Why no Indians and Arabs?

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Terry Lambert

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Dec 16, 2001, 12:27:22 AM12/16/01
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Greg Lehey wrote:
> I was recently asked the question in a private Email: why are there no
> Arabs in the FreeBSD project? At least, I don't know of any. Also,
> I know of only one Indian in the project (Joseph Koshy). We have
> plenty of people from other countries. Any ideas why this should be?

You're wrong, but of course it could be offensive for me to give
a partial list (either by listing people by their ethnicity, or
by missing someone, since either could be taken the wrong way).

Suffice it to say that I'm more interested in identifying the Germans
so that they can disassemble my Windows Winmodem drivers, etc., to
document the interfaces, and let me program FreeBSD versions (since
they're legally allowed to do that under German law), and the South
Africans (who can export crypto to the rest of us). If the U.S.
government doesn't have a problem with establishing rules which
force public projects to establish engineering and cryptographic
center of excellence any place _but_ the U.S., neither do I...

In other words, the only thing that really matters about ethnicity
or nationality, as far as I'm concerned, is relative access to the
information needed for programming, and ability to share it with
others (e.g. "me").

8^)

-- Terry

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Greg Lehey

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Dec 16, 2001, 12:38:24 AM12/16/01
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On Saturday, 15 December 2001 at 21:27:04 -0800, Terry Lambert wrote:
> Greg Lehey wrote:
>> I was recently asked the question in a private Email: why are there no
>> Arabs in the FreeBSD project? At least, I don't know of any. Also,
>> I know of only one Indian in the project (Joseph Koshy). We have
>> plenty of people from other countries. Any ideas why this should be?
>
> You're wrong, but of course it could be offensive for me to give
> a partial list (either by listing people by their ethnicity, or
> by missing someone, since either could be taken the wrong way).

Hmm. I've already received a private reply in this vein. Certainly
my intention was not to discriminate; quite the contrary. I would
find it sad if obvious differences can't be discussed. I can't recall
anybody getting upset, for example, when people asked why there are no
female hackers.

> Suffice it to say that I'm more interested in identifying the
> Germans so that they can disassemble my Windows Winmodem drivers,
> etc., to document the interfaces, and let me program FreeBSD
> versions (since they're legally allowed to do that under German
> law),

Most laws allow this. Australian law does too. But there's no
shortage of German hackers on the lists; let me know if you want a
partial list.

> and the South Africans (who can export crypto to the rest of us).

I thought most laws allow this, too. I'm pretty sure Australian law
does. I think the export from .za was because Mark Murray personally
took it in hand.

> If the U.S. government doesn't have a problem with establishing
> rules which force public projects to establish engineering and
> cryptographic center of excellence any place _but_ the U.S., neither
> do I...

I do, but for different reasons.

Greg
--
See complete headers for address and phone numbers

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 12:45:04 AM12/16/01
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Why does a person's nationality or ethnicity matter?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Greg Lehey" <gr...@lemis.com>
To: "FreeBSD Chat" <ch...@FreeBSD.ORG>
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2001 03:18
Subject: Why no Indians and Arabs?


> I was recently asked the question in a private Email: why are there no
> Arabs in the FreeBSD project? At least, I don't know of any. Also,
> I know of only one Indian in the project (Joseph Koshy). We have
> plenty of people from other countries. Any ideas why this should be?
>

> Greg
> --
> Finger gr...@lemis.com for PGP public key

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 1:05:00 AM12/16/01
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Greg writes:

> Certainly my intention was not to discriminate;
> quite the contrary. I would find it sad if
> obvious differences can't be discussed.

They can be discussed, but to what end? Nationality, ethnic background,
gender, race, and religion are all completely irrelevant to software
engineering, except in the extremely narrow contexts Terry has described,
and then only for nationality or geographic location. I've never seen any
variable of software coding that correlates with any of these
characteristics.

David Greenman

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Dec 16, 2001, 1:15:34 AM12/16/01
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>Why does a person's nationality or ethnicity matter?

It doesn't, and the moment that it starts to matter we have a problem. As
already pointed out by Terry, we do in fact have Indian and Arab developers,
some of which I've had the pleasure of becoming friends with. A person's
nationality or ethnicity has never been a criteria for participation in
FreeBSD development (or anything else except skill, competence, and ability
to get along with others).

-DG

David Greenman
Co-founder, The FreeBSD Project - http://www.freebsd.org
President, TeraSolutions, Inc. - http://www.terasolutions.com
Pave the road of life with opportunities.

Terry Lambert

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Dec 16, 2001, 1:40:01 AM12/16/01
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Greg Lehey wrote:
[ ... other discussion ... ]

> > Suffice it to say that I'm more interested in identifying the
> > Germans so that they can disassemble my Windows Winmodem drivers,
> > etc., to document the interfaces, and let me program FreeBSD
> > versions (since they're legally allowed to do that under German
> > law),
>
> Most laws allow this. Australian law does too. But there's no
> shortage of German hackers on the lists; let me know if you want a
> partial list.

If you could find someone willing to disassemble and document the
interactions of:

WIN95AC.VXD
VMM32.VXD (vcomm.vxd)
TURBOVCD.VXD
TURBOVBF.VXD
HCFCSA32.DLL
HCFCSA.DLL
ROKV42.VXD
ROKKMOS.VXD
DPAL.VXD
HCFPNP.VX

And, in particular, how to locate and extract the codec bits from
these files for use by a UNIX driver that directly references the
Windows driver files, I would appreciate it.

-- Terry

Brandon D. Valentine

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Dec 16, 2001, 4:49:43 AM12/16/01
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On Sat, 15 Dec 2001, David Greenman wrote:

>>Why does a person's nationality or ethnicity matter?
>
> It doesn't, and the moment that it starts to matter we have a problem. As
>already pointed out by Terry, we do in fact have Indian and Arab developers,
>some of which I've had the pleasure of becoming friends with. A person's
>nationality or ethnicity has never been a criteria for participation in
>FreeBSD development (or anything else except skill, competence, and ability
>to get along with others).

To me this is one of the more interesting things about open source
software development in general. The ethnic diversity is amazing. I
understand the context in which Greg asked the question. I know he
didn't mean to imply that it mattered as such, but it is academically
interesting. For instance it might be cool to see a world map with dots
representing the homes of the committers and those on the contributions
list in the handbook. It would be an interesting exercise in seeing
just show diverse and enlightened a community a project of this size
supports. I know over the years I've been impressed at some of the top
level domains I see regularly communicating over the FreeBSD mailing
lists.

Brandon D. Valentine
--
"Iam mens praetrepidans avet vagari."
- G. Valerius Catullus, Carmina, XLVI

Matthew Hunt

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Dec 16, 2001, 5:00:58 AM12/16/01
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On Sun, Dec 16, 2001 at 04:50:37AM -0500, Brandon D. Valentine wrote:

> interesting. For instance it might be cool to see a world map with dots
> representing the homes of the committers and those on the contributions
> list in the handbook. It would be an interesting exercise in seeing

See /usr/ports/astro/xearth/files/freebsd.committers.markers. Naturally,
it only includes committers who have chosen to add themselves to the file.

--
Matthew Hunt <m...@astro.caltech.edu> * UNIX is a lever for the
http://www.pobox.com/~mph/ * intellect. -J.R. Mashey

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 8:26:26 AM12/16/01
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Brandon writes:

> To me this is one of the more interesting things
> about open source software development in general.
> The ethnic diversity is amazing.

Given that the planet itself is just as diverse ethnically, why would
diversity among developers be amazing?

> It would be an interesting exercise in seeing
> just show diverse and enlightened a community
> a project of this size supports.

Diversity and enlightenment are not necessarily correlated.

> I know over the years I've been impressed at some
> of the top level domains I see regularly communicating
> over the FreeBSD mailing lists.

Over a single week, my little Web site receives visitors from over 60
countries. Given that, I'd expect a mailing list like this to cover every
country in the world with an Internet connection, every day. In fact, the
nature of the Internet is such that I'd expect any public resource to
receive visitors from just about every country in the world over a fairly
short period.

Terry Lambert

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Dec 16, 2001, 8:52:06 AM12/16/01
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"Brandon D. Valentine" wrote:
> I know over the years I've been impressed at some of the top
> level domains I see regularly communicating over the FreeBSD mailing
> lists.

Actually, this would be a much easier thing to do; use the
mailing list archives to plot overall message density over
time by top level domain.

A lot of them would fall into .com and .net, etc., which
were supposed to be U.S.-only, and started being taken by
outside the U.S. because of the browser auto-completion
defaults adding a ".com" suffix and "www." prefix, if the
initial lookup(s) failed.

-- Terry

Terry Lambert

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Dec 16, 2001, 9:09:11 AM12/16/01
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Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> Over a single week, my little Web site receives visitors from over 60
> countries. Given that, I'd expect a mailing list like this to cover every
> country in the world with an Internet connection, every day. In fact, the
> nature of the Internet is such that I'd expect any public resource to
> receive visitors from just about every country in the world over a fairly
> short period.

This is probably unrepresentitive, since you appear to go out
of your way to create controversy to get just such a reaction.

One thing I find incredibly amusing is that your site uses IE
specific tags, and so it won't render correctly on most
browsers, so you are in fact self-limiting you prospective
audience pretty much to people outside the Open Source
community entirely -- apropos of the places you post your
controversy induction/selp promotion material.

8^)

-- Terry

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 9:38:46 AM12/16/01
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Terry writes:

> This is probably unrepresentitive, since you
> appear to go out of your way to create controversy
> to get just such a reaction.

