (чт), Richard Stallman написа:

> Is anyone working on making Linterna Magica handle Youtube's new
> contemptuous Javascript?

Hello Richard,

Thank you for the interest in Linterna Mágica! Unfortunately no one is 
developing Linterna Mágica
at all at the moment. The reasons for that are several and because of that, new 
version had not been
released since 2014.

First of all, I was always the only developer. My spare time become very 
limited in the past few
years and my mind is occupied with work and other non-computer related 
projects. I rarely have the
time for programming.

Second, the approach used for Linterna Mágica (injecting user code into web 
pages with the help of
additional browser extension) reached some technical obstacles. They caused 
major usability issues,
prevented sane work-arounds and stalled development and inclusion of new 
features. The user script
(user code injection) approach reached the limit of its technical possibilities 
as I see it, for the
software Linterna Mágica became and the desired direction for evolution in a 
software freedom
respecting manner.

Third, in the last few years browsers are going under a lot of changes and some 
of the components
required by Linterna Mágica were dropped out of them. For example NPAPI which 
allowed browsers to
load external plugins, such as video players, was removed. There is video 
support in HTML5, but this
by itself requires redesign. Mozilla Firefox (and fully free software browsers 
based on it) had
about three major extension API redesigns in a short period of time. This also 
led to changes in
Greasemonkey (the extension loading Linterna Mágica into the browser). I've 
read that some new
obstacles were present for Greasemonkey, because of the extensions API changes. 
Not everything
possible before was possible again in extensions.

Linterna Mágica needs a major redesign, but there are trade offs that depend 
on the approach taken.
And the choices are not many. For quite some time an idea is forming how to 
overcome the technical
obstacles and open some room for new features. With the migration of most 
browsers to WebExtensions
as an API for extension development, there seems to be a common way to find a 
solution. The last few
weeks I have some time to think again about Linterna Mágica and the way to 
proceed, but it will be
quite some time before the idea is clear enough and new code and version are 
released. I am at the
phase of reading technical documentation and weighting the options.

I am not happy with the situation, but for now the situation is as it is.

Ivaylo Valkov

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