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Re: upcoming gnubg features + button survey

From: Russ Allbery
Subject: Re: upcoming gnubg features + button survey
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2023 13:01:19 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.2 (gnu/linux)

Isaac Keslassy <isaac@technion.ac.il> writes:

> 1) DISABLING BY DEFAULT: Many thanks for the feedback, I never thought
> of this issue! I did already put checkboxes to disable it (1) in the
> menu options, and (2) in the window that asks whether to go to the gnubg
> website to upgrade.

> The problem of disabling it by default is that the vast majority of users
> won't look for it in the options and will stay with old gnubg versions.

> How about the following idea: It is disabled by default, as you
> suggested. We record the day that the user starts using a given version
> of gnubg. Then, 1-2 months later, gnubg asks the user whether to enable
> the feature and automatically look online for updates? So it's opt-in
> rather than opt-out, but with a one-time nagging.

That would work, although I'm also sympathetic to you wanting to enable it
by default for people installing from source, so another possibility would
be to add some configure option or something allowing distribution
packagers to change the default.

(I'm not entirely sure how useful this check is if someone is using gnubg
from a distribution, since normally they'd get updates from their
distribution, although of course someone using an old release of a
distribution is likely to have an old version of gnubg.)

> 2) RANDOM DICE: For the record, it looks like the default random number
> generator relies on Mersenne (dice.c, line 75), so it doesn't go
> online. Mersenne uses some genrand_int32 function (cf. RollDice function
> in dice.c), which seems to be an implementation from 1997-2002 in
> lib/19937ar.c

Ah, thank you!  For some reason I was thinking random.org was the default,
so that's not an issue.

> Gnubg could also implement urandom, but then this would be
> platform-specific.

Yeah, Mersenne seems fine.

Russ Allbery (eagle@eyrie.org)             <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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