There is nothing controversial about my Web site, and even if there were,
nobody would know that until _after_ visiting it, so it would not drive
traffic to the site.

> One thing I find incredibly amusing is that
> your site uses IE specific tags, and so it won't

> render correctly on most browsers ...

Really? Which ones? Most of the pages validate as correct HTML, at least
according to the W3C (I periodically check them).

Additionally, they _do_ render correctly on most browsers. I test with MSIE
5.x, Opera 5.x, Netscape 6.x, Netscape 4.x, WebTV, and Lynx, and all except
Netscape 4.x render pages correctly. And I don't care about Netscape 4.x,
because it represents less than 2% of visitors, and it contains so many
rendering bugs that you must usually choose between coding HTML to render
correctly in Netscape 4.x, or coding HTML to validate properly and render
correctly in every other browser, and I normally choose the latter.

> ... so you are in fact self-limiting you prospective


> audience pretty much to people outside the Open Source
> community entirely -- apropos of the places you
> post your controversy induction/selp promotion
> material.

See above. My audience isn't limited in any way except for users of
Netscape 4.x, who are likely to see many of the more recent pages
incorrectly rendered (as well as two of the frames), but they are a tiny
minority and I cannot afford to accommodate them. I don't use any ActiveX
at all (except for PDF files), and very little scripting. The site can even
be navigated successfully using text-only browsers, browsers that don't
support frames, and browsers without Javascript support. CSS support is
necessary for non-text browsers, but just about every browser has that.

Christian Weisgerber

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Dec 16, 2001, 10:32:38 AM12/16/01
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Terry Lambert <tlam...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> A lot of them would fall into .com and .net, etc., which
> were supposed to be U.S.-only,

... and supposed to be phased out in favor of .us ...

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber na...@mips.inka.de

Terry Lambert

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Dec 16, 2001, 10:50:50 AM12/16/01
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Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> > This is probably unrepresentitive, since you
> > appear to go out of your way to create controversy
> > to get just such a reaction.
>
> There is nothing controversial about my Web site, and even if there were,
> nobody would know that until _after_ visiting it, so it would not drive
> traffic to the site.

You create controversy onmailing lists for OS's whose default
browsers are going to be unable to render your pages in order
to get hits. For example, your posts to this mailing list.


> > One thing I find incredibly amusing is that
> > your site uses IE specific tags, and so it won't
> > render correctly on most browsers ...
>
> Really? Which ones? Most of the pages validate as correct HTML, at least
> according to the W3C (I periodically check them).
>
> Additionally, they _do_ render correctly on most browsers. I test with MSIE
> 5.x, Opera 5.x, Netscape 6.x, Netscape 4.x, WebTV, and Lynx, and all except
> Netscape 4.x render pages correctly. And I don't care about Netscape 4.x,
> because it represents less than 2% of visitors, and it contains so many
> rendering bugs that you must usually choose between coding HTML to render
> correctly in Netscape 4.x, or coding HTML to validate properly and render
> correctly in every other browser, and I normally choose the latter.

Yet, you post things designed to drive controversy, and therefore
(either as an intended effect, or a side effect) drive traffic to
your web site. And the lists on which you are posting are peopled
by people whose commercial release browser is Netscape 4.x.

Also, pretty clearly: you are unlikely to get repeat "vistors" from
Netscape 4.x users, so that will artificially deflate the number of
such vistors you record (self fulfilling prophecy).

I suggest adding Netscape 4.x, Lynx, and Konquerer to your broswer
test list.

-- Terry

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 12:02:20 PM12/16/01
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Terry writes:

> You create controversy on mailing lists


> for OS's whose default browsers are going
> to be unable to render your pages in order
> to get hits.

I have no need to try to get hits for my site; it is getting plenty of
visitors as it is, and it only costs me money. Additionally, trying to drum
up hits by posting to obscure OS mailing lists would be exceedingly bizarre
and counterproductive, as there are much better venues for trying to promote
a Web site.

BTW, you haven't answered my question: Which "IE specific tags" am I using?
The pages validate as correct, standard HTML, which would necessarily
exclude any IE-specific code.

> Yet, you post things designed to drive controversy ...

I compel people to defend unsubstantiated opinions. People who cannot
substantiate their opinions tend to think of that as "driving controversy"
or "being difficult" or think of it in any one of a dozen other negative
ways, but that is just rationalization.

> ... and therefore (either as an intended effect,


> or a side effect) drive traffic to your web site.

If my posts here (or anywhere) have generated traffic to my site, I haven't
seen it. The overwhelming majority of visitors to my site arrive via search
engines; visitors who enter the site directly (by typing the URL) are
statistically insignificant.

> And the lists on which you are posting are peopled
> by people whose commercial release browser is
> Netscape 4.x.

That is their problem, not mine. Netscape has a newer browser that contains
far fewer bugs (although it is still much worse than MSIE or Opera).

> Also, pretty clearly: you are unlikely to get
> repeat "vistors" from Netscape 4.x users, so that
> will artificially deflate the number of such vistors
> you record (self fulfilling prophecy).

Most visitors are first-time visitors. On extremely rare occasions, someone
still saddled with Netscape 4.x has asked why my pages display as a jumble
on her screen, and I've suggested that she upgrade to Netscape 6.x (if she
absolutely must stick with Netscape) or better still, to MSIE or possibly
Opera.

> I suggest adding Netscape 4.x, Lynx, and Konquerer
> to your broswer test list.

I dropped Netscape 4.x in 2000, because it is too difficult to accommodate
its endless bugs, and I don't intend to change that policy. I already test
with Lynx, as I've previously explained. Konquerer would require running an
X server on my FreeBSD machine, which would require modifying the
secure_level to a less secure setting and various other things that I really
don't plan to bother with (the machine is a server, not a desktop). Less
than 0.5% of visitors to my site are running any version of UNIX, so they
don't matter. I use Lynx as my browser when I need to browse from the
FreeBSD system.

Nowadays, I try to get pages to render with a browser that implements the
W3C standard. If there are browsers out there that cannot render standard,
conformant HTML correctly, that's not my problem. MSIE is compliant, as is
Opera, and even Netscape 6, to a large extent. Authors of other browsers
need to fix them to make them compliant.

Terry Lambert

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Dec 16, 2001, 1:16:33 PM12/16/01
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Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> BTW, you haven't answered my question: Which "IE specific tags" am I using?
> The pages validate as correct, standard HTML, which would necessarily
> exclude any IE-specific code.

Unbalanced tags (e.g open table element with no close tag). Automatic
tag balancing being implied by the browser for all tags is an SGML
feature; the HTML tag implied balancing is not true for all tags,
according to the specification, amking the behaviour "undefined",
rather thna "standard".


> > Yet, you post things designed to drive controversy ...
>
> I compel people to defend unsubstantiated opinions. People who cannot
> substantiate their opinions tend to think of that as "driving controversy"
> or "being difficult" or think of it in any one of a dozen other negative
> ways, but that is just rationalization.

Luckily, the vast majority of my opinions are substantiated, and
in the rare cases they are not, I have no problem defending them
(usually on the basis of Occam's Razor, and the fact that light
bulbs work).


> Most visitors are first-time visitors. On extremely rare occasions, someone
> still saddled with Netscape 4.x has asked why my pages display as a jumble
> on her screen, and I've suggested that she upgrade to Netscape 6.x (if she
> absolutely must stick with Netscape) or better still, to MSIE or possibly
> Opera.

I'd be happy to install IE for FreeBSD, if it weren't for the
monopolistic practices which have precluded it from being ported.
I would even run it under Linux emulation, if need be.


[ ... comments on the marginal utility of UNIX desktops ... ]

Which begs the question of why you post to these lists, which are
not specifically intended for Windows advocacy...

-- Terry

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 1:35:17 PM12/16/01
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Terry writes:

> Unbalanced tags (e.g open table element with
> no close tag).

There shouldn't be any pages on the site with open tables. Can you provide
a URL?

> Automatic tag balancing being implied by the
> browser for all tags is an SGML feature; the
> HTML tag implied balancing is not true for all
> tags, according to the specification, amking
> the behaviour "undefined", rather thna "standard".

Most of the pages validate correctly when I test them with the W3C's
validator; therefore they are _standard_.

> I'd be happy to install IE for FreeBSD, if it
> weren't for the monopolistic practices which
> have precluded it from being ported. I would
> even run it under Linux emulation, if need be.

As I've already indicated, that is your problem, not mine.

> [ ... comments on the marginal utility of UNIX
> desktops ... ]
>
> Which begs the question of why you post to these
> lists, which are not specifically intended for
> Windows advocacy...

Because I consider UNIX to be useful as a server. I don't see any place for
UNIX on the desktop, except as a geek curosity, and so I don't worry about
that; but its utility as a server is well established, and that is what
interests me.

f.johan.beisser

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Dec 16, 2001, 2:32:25 PM12/16/01
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On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Anthony Atkielski wrote:

> Because I consider UNIX to be useful as a server. I don't see any place for
> UNIX on the desktop, except as a geek curosity, and so I don't worry about
> that; but its utility as a server is well established, and that is what
> interests me.

i don't really have a response. i have *several* desktop UNIX
workstations, ranging from OpenBSD/sparc to FreeBSD 4.5, and
FreeBSD-CURRENT. it's.. enlightening to think that anyone would say that
UNIX is not appropriate for the desktop, when it works so well for it - at
least, for what i do.

i'm curious, why would you say it doesn't work well?

no flame intended, i'm just wondering.

