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Re: Design principles

From: Marcus Brinkmann
Subject: Re: Design principles
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 18:26:43 +0100
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At Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:35:42 -0500,
"Jonathan S. Shapiro" <address@hidden> wrote:
> Neither position can be substantiated from current fact. We know that
> there are current undesirable examples of opacity (DRM). We do not have
> current compelling evidence of good uses (though recent discussion here
> has been interesting), but we also know that consumers do not yet have
> technical means that enable them to act effectively in this battle.

Well, in this case I have the upper hand in the discussion, because we
definitely have exciting and convincing evidence that mutually
suspicious collaboration can and will happen in transparent computer
systems.  As a primary example, I cite Wikipedia, which has strong
security without opaqueness.  (If you want an example at the operating
system level, I cite the Incompatible Timesharing System, ITS,
although that is less convincing because it comes from a time where
the computing environment was quite different.  Still the similarities
to Wikipedia's security mechanisms are all too obvious, so it has to
be mentioned).

> I should also acknowledge that Marcus's disagreement with me over this
> difference is very real and terribly serious, because
>          Good enough is the enemy of great.
> Products that compromise have consistently beaten products that don't in
> the market. The *entire* success of Linux is based on being minimally
> good enough at all times.

Make that Unix ("Worse is better.")

> In this sense, a Coyotos OS that accepts
> opacity is a threat to the HURD. Coyotos OS will allow DRM. Hurd won't.
> Users like music and movies. You figure it out.

Ha!  If, as Peter Gutmann says, Microsoft has just sent out what may
very well be the longest suicide note in history[1], then you may have
just sent out the shortest.  Good job!

[1] Peter Gutmann: A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection


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