-------/ f. johan beisser /--------------------------------------+
http://caustic.org/~jan j...@caustic.org
"John Ashcroft is really just the reanimated corpse
of J. Edgar Hoover." -- Tim Triche

Konstantinos Konstantinidis

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Dec 16, 2001, 3:11:32 PM12/16/01
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"f.johan.beisser" wrote: [SNIPED]

>
> i'm curious, why would you say it doesn't work well?
>
> no flame intended, i'm just wondering.

It's because he's a religious fanatic, as Mike Meyer very eloquently
put it - check 15377.5471....@guru.mired.org

Since he has demonstrated beyond doubt that it is an excersise in
futility for one to engage in an intelligent discussion with him,
at least for this particular topic, may I suggest that we simply...


+-------------+
| DO NOT FEED |
| THE TROLL |
+-------------+
| |
| | O
o | | |
___\|/_=\| |/=_\|/___


I am convinced that I can have a more intelligent conversation with
the brick wall across the street, If I ever feel inclined to.

Thanks,

--kkonstan

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 3:13:43 PM12/16/01
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f.johan writes:

> i'm curious, why would you say it doesn't work well?

It is a less appropriate choice than Windows or the Mac, for several
reasons, including:

1. Windows and the Mac OS were both designed specifically for a windowed,
desktop environment; UNIX was not.
2. Windows and the Mac are single-user, dedicated desktop operating systems;
UNIX is a multiuser timesharing system.
3. The native user interface of Windows/Mac is a GUI; the native interface
of UNIX is a simple text display. THe former is better suited to desktop
environments (friendly, attractive, ergonomic); the latter is better suited
to servers (inexpensive, efficient, fast).
4. The number of useful desktop applications for Windows and the Mac exceed
the number of such applications available for UNIX by several orders of
magnitude.
5. Windows/Mac have virtually no security, but considerable flexibility for
things like games (the two being inversely correlated); UNIX has much better
security, but is less friendly to insecure applications like games. Desktop
enviroments favor flexibility over security.
6. Since most of the world is running Windows (or the Mac) on its desktops,
compatibility concerns strongly favor this operating system for new
installations.
7. Users are more likely to already be familiar with Windows (or the Mac)
than with UNIX, even in GUI incarnations of the latter.

I'm sure other reasons exist as well, these are just the first ones that
come to mind.

Many of the reasons that favor Windows and the Mac on the desktop also favor
UNIX in the server domain. Assets become liabilities when moving from
desktop to server, and vice versa. It isn't really possible to have an
operating system that handles both environments optimally, and UNIX shines
strongly for servers, whereas Windows shines strongly for desktops.

Unfortunately, many recent converts to UNIX (especially the most primitive
of UNIX systems, Linux) seem not to consider any type of use of computers
important outside the desktop, and so they believe that any suggestion that
UNIX might not be the best desktop operating system is some sort of death
blow to the OS. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as UNIX
works very well on servers, and servers are just as important as desktops.
UNIX can even be made to run on mainframes, and, while that isn't
necessarily a good idea, if one must choose, better to have UNIX on the
mainframe than Windows.

Jeff Lasman

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Dec 16, 2001, 4:00:41 PM12/16/01
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Greg Lehey wrote:

> Certainly
> my intention was not to discriminate; quite the contrary. I would
> find it sad if obvious differences can't be discussed.

When someone robs the store down the street and the radio station tells
me to be on the lookout, I'd like to know the ethnicity of the person
I'm looking for, as well as the hair color, if for no other reason than
to know I don't have to look at everyone.

If you and I were going to meet in a hotel lobby we'd probably ask each
other as well; it would be easier if we didn't have to look at every
green person who walked in because we knew we were purple and orange
respectively.

But to write software? To correspond on a list? I really don't think
it matters at all. In fact, I think the best form of nondiscrimination
is to not keep track at all. All systems that keep track find
themselves in danger of becoming pro-something or anti-something rather
than becoming equal opportunity. For example, if the local university
(UCR, if anyone cares) really wants to just let people in without regard
to race, color, origin, etc., why do they even ask?

> I can't recall
> anybody getting upset, for example, when people asked why there are no
> female hackers.

Oh, but there are <wry grin>.

> there's no
> shortage of German hackers on the lists; let me know if you want a
> partial list.

How would you know if they're German? Can you tell from an email
address? I certainly can't.

Jeff (who's going to set up his first freeBSD system today or tomorrow)
--
Jeff Lasman <jbl...@nobaloney.net>
Linux and Cobalt/Sun/RaQ Consulting
nobaloney.net
P. O. Box 52672, Riverside, CA 92517
voice: (909) 778-9980 * fax: (702) 548-9484

Greg Lehey

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Dec 16, 2001, 5:54:42 PM12/16/01
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On Sunday, 16 December 2001 at 5:51:14 -0800, Terry Lambert wrote:
> "Brandon D. Valentine" wrote:
>> I know over the years I've been impressed at some of the top
>> level domains I see regularly communicating over the FreeBSD mailing
>> lists.
>
> Actually, this would be a much easier thing to do; use the
> mailing list archives to plot overall message density over
> time by top level domain.
>
> A lot of them would fall into .com and .net, etc., which were
> supposed to be U.S.-only,

The ARPAnet was supposed to be US-only.

> and started being taken by outside the U.S. because of the browser
> auto-completion defaults adding a ".com" suffix and "www." prefix,
> if the initial lookup(s) failed.

The use of these TLDs outside the US far predates the Web.

Greg
--


See complete headers for address and phone numbers

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Jason C. Wells

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Dec 16, 2001, 9:56:02 PM12/16/01
to
It seems no one has come close to adressing Greg's question, save the
quick and common response that demographics have no bearing on
anything. Somehow now we are talking of IE 5.0.

I was actually looking forward to someone saying something like, there are
few computers in Arab lands. Or perhaps, computers are eyed with suspicion
in my home country. It would have been interesting. Something that would
expose issues as to, "Why no Indians and Arabs?"

Just an observation.
Jason C. Wells

Anthony Atkielski

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Dec 16, 2001, 10:57:34 PM12/16/01
to
I've never seen any evidence of a correlation between ethnicity and the
prevalence or acceptance of computers. The prevalence of computer use in
any country or region is much more closely tied to socioeconomic
development, and acceptance (or rejection) of computers hardly seems to be
related to anything at all, except individual personalities.

This being so, the ethnicity of FreeBSD developers really doesn't have any
bearing on anything.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason C. Wells" <jcw...@highperformance.net>
To: "FreeBSD Chat" <ch...@FreeBSD.ORG>

Rick Hamell

unread,
Dec 16, 2001, 11:05:16 PM12/16/01
to

> I was recently asked the question in a private Email: why are there no
> Arabs in the FreeBSD project? At least, I don't know of any. Also,
> I know of only one Indian in the project (Joseph Koshy). We have
> plenty of people from other countries. Any ideas why this should be?

If you have to identify by race... you're being racist... :) (Who
checks "OTHER" on ethinticity and puts "human.")

Rick

David Greenman

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 1:35:37 AM12/17/01
to
>It seems no one has come close to adressing Greg's question, save the
>quick and common response that demographics have no bearing on
>anything. Somehow now we are talking of IE 5.0.
>
>I was actually looking forward to someone saying something like, there are
>few computers in Arab lands. Or perhaps, computers are eyed with suspicion
>in my home country. It would have been interesting. Something that would
>expose issues as to, "Why no Indians and Arabs?"

Umm, but the assumption was wrong - there are both Indian and Arab
developers working on FreeBSD. His question was based on false assumptions,
so I don't know that there is anything to really talk about. :-)

-DG

David Greenman
Co-founder, The FreeBSD Project - http://www.freebsd.org
President, TeraSolutions, Inc. - http://www.terasolutions.com
Pave the road of life with opportunities.

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Denny Jodeit

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 2:12:18 AM12/17/01
to

> Umm, but the assumption was wrong - there are both Indian and Arab
> developers working on FreeBSD. His question was based on false
assumptions,
> so I don't know that there is anything to really talk about. :-)
>
> -DG

Exactly.

But, I'll take my chance to add my two pennies..

My dad is the son of a German immigrant. He was born in 1935 in New York
State. That made him a citizen of the United States. My grandmother was born
a month after her family arrived in Wisconsin from Germany in 1899, also
making her a United States citizen. My grandfather had immigrated to this
country in 1930, as Germany was in uprise. He was naturalized before my
father's birth, further locking my father's citizenship.

My father tells stories, which I care not to repeat here, of how German kids
were treated in school here in the US, during the WWII conflict. My dad was
age 5 in 1940, just starting school. His stories made me very glad I grew up
in a kinder world, in the late 60's and 70's. I graduated from HS in '79.
The world was a fairly happy place.

I actually used to ignore questions like this thread originally posed. They
weren't worth my time.

My dad turns 67 in March, pretty healthy for a man of his age. He smoked for
near 50 years and quit over 2 yrs ago. But he's an angry SOB a good part of
the time.

I've watched the pain my dad has gone thru, and survived, all my life. He's
always had self-esteem problems. He's never been able to read well without
help. He's always had problems dealing with conflicts in the workplace. I
think his peers in school may have done this to him. I really do. But I
don't blame them...I blame society.

In light of the video recently released, uncovering bin Laden's uncaring
ways for even his own followers, the question about Arabs and Indians was a
little on the insensitive side. But I also understand the nervousness. It's
a Catch22, no doubt. But let's not, for mankind's sake, repeat past
mistakes. Arab in descent doesn't mean evil. Muslims do not want the rest of
the world dead, how ridiculous. No God of any religion would want people
killed in His name.

The current world conflict is not about an ethnic group or any religion.
It's about stopping terror. No one has the right to kill innocent people and
create fear for any reason. Period.

It's time for people of the world to talk, to meet, to understand...... and
the Internet(with tons of credit to FreeBSD :>), has made that closer to
reality.

'Nuff said.

Denny

Greg Lehey

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 3:56:00 AM12/17/01
to
On Sunday, 16 December 2001 at 22:26:51 -0800, David Greenman wrote:
>> It seems no one has come close to adressing Greg's question, save the
>> quick and common response that demographics have no bearing on
>> anything. Somehow now we are talking of IE 5.0.
>>
>> I was actually looking forward to someone saying something like, there are
>> few computers in Arab lands. Or perhaps, computers are eyed with suspicion
>> in my home country. It would have been interesting. Something that would
>> expose issues as to, "Why no Indians and Arabs?"

It seems that I have completely misunderstood at least the US members
of the FreeBSD project. FreeBSD represents a new social phenomenon,
and we've already discussed the demography in terms of male/female
(im)balance and age distribution. An obvious other one is cultural
distribution.

It seems that people in the USA have a hangup about this; sorry, guys,
I didn't want to offend anybody. I don't think there's anything wrong
in the question, though. As somebody else pointed out, there are
times when you want to recognize people by their appearance or
ethnic/cultural background. I don't agree with his criteria, but it's
an obvious thing to do. I grew up with a large number of both Arabic
and Indian friends (to the point where, at the age of 12, I spoke
English with a Tamil accent), so you can hardly claim I was
discriminating against them. I'm sure that most of my friends of this
time would be as surprised about the reactions to my message as I am.

> Umm, but the assumption was wrong - there are both Indian and
> Arab developers working on FreeBSD. His question was based on false
> assumptions, so I don't know that there is anything to really talk
> about. :-)

Why should that mean there's nothing to talk about? I now know of one
representative each of the groups I'm talking about. Why so few?

Greg
--
See complete headers for address and phone numbers

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Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 4:17:10 AM12/17/01
to
Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> f.johan writes:
> > i'm curious, why would you say it doesn't work well?
>
> It is a less appropriate choice than Windows or the Mac, for several
> reasons, including:
>
> 1. Windows and the Mac OS were both designed specifically for a windowed,
> desktop environment; UNIX was not.

Lindows. NeXTStep. Pink. Are you aware that most of the Windows
design, from the 1.0 version onward, was based on HP VUE(tm),
including the function key bindings (ALT-F4 to close, etc.)?


> 2. Windows and the Mac are single-user, dedicated desktop operating systems;
> UNIX is a multiuser timesharing system.

This is actually a minus, since credential domains are a significant
barrier to having your system "owned", aqnd contain damage when the
worst does happen (crackers, virus, worms, etc.).


> 3. The native user interface of Windows/Mac is a GUI; the native interface
> of UNIX is a simple text display. THe former is better suited to desktop
> environments (friendly, attractive, ergonomic); the latter is better suited
> to servers (inexpensive, efficient, fast).

Actually, you probaqbly weren't there for Windows through 95; it was
only with Windows 95, when they could not otherwise get rid of DR-DOS,
that Windows booted graphically (even then, it ran as an application
on DOS, and can still be booted to DOS, up to the point it became NT
derived). Caldera (which bought the former Digital Research from
Novell) won an outstanding lawsuit in recent years because of this.


> 4. The number of useful desktop applications for Windows and the Mac exceed
> the number of such applications available for UNIX by several orders of
> magnitude.

Lindows. MacOS X.


> 5. Windows/Mac have virtually no security, but considerable flexibility for
> things like games (the two being inversely correlated); UNIX has much better
> security, but is less friendly to insecure applications like games. Desktop
> enviroments favor flexibility over security.

This is not implicit; it's jut a matter of good programming. The
"first person shooter" immersive games were originally developed
on UNIX (for example, DOOM first ran on NeXTStep). Let us also not
forget the contribution of companies like Electronic Arts and
Cinemaware (both Utah companies, in fact -- the latter invented the
use of "cell animation", which later became the basis of MP2 and MP4
video stream delta-compression). Much of this work occurred on
AmigaDOS (and "Intuition"), and the Atari ST (DR-DOS and GEM, a
graphical environment also from Digital Research).

If you want desktop applications, the first spread sheets, word
processors, databases, etc., ran on CP/M (and MP/M) -- also from
Digital Research.

Finally, remember that the Xerox Alto did not run "MacOS" or
"Windows"; Don Masarro, in case you are interested -- the man who
took the Xerox Alto to market, and one of the founders of Shugart...
you've heard of "floppy disks"? -- is CEO of ClickArray, a company
that sells FreeBSD-based web acceleration products.


> 6. Since most of the world is running Windows (or the Mac) on its
> desktops, compatibility concerns strongly favor this operating system
> for new installations.

Lindows.

> 7. Users are more likely to already be familiar with Windows (or the Mac)
> than with UNIX, even in GUI incarnations of the latter.

Transferrability of skills has more to do with complying with "The
Windows Style Guide" than it does with a paticular graphical toolkit
or UI paradigm.

This is actually what the Gnome and KDE people need to learn before
they will be successful: it is more important that someone be able to
transfer skills from a temp employee trained in Microsoft products,
than it is to "do it different from Microsoft".

The primary barrier for other products entry into the Windows market
is that there is a documented US$2,500 per seat (it is now closer to
$3,000, IMO) training cost associated with minimal ability to utilize
desktop applications.

This is also why the stupidity of making computer programs look like
"cell hones" or "VCR controls" will continue to flop in the market;
while everyone continues to chase product differentiation, there is
a stronger requirement that the skills in using, for example, tabbed
dialogs, be transferrable to new programs. This requirement *vastly*
outweighs the need for differentiation.

The same thing that killed the NeXT machine -- the inability to have
you product differentiate itself from competitors, or, indeed, any
other part of the OS -- is something which a monopoly can force on
you, and the benefits to the user are compelling enough that when
that happens, as it has with Windows, users prefer "good enough and
the same" to "better, but different". And rightly so.

> Many of the reasons that favor Windows and the Mac on the desktop also favor
> UNIX in the server domain. Assets become liabilities when moving from
> desktop to server, and vice versa. It isn't really possible to have an
> operating system that handles both environments optimally, and UNIX shines
> strongly for servers, whereas Windows shines strongly for desktops.

That's actually false, and you know it. The ability to perform
"point-and-click" for trivial administrative tasks (such as minimal
firewall installation, or minimal mail server configuration) far,
far outweighs "raw power" in most cases. Your argument about the
"custom MTA" at Hotmail was a convenient strawman.

This is, in fact, why Microsoft is so fearful of Apple right now,
on a short while after they had to prop them up to show a phantom
competitor to minimize the damages they would face from the recent
antitrust suits (damages they still face, according to the states,
who have refused to knuckle under).

-- Terry

Anthony Atkielski

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 4:30:52 AM12/17/01
to
Terry writes:

> Are you aware that most of the Windows
> design, from the 1.0 version onward, was
> based on HP VUE(tm), including the function
> key bindings (ALT-F4 to close, etc.)?

I am now, but that has no effect on my statement. UNIX was designed as a
multiuser, text-based, server timesharing system; Windows and the Mac were
designed as single-user, GUI-based, desktop systems. It should be
self-evident that the latter would naturally tend to fit into the desktop
environment better than the former.

> This is actually a minus, since credential
> domains are a significant barrier to having
> your system "owned", aqnd contain damage when
> the worst does happen (crackers, virus, worms,
> etc.).

The worst rarely happens, and most desktop users prefer convenience to
security. Insofar as they limit this to the desktop, there is little reason
not to indulge them.

> Actually, you probaqbly weren't there for

> Windows through 95 ...

I was there for all versions of Windows.

> Lindows. MacOS X.

I'm talking about UNIX and Windows/Mac (the conventional Mac OS), not
hybrids.

> The ability to perform "point-and-click" for
> trivial administrative tasks (such as minimal
> firewall installation, or minimal mail server
> configuration) far, far outweighs "raw power"
> in most cases.

Point-and-click gets very tiring very quickly when you have to do a lot of
system administration, especially at a distance. Just modifying a text file
can be a lot faster and simpler.

Brad Knowles

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 4:32:06 AM12/17/01
to
At 2:16 AM -0500 on 2001/12/17, Denny Jodeit wrote:

> In light of the video recently released, uncovering bin Laden's uncaring
> ways for even his own followers, the question about Arabs and Indians was a
> little on the insensitive side. But I also understand the nervousness. It's
> a Catch22, no doubt. But let's not, for mankind's sake, repeat past
> mistakes. Arab in descent doesn't mean evil. Muslims do not want the rest of
> the world dead, how ridiculous. No God of any religion would want people
> killed in His name.

I find all this rather surreal, especially the grossly mistaken
belief that all muslims are "evil".


I went to the University of Oklahoma, which still has one of the
best petroleum engineering schools in the world. It's a
state-supported school, and even out-of-state tuition is lower than
the in-state tuition at many other universities in the US. This
makes it very popular with international students, especially those
coming from oil-producing countries.

We had a widely varied and rich mix of cultural values, and while
I saw more than my share of stupid rednecks that would bash anything
that was different, I also met plenty of people from other countries.
I found that I frequently liked the international students a lot
better than some of the American ones.

Some of the international students would say that they were from
Persia, because after the fall of the Shah (and the taking of the
hostages from the US embassy), they didn't want to be identified with
Iran. Some of them said that they were from Palestine, and only once
was anyone ignorant enough to ask where that was on the map.

Sure, I had some problems with some international students, but I
would have had the same problems with Americans that displayed the
same sorts of incompetence -- no teaching skills, talking into the
blackboard at ninety miles an hour, and answering "Well, it's in the
book" to any question asked in class, are not problems unique to
international graduate students. If I had been in a class with an
American graduate student that exhibited the same kind of behaviour,
I would have reported him to the Dean and tried to get him fired,
just like I did to the international graduate student who displayed
these faults.

Incompetence is incompetence, regardless of nationality.


Indeed, the only unusually negative interaction I ever recall
having with anyone who was Muslim, happened over here a few weeks ago.

I was in the Netherlands, attending the final program committee
meeting for the SANE 2002 conference, and on my way back to Belgium.
A train had just arrived, and I thought it was supposed to be the one
I needed to be on (in order to avoid being stranded overnight), but I
wasn't sure. So, I was trying to boot my laptop so that I could read
an e-mail message I had sent with all the train schedule information,
and confirm whether or not this was the right train.

I had my laptop out, and carried it and my other bags onto the
train, and set down in a compartment. As I was trying to access my
laptop, three guys came into the compartment -- one of them tried to
direct my attention outside of the train, while the other two tried
to steal my laptop bag. It might have worked if I hadn't been in
such a rush, and trying to get them to just get out of the
compartment and leave me alone.

As it was, I noticed what was happening, and as I saw the other
two trying to leave, I bellowed at the top of my lungs that they were
stealing my bag (I have yet to find anyone who can yell as loud as I
can). They apparently decided that it would be the better part of
valor to avoid the homicidal American, and retreated at high speed.

As best I can figure, these three guys (all Muslim, so far as I
could tell from their manner of dress and speech), thought that it
would be fun to harass an American, I guess as some sort of
retaliation against the actions that had recently started in
Afghanistan.

But I certainly don't lump all Muslims into the same category as
a result of this experience.

--
Brad Knowles, <brad.k...@skynet.be>

H4sICIFgXzsCA2RtYS1zaWcAPVHLbsMwDDvXX0H0kkvbfxiwVw8FCmzAzqqj1F4dy7CdBfn7
Kc6wmyGRFEnvvxiWQoCvqI7RSWTcfGXQNqCUAnfIU+AT8OZ/GCNjRVlH0bKpguJkxiITZqes
MxwpSucyDJzXxQEUe/ihgXqJXUXwD9ajB6NHonLmNrUSK9nacHQnH097szO74xFXqtlbT3il
wMsBz5cnfCR5cEmci0Rj9u/jqBbPeES1I4PeFBXPUIT1XDSOuutFXylzrQvGyboWstCoQZyP
dxX4dLx0eauFe1x9puhoi0Ao1omEJo+BZ6XLVNaVpWiKekxN0VK2VMpmAy+Bk7ZV4SO+p1L/
uErNRS/qH2iFU+iNOtbcmVt9N16lfF7tLv9FXNj8AiyNcOi1AQAA

Anthony Atkielski

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 4:32:06 AM12/17/01
to
Greg writes:

> Why should that mean there's nothing to talk
> about? I now know of one representative each
> of the groups I'm talking about. Why so few?

Because the others don't see any point in answering the roll call?

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 4:53:59 AM12/17/01
to
Greg Lehey wrote:
> > and started being taken by outside the U.S. because of the browser
> > auto-completion defaults adding a ".com" suffix and "www." prefix,
> > if the initial lookup(s) failed.
>
> The use of these TLDs outside the US far predates the Web.

???

In the UK, it was ".co.uk". in fact, most of Europe used X.500
ordering, as in "uk.co.demon" for a very long time.

Since the first time I saw "the Web" was ~1991, and since the
ARPANet, which became the NSFNet, which became the Internet, did
not allow commercial use until it was deregulated out from under
auspices of the NSF, I find that a little hard to believe.

The big explosion in domain name registration; in fact, the
major justification for them charging for domain names -- I have
several which predate registration costs entirely, from the very
early 1990's -- was the registration by Dupont of several hundred
trademark based domain names in a signle day.

-- Terry

f.johan.beisser

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 4:58:12 AM12/17/01
to
On Mon, 17 Dec 2001, Greg Lehey wrote:

> It seems that I have completely misunderstood at least the US members
> of the FreeBSD project. FreeBSD represents a new social phenomenon,
> and we've already discussed the demography in terms of male/female
> (im)balance and age distribution. An obvious other one is cultural
> distribution.

agreed.

> It seems that people in the USA have a hangup about this; sorry, guys,
> I didn't want to offend anybody. I don't think there's anything wrong
> in the question, though. As somebody else pointed out, there are
> times when you want to recognize people by their appearance or
> ethnic/cultural background. I don't agree with his criteria, but it's
> an obvious thing to do. I grew up with a large number of both Arabic
> and Indian friends (to the point where, at the age of 12, I spoke
> English with a Tamil accent), so you can hardly claim I was
> discriminating against them. I'm sure that most of my friends of this
> time would be as surprised about the reactions to my message as I am.

i've found it's mostly motivated by people feeling guilty and offended for
noticing someones ethnic background. there is a certain amount of paranoia
about race here in the US; after all, it's only relatively recently that
the "Separate but equal" laws have been repealed or made unconsitutional.

i have to admit, this thread did catch me off guard, not so much because
of the reactions to it, rather the fact that this came up at all. while i
don't doubt your intentions with this (how could i? this would be
interesting data), i can see how some people would take this badly.

> Why should that mean there's nothing to talk about? I now know of one
> representative each of the groups I'm talking about. Why so few?

right now, it may be a bad time to ask this kind of a question, being a
mere 3 months since septemer 11th (i wish there were a better set of words
for this, since naming something after a date is just odd). there is still
quite a bit of racist reactions going on around here, and honestly, i
can't blame anyone for not telling about their background or ethnicity.


-------/ f. johan beisser /--------------------------------------+
http://caustic.org/~jan j...@caustic.org
"John Ashcroft is really just the reanimated corpse
of J. Edgar Hoover." -- Tim Triche

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Greg Lehey

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 5:09:34 AM12/17/01
to
On Monday, 17 December 2001 at 1:43:01 -0800, Terry Lambert wrote:
> Greg Lehey wrote:
>>> and started being taken by outside the U.S. because of the browser
>>> auto-completion defaults adding a ".com" suffix and "www." prefix,
>>> if the initial lookup(s) failed.
>>
>> The use of these TLDs outside the US far predates the Web.
>
> ???
>
> In the UK, it was ".co.uk". in fact, most of Europe used X.500
> ordering, as in "uk.co.demon" for a very long time.

Correct, that was one possibility. All countries, even the USA, have
geographical name TLDs.

> Since the first time I saw "the Web" was ~1991, and since the
> ARPANet, which became the NSFNet, which became the Internet, did not
> allow commercial use until it was deregulated out from under
> auspices of the NSF, I find that a little hard to believe.

Your prerogative. Commercial use has nothing to do with choice of
domain names, of course.

> The big explosion in domain name registration; in fact, the major
> justification for them charging for domain names -- I have several
> which predate registration costs entirely, from the very early
> 1990's -- was the registration by Dupont of several hundred
> trademark based domain names in a signle day.

If you say so. I don't know what that has to do with the discussion.

Greg
--
See complete headers for address and phone numbers

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Brad Knowles

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 5:24:47 AM12/17/01
to
At 1:43 AM -0800 on 2001/12/17, Terry Lambert wrote:

> In the UK, it was ".co.uk". in fact, most of Europe used X.500
> ordering, as in "uk.co.demon" for a very long time.

I know that this naming scheme was used on JANET, and I'm sure it
may have been used in other enclaves as well, but IMO they never were
part of the proper Internet -- they were behind gateways that did not
allow direct access of one network from the other, and handled the
necessarily left-to-right vs. right-to-left translation, etc....

> Since the first time I saw "the Web" was ~1991, and since the
> ARPANet, which became the NSFNet, which became the Internet, did
> not allow commercial use until it was deregulated out from under
> auspices of the NSF, I find that a little hard to believe.

How quickly people forget about things like AlterNet, the
Commercial Internet Exchange, and the extreme amount of work that
groups like Uunet (and other members of CIX) had to go through in
order to ensure that no commercial traffic was transited via the
NSFnet backbone....

IIRC, CIX and AlterNet had a very valid parallel raison de etre'
for about a year, after which NSFnet was pulled from the public side
and made entirely private (at which point I think they started work
on Internet II), when CIX and AlterNet (and others) stepped into the
breach to fill the gap. That was a pretty nasty three to six month
period of time, but after that, NSFnet was just a bad memory.

> The big explosion in domain name registration; in fact, the
> major justification for them charging for domain names -- I have
> several which predate registration costs entirely, from the very
> early 1990's -- was the registration by Dupont of several hundred
> trademark based domain names in a signle day.

Even if that was the first mass registration, there were plenty
of organizations outside the US that already had registrations in the
.com, .net, .edu, and .org gTLDs. The issue here is not the reason
for the first explosion in registrations, but the simple existence of
gTLD registrations outside the US from a very early period.

--
Brad Knowles, <brad.k...@skynet.be>

H4sICIFgXzsCA2RtYS1zaWcAPVHLbsMwDDvXX0H0kkvbfxiwVw8FCmzAzqqj1F4dy7CdBfn7
Kc6wmyGRFEnvvxiWQoCvqI7RSWTcfGXQNqCUAnfIU+AT8OZ/GCNjRVlH0bKpguJkxiITZqes
MxwpSucyDJzXxQEUe/ihgXqJXUXwD9ajB6NHonLmNrUSK9nacHQnH097szO74xFXqtlbT3il
wMsBz5cnfCR5cEmci0Rj9u/jqBbPeES1I4PeFBXPUIT1XDSOuutFXylzrQvGyboWstCoQZyP
dxX4dLx0eauFe1x9puhoi0Ao1omEJo+BZ6XLVNaVpWiKekxN0VK2VMpmAy+Bk7ZV4SO+p1L/
uErNRS/qH2iFU+iNOtbcmVt9N16lfF7tLv9FXNj8AiyNcOi1AQAA

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Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 5:49:52 AM12/17/01
to
Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> UNIX was designed as a multiuser, text-based, server timesharing
> system;

Actually, it was designed as a single user Multics replacement to
serve as a loader and emulator for already written "space war"
and other games for PDP hardware, that Ken and Dennis wanted to be
able to play. It evolved into a control system for phone switches
when Ken had to justify the work.

You really need to read a history of UNIX, and you need to read the
original Bell Labs Technical Journals where early UNIX was chornicled;
any good university technical library should have archive copies in
the stacks.


> Windows and the Mac were designed as single-user, GUI-based, desktop
> systems. It should be self-evident that the latter would naturally
> tend to fit into the desktop environment better than the former.

It's not. The single user nature was a direct result of the lack
of credentials in the predecessor OSs. It was a mistake. If you
have followed the evolution of CIFS over the years, you would know
that there is now the possibility of passing credential information
over a single multiplex channel to a file server.

Please do not confuse "single user" with "single credential". The
current crop of Windows desktops are "single user" (so was NeXTStep,
due to Display Postscript proxying limitations, unless you ran other
atypical applications -- as with Telnet, whos daemon uses the Windows
NT "Impersonate()" call in order to switch credentials, and only
provides "multiuser" access because of its ability to run non-standard
shells).

FWIW: I uses to run DOS machines "multiuser", using a timer based
TSR facility and the serial port redirection available to handle
COM port based I/O, which surfaces in MS-DOS 2.11 (I did this on
Leading Edge 8086 boxes). The resulting machines were "multiuser",
but NOT "multicredentialed".

> > This is actually a minus, since credential
> > domains are a significant barrier to having
> > your system "owned", aqnd contain damage when
> > the worst does happen (crackers, virus, worms,
> > etc.).
>
> The worst rarely happens, and most desktop users prefer convenience to
> security. Insofar as they limit this to the desktop, there is little
> reason not to indulge them.

THere's really nothing inconvenient about credential enforcement,
when it is done correctly. It only ever becomes obtrusive when
you are being "owned", and a dialog box pops up and asks you for
your password to permit the write of the DLL to the C:\windows\system
directory. I run with a VXD that hooks the IFSMgr calls below the
IFSMgr layer on my Windows box, precisely to let me deny such writes,
which should only be necessary during software installation (which I
always do offline).

So even without "multiuser" or "multicredential", I get the same
level of enforcement that yo state is the primary reason to not
have "multiuser" or "multicredential" support in a desktop.


> > Actually, you probaqbly weren't there for
> > Windows through 95 ...
>
> I was there for all versions of Windows.

Then you were well aware that Windows was not an intrinsic part of
the OS, but was instead an application program that ran as a graphical
user shell, capable of "fork/exec" type operations, and that you boot
to DOS, not Windows, and the Windows startup has more to do with the
initial command loaded being "command" or "win".


> > Lindows. MacOS X.
>
> I'm talking about UNIX and Windows/Mac (the conventional Mac OS), not
> hybrids.

Of course, since once again, they defeat your binary view of the
universe... 8^).


> > The ability to perform "point-and-click" for
> > trivial administrative tasks (such as minimal
> > firewall installation, or minimal mail server
> > configuration) far, far outweighs "raw power"
> > in most cases.
>
> Point-and-click gets very tiring very quickly when you have to do a lot of
> system administration, especially at a distance. Just modifying a text file
> can be a lot faster and simpler.

Sure. That's what scripting languages are for. Most people don't
need to do that sort of thing, though, for a non-enterprise installation,
and even if they do, the number of people they have to support is small
enough that they can "live with the pain" of GUI administration.

And since small businesses grow up to be big businesses, a GUI
administration facility is a requisite bridge that make market
penetration significantly easier.

It's definitely not an accident that Apple is (or is going to be)
the UNIX vendor with the single largest installation count of all
time. Apple is all about small shop ease of use.

I rather expect Apple to start selling rack-mount systems as
OS/X becomes more popular...

-- Terry

Anthony Atkielski

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 6:13:03 AM12/17/01
to
Terry writes:

> Actually, it was designed as a single user
> Multics replacement to serve as a loader
> and emulator for already written "space war"

> and other games for PDP hardware ...

By the time it gained any widespread use, it was designed as a multiuser
timesharing system.

> You really need to read a history of UNIX ...

I'm familiar with the history of UNIX. A glance at the architecture of UNIX
as it has been for the past two decades or so reveals a multiuser,
text-based timesharing system, not a dedicated, single-user desktop.

> If you have followed the evolution of CIFS
> over the years, you would know that there is
> now the possibility of passing credential
> information over a single multiplex channel
> to a file server.

Single-user desktops do not necessarily communicate with file servers. They
may not communicate with anything at all.

> Please do not confuse "single user" with
> "single credential".

I'm not. See above. Credentials are only meaningful in multiuser
environments, however. In a single-user environment, everyone always has
the same credentials, so they become irrelevant.

> FWIW: I uses to run DOS machines "multiuser",
> using a timer based TSR facility and the serial
> port redirection available to handle COM port
> based I/O, which surfaces in MS-DOS 2.11 (I
> did this on Leading Edge 8086 boxes). The
> resulting machines were "multiuser",
> but NOT "multicredentialed".

Most people did not do this, so your comment is irrelevant.

> THere's really nothing inconvenient about
> credential enforcement, when it is done
> correctly.

It requires more effort than no credential enforcement, whether it is done
correctly or not. And it is often unnecessary.

> So even without "multiuser" or "multicredential",
> I get the same level of enforcement that yo state
> is the primary reason to not have "multiuser" or
> "multicredential" support in a desktop.

You are not representative.

> Then you were well aware that Windows was not
> an intrinsic part of the OS, but was instead an
> application program that ran as a graphical
> user shell, capable of "fork/exec" type
> operations, and that you boot to DOS, not Windows,
> and the Windows startup has more to do with the
> initial command loaded being "command" or "win".

Yes, I am, which makes me wonder why you feel compelled to explain it.

> Of course, since once again, they defeat your
> binary view of the universe... 8^).

No, they simply aren't significant players. Nobody cares about Lindows,
except maybe Lindows, Inc.

> Sure. That's what scripting languages are for.
> Most people don't need to do that sort of thing,

> though, for a non-enterprise installation ...

And those who don't are not system administrators, and thus do not require a
graphic interface to these functions, either.

> ... and even if they do, the number of people


> they have to support is small enough that they
> can "live with the pain" of GUI administration.

If it is painful, then it is not as convenient as you first asserted, is it?

> I rather expect Apple to start selling rack-mount
> systems as OS/X becomes more popular...

I don't. They've modified the system too much and turned it away from a
server application. Besides, it would not be in line with their sacred
mission.

Christian Weisgerber

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 6:31:15 AM12/17/01
to
Terry Lambert <tlam...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> In the UK, it was ".co.uk". in fact, most of Europe used X.500
> ordering, as in "uk.co.demon" for a very long time.

Care to substantiate that claim?
The only context in which I've ever heard of those reversed addresses
was JANET, and the UK does not qualify as "most of Europe".

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber na...@mips.inka.de

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 6:36:19 AM12/17/01
to
"f.johan.beisser" wrote:
> i've found it's mostly motivated by people feeling guilty and offended for
> noticing someones ethnic background.

Foo.

I have never felt guilty about noticing anything; noticing things
is one of the things I do.

I generally do get offended when there are attempts at demographic
categorization of any kind, particularly with regard to ethnicity,
but I have a firm philosophical basis for being offended, I think.
IMO, most human problems come about because of self-identification
into groups. I would prefer it be illegal for even government forms
to ask ethnicity, including but not limited to census forms.

> there is a certain amount of paranoia about race here in the US;
> after all, it's only relatively recently that the "Separate but
> equal" laws have been repealed or made unconsitutional.

This is partially true (the laws were always unconstitutional), but
forced notice of race has driven most issues of race based violence,
predominantly as a result of self identification.


> i have to admit, this thread did catch me off guard, not so much because
> of the reactions to it, rather the fact that this came up at all. while i
> don't doubt your intentions with this (how could i? this would be
> interesting data), i can see how some people would take this badly.

It would be interesting data if it were anyonymously collected, so
as not to tag individuals by label.

One of the benefits of a semi-anonymous forum like this one is that
the only basis you have to judge someone by is intellect, domain
name, and personal name, and, because the U.S. is what it is, any
assumptions based on name or surname are not verifiable, and any
assumptions based on domain name are similarly masked by the nature
of the Internet.

In other words, you have to judge people, if you insist on judging
people, by their statements and actions.

One thing that I've been happy to note in recent years is that
people on these lists are being judged less and less on their
method of expressing their ideas, and more on the content and
context in which those ideas are raised. That is, IMO, a big
breakthrough: the validity of an idea is not based on formal
credentials, and, if you can't tell a Japanese person with a PhD
in Molecular Biology who has imperfect English skills from a
native English speaking 14 year old in Sydney Australia, and have
to judge their ideas on their own merits, well, that can only be
a good thing.


> > Why should that mean there's nothing to talk about? I now know of one
> > representative each of the groups I'm talking about. Why so few?
>
> right now, it may be a bad time to ask this kind of a question, being a
> mere 3 months since septemer 11th (i wish there were a better set of words
> for this, since naming something after a date is just odd). there is still
> quite a bit of racist reactions going on around here, and honestly, i
> can't blame anyone for not telling about their background or ethnicity.

It has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center, and everything to do with forcing people with comfortable
little sterotype-based world views to have to evaluate people on
the merits of their expressed ideas, rather than the clues they
would use to prejudge them in day to day person to person interaction,
otherwise.

I pride myself on being able to call a jackass a jackass or a genius
a genius, regardless of how "political correctness" dictates that I
should temper my words "out of sensitivity for their situation", as
if someone's situation had any damn bearing on the validity of their
ideas or statements.

There is no such thing as contextual validity when it comes to the
laws of the universe, and I'll be damned if I'll act as if there
were, or even assist in any way in establishing the context by
which such a theory could successfully operate.

-- Terry

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 6:40:00 AM12/17/01
to
Greg Lehey wrote:
> > Since the first time I saw "the Web" was ~1991, and since the
> > ARPANet, which became the NSFNet, which became the Internet, did not
> > allow commercial use until it was deregulated out from under
> > auspices of the NSF, I find that a little hard to believe.
>
> Your prerogative. Commercial use has nothing to do with choice of
> domain names, of course.

The ".com" TLD did not take off until commercial enterprise was
permitted. Before that, there were a few ".com" sites, but they
were run by the research arms of corporations.


> > The big explosion in domain name registration; in fact, the major
> > justification for them charging for domain names -- I have several
> > which predate registration costs entirely, from the very early
> > 1990's -- was the registration by Dupont of several hundred
> > trademark based domain names in a signle day.
>
> If you say so. I don't know what that has to do with the discussion.

It has to do with ".com" not being sortable to provide statistically
valid nationality demographics, of course.

-- Terry

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 6:47:26 AM12/17/01
to
Brad Knowles wrote:
> Even if that was the first mass registration, there were plenty
> of organizations outside the US that already had registrations in the
> .com, .net, .edu, and .org gTLDs. The issue here is not the reason
> for the first explosion in registrations, but the simple existence of
> gTLD registrations outside the US from a very early period.

I'm saying the rules didn't allow this, at one time. I know at least
one Canadian who got a .com domainin order to get around a U.S. .com
based location check on cryptographic code (PGP from MIT, particularly).

It used to be valid to make national decisions based on TLD suffix,
even for .com/.edu/.net/.gov/.mil (.edu/.gov/.mil decisions are still
valid -- or perhaps, the .edu one is no logner valid, though I have
no counter examples at hand).

All I'm saying is that demographic collation based on mailing list
archives would have to take the effect of the spread of nominally
U.S.-only domain names outside the U.S.. I also think that the
browser completion was probably an unfortunate mistake, without a
synthetic requirement (e.g. that such names must be CNAMEs, not A
records, for demographically valid names).

I'm a little miffed that ".tm" was given out as a country code,
rather than to a trademark namespace, while I'm at it... 8^).

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 7:24:38 AM12/17/01
to
Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> I'm not. See above. Credentials are only meaningful in multiuser
> environments, however. In a single-user environment, everyone always has
> the same credentials, so they become irrelevant.

This is false. Credentials are incredibly useful for keeping single
users from being able to aim guns at their feet, without extraordinary
effort.

I would argue that the inability to delete the active Windows swap
file is a locking issue on the order of credential based locking,
since both control ability of the user to manipulate a resource,
and which resources are regarded as system vs. user.

As such, there is no difference in "inconvenience". There are many
other examples of access controlled resources/objects in Windows.

> > THere's really nothing inconvenient about
> > credential enforcement, when it is done
> > correctly.
>
> It requires more effort than no credential enforcement, whether it is done
> correctly or not. And it is often unnecessary.

No, it requires more effort to turn it off. Have you tried browsing
to your C:\windows\system directory in Explorer lately? You have
to explicitly OK the navigation, as these are protected directories.

If something is done correctly, the only effort is on the part of
the programmers of the OS, not the users.

Since users of the OS out number programmers 100,000 to 1, then if
something would save 1 hour of user time on average, it's worth
100,000 programmer hours to make happen.

I'm sure I could do everything I've talked about, given 12 man years
in which to accomplish it. 8^).

It's like the Steve Jobs argument about cutting 30 seconds off the
Macintosh boot time: sell 1,000,000 machines, and for evey 30 seconds
you cut off the boot time, you've saved an entire human life.


> > So even without "multiuser" or "multicredential",
> > I get the same level of enforcement that yo state
> > is the primary reason to not have "multiuser" or
> > "multicredential" support in a desktop.
>
> You are not representative.

You are not representative of someone qualified to judge whether or
not I am representative. 8^).


> > Then you were well aware that Windows was not
> > an intrinsic part of the OS, but was instead an
> > application program that ran as a graphical
> > user shell, capable of "fork/exec" type
> > operations, and that you boot to DOS, not Windows,
> > and the Windows startup has more to do with the
> > initial command loaded being "command" or "win".
>
> Yes, I am, which makes me wonder why you feel compelled to explain it.

I felt compelled because you were obvious ignoring it. It's nice
to know from your response that it wasn't ignorance, but the
inconvenince of the facts to your argument, which caused that
omission. 8^).


> > Of course, since once again, they defeat your
> > binary view of the universe... 8^).
>
> No, they simply aren't significant players. Nobody cares about Lindows,
> except maybe Lindows, Inc.

You are not representative.

> > Sure. That's what scripting languages are for.
> > Most people don't need to do that sort of thing,
> > though, for a non-enterprise installation ...
>
> And those who don't are not system administrators, and thus do not require a
> graphic interface to these functions, either.

They require it _because_ they aren't system administrators.


> > ... and even if they do, the number of people
> > they have to support is small enough that they
> > can "live with the pain" of GUI administration.
>
> If it is painful, then it is not as convenient as you first asserted, is it?

It's only painful when doing things at an enterprise level.

If you are going to delete text and replace it with an ellipsis,
at least make it clear that that is what you are doing, by placing
the ellipsis in brackets, OK. Thanks.


> > I rather expect Apple to start selling rack-mount
> > systems as OS/X becomes more popular...
>
> I don't. They've modified the system too much and turned it away from a
> server application. Besides, it would not be in line with their sacred
> mission.

Your opinion, of course.

History of most technology companies would disagree with you,
including the history of Microsoft. Almost without exception,
companies which have remained in any market and active have sold
up market as their products matured, in order to maintain both
their profit margin, and their rate of increase. I suggest reading:

The Innovators Dilemma
Clayton M. Christensen
Harrper Collins (HarperBusiness)
ISBN: 0-06-662069-4

and paying special attention to the documentation of the cases of
the disk, mechanical excavator, and Woolworth/Woolco (and other
"discount" stores).

There are several other books which show the disasterous effects
on comapnies unwilling to change their margin and/or profit model,
including the BMW attempt to introduce a lower market brand. In
contrast, we have "Lexus" and "Audi" upmarket selling by seperate
division brand creation.

Relative to its involvement in the personal computer industry,
Microsoft has only recently started selling upmarket into the
server software niche. History of other industries indicates
that it will need to continue to move upmarket, as time goes on.

Frankly, Microsoft has leveraged its monopoly position on the
desktop (a position you seem hell-bent on being the appologist
for, coming up with rationalization after rationalization) in
order to force what is probably premature entry into the server
market on its part, rather than moving naturally up-market as a
result of increased product quality. One can't fault them for
the viability of the approach as a chasm-crossing strategy. See
also:

Crossing The Chasm
Geoffrey A. Moore (Regis McKenna, Inc.)
Harper Collins (HarperBusiness)
ISBN: 0-88730-717-5

Eventually, I expect that Microsoft will spin-off or simply
"decide to abandon" the desktop market. This may occur sooner
than later; it has remained delayed because of their controlling
interest in their desktop applications division, even though the
Windows desktop profits have been mostly marginalized.

-- Terry

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 8:12:42 AM12/17/01
to
Christian Weisgerber wrote:
> Terry Lambert <tlam...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> > In the UK, it was ".co.uk". in fact, most of Europe used X.500
> > ordering, as in "uk.co.demon" for a very long time.
>
> Care to substantiate that claim?
> The only context in which I've ever heard of those reversed addresses
> was JANET, and the UK does not qualify as "most of Europe".

The answer to this lies in the lookup middleware and the name
translation.

The initial value of network connectivity was in email distribution
(as someone else noted, primarily Usenet).

The middleware for name translation in the U.K. followed the OSI
model (most of the U.K. "Internet" was X.25 links, using point to
point routing of messages, e.g. "ihnp4!unisys2!century!terry", and
was slow to move to domain based routing.

FWIW: My first use of the ArpaNet was in 1981, where the University
I was attending, the University of Utah, became the fourth site on
the first TCP/IP based ArpaNet.

Paul Mockapetris designed the original DNS at USC, in order to replace
the "hosts.txt" file, back in 1984 (RFC 882 and RFC 883), and it was
not until some time afterward (~1987, with the advent of RFC 1034 and
RFC 1035) that the DNS was more or less deployed, and applied to email
addressing.

See RFC 1034 for better details of the history.

Also FWIW: One of the first email systems ever was written by Greg
Haerr, then at UCSD, and, later, my boss at my first job after
college, also in the very early 1980's; it first ran over the old
"Berknet" (async serial packet network using Zilog UARTs: the
predecessor to the TCP/IP ARPANet) shortly before his graduation,
as a project for a UCSD professor

Note to antiquarians: you used to have to use seperate programs
to send and read mail, and they had to be run manually by a human;
it's amazing how different things are in less than 20 years, isn't
it?

-- Terry

Christian Weisgerber

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 10:30:43 AM12/17/01
to
Terry Lambert <tlam...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> > > In the UK, it was ".co.uk". in fact, most of Europe used X.500
> > > ordering, as in "uk.co.demon" for a very long time.
> >
> > Care to substantiate that claim?
> > The only context in which I've ever heard of those reversed addresses
> > was JANET, and the UK does not qualify as "most of Europe".
>
> The answer to this lies in the lookup middleware and the name

> translation. [...]

I repeat: Please substantiate your claim that "most of Europe used
X.500 ordering, as in 'uk.co.demon' for a very long time".

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber na...@mips.inka.de

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 11:06:00 AM12/17/01
to
Christian Weisgerber wrote:
> I repeat: Please substantiate your claim that "most of Europe used
> X.500 ordering, as in 'uk.co.demon' for a very long time".

Do you know where most of Europe keeps its historical records?

I know that up until 1991, I had to address most of my email
using the X.500 email ordering.

Obviously, I can't "prove" that, nor can I "prove" that most of
Europe used X.25 links. I think I can prove the existance of
"Minitel", though... 8^).

Someone already mentioned JANET...

-- Terry

Hunter J Morris

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 11:22:39 AM12/17/01
to
In an event to start something equally unrelated to FreeBSD chat, I was curious how many of you often find that "OS religious wars" are often like many other (arguably, of course) futile arguments. In fact, I am so curious that I propose a list of analogies. I can think of a few that I've personally come across lately.

** Note: each of these are listed simply in an order which, for some reason, is how 'people usually relate them'. The order doesn't necessarily imply that one is right or wrong.

1. Dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, etc, etc) -- of course, this should include only secular motivations (or should it?) -- personally, I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian who prefers vegetable rennet cheese and kosher eggs.

2. Boxers vs. briefs -- boxers, although because I'm a college student I occasionally wear briefs because there is simply 'no other clean laundry'

3. Communism vs. socialism -- democracy, I'm American!

4. Sacagawea dollar coin vs. dollar bill -- this can even (arguably) encompass the 'lets get rid of pennies' debate -- I strongly dislike paper money .. and why must the first Native American woman on a US coin have a baby with her? Can we say "gender stereotype"?

In the spirit of it all, you'll notice I've listed my own personal preferences (even though they are completely unrelated to any part of this discussion).

Moreover, you might find it important to note the fact that I often use contractions in my speech (spoken and written in fact) which may lead many to believe I'm less intelligent than someone who might not. I may not stick to standard English orthography rules either.

Finally, to remind you of the original purpose of this particular email (or is it e-mail?), I'll say that I just wanted to see some more analogies, not necessarily a _completely off-topic_ digression into little discussions about each I've listed here. (That was my obligatory 'sentence with an angry tone').

Regards,
~Hunter
--
http://www.skarab.com -- My personal website, which is full of controversy .. of course, I doubt it renders correctly on anybody's browser.

Brad Knowles

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 11:32:01 AM12/17/01
to
At 8:05 AM -0800 on 2001/12/17, Terry Lambert wrote:

> Christian Weisgerber wrote:
>> I repeat: Please substantiate your claim that "most of Europe used
>> X.500 ordering, as in 'uk.co.demon' for a very long time".
>
> Do you know where most of Europe keeps its historical records?
>
> I know that up until 1991, I had to address most of my email
> using the X.500 email ordering.

That could very easily be a result of the JANET gateway(s) that
you probably had to use in order to get anything out onto the 'net.

I know that there are some people in the Netherlands that were
very, very early onto the 'net (quite probably in the very early
80's, before the DNS existed), and they should be able to shed some
more light on this issue.

> Obviously, I can't "prove" that, nor can I "prove" that most of
> Europe used X.25 links. I think I can prove the existance of
> "Minitel", though... 8^).

Yeah, but we already know the Minitel wasn't part of the Internet
proper, and even today just has gateways to it. Find some
documentation from sites outside the UK that substantiates your
position, and then we might believe you on this matter.

Otherwise, it seems that everything you say on this subject will
be affected by JANET-coloured glasses, and therefore will not be
credible.

--
Brad Knowles, <brad.k...@skynet.be>

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Anthony Atkielski

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 12:48:03 PM12/17/01
to
Terry writes:

> Credentials are incredibly useful for keeping
> single users from being able to aim guns at
> their feet, without extraordinary effort.

Both cannot simultaneously exist. To have multiple credentials, you must
have multiple user identities, and this requires multiuser awareness. If a
single user does not have access to all credentials on a system, it is a
multiuser system.

> I would argue that the inability to delete
> the active Windows swap file is a locking
> issue on the order of credential based locking,
> since both control ability of the user to
> manipulate a resource, and which resources
> are regarded as system vs. user.

The swap file cannot be deleted because it is in use (at least on my NT
system); there are no credentials that permit you to delete files that are
in use, just as there are no credentials that allow you to write outside the
bounds of a file.

> No, it requires more effort to turn it off.

Only if it is on by default, but no system is initially configured with
diminished credentials, since it would be impossible to modify or maintain
it if it were.

> Have you tried browsing to your C:\windows\system
> directory in Explorer lately?

There is no such directory on my machine.

> You have to explicitly OK the navigation, as
> these are protected directories.

That is a protection applied to all users, not one based on credentials.

> Since users of the OS out number programmers
> 100,000 to 1, then if something would save 1
> hour of user time on average, it's worth
> 100,000 programmer hours to make happen.

If only Java programmers could understand that.

> It's like the Steve Jobs argument about cutting
> 30 seconds off the Macintosh boot time: sell
> 1,000,000 machines, and for evey 30 seconds
> you cut off the boot time, you've saved an
> entire human life.

That's the sort of reasoning I'd expect from Steve Jobs. If I follow the
same reasoning, then every time a Mac crashes, three dozen people are
killed.

> You are not representative of someone qualified
> to judge whether or not I am representative.

No special qualifications are required, only the ability to distinguish
differences.

> I felt compelled because you were obvious
> ignoring it.

No, you explained it in the hope that you would be able to damage my
credibility by creating the impression that you know more than I do about
the topic. You've done that a number of times, with myself and with many
others with whom you hold discussions, so it is easy to spot.

> It's nice to know from your response that it
> wasn't ignorance, but the inconvenince of the
> facts to your argument, which caused that
> omission.

Those facts were not relevant to my argument.

> You are not representative.

Actually I am, much more so than most geeks. In part this is because I
actually use my computer for productive work that has nothing to do with IT.

> It's only painful when doing things at an
> enterprise level.

You did not initially apply any qualifications to your statement.

> If you are going to delete text and replace
> it with an ellipsis, at least make it clear that
> that is what you are doing, by placing
> the ellipsis in brackets, OK. Thanks.

I follow CMS rules, rather than MLA rules, for the use of ellipses, mainly
for the sake of brevity.

> Your opinion, of course.

With respect to the sacred mission, yes. However, with respect to
modification of the OS, no. And I expect that the separation will only
become greater over time.

> Almost without exception, companies which have
> remained in any market and active have sold
> up market as their products matured, in order
> to maintain both their profit margin, and their
> rate of increase.

One glaring exception being, of course, Apple.

> There are several other books which show the
> disasterous effects on comapnies unwilling to

> change their margin and/or profit model ...

One good example is Apple.

> Frankly, Microsoft has leveraged its monopoly

> position on the desktop ... in order to force


> what is probably premature entry into the server

> market on its part ...

If its entry is premature, it will fail in its efforts. I don't think that
Microsoft knows enough about the server market to really succeed within it,
but if it can find customers that are at least as naïve as it is--and that
is certainly possible with the continuing expansion of the server market--it
may be able to sell lots of servers, anyway.

> Eventually, I expect that Microsoft will spin=


> off or simply "decide to abandon" the desktop
> market.

Not any time in the foreseeable future. Virtually all the revenue of
Microsoft comes from the desktop. Additionally, Microsoft has consistently
demonstrated that it only really understands desktops, not servers.

Revenue growth would have to come more from the server sector, since
Microsoft has locked up the desktop OS domain and hasn't produced any killer
apps in years, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft will succeed in this.

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 12:59:55 PM12/17/01
to
Brad Knowles wrote:
[ ... ]

> I know that there are some people in the Netherlands that were
> very, very early onto the 'net (quite probably in the very early
> 80's, before the DNS existed), and they should be able to shed some
> more light on this issue.

Talking to people who were actually there would be a good idea.

[ ... ]

Here are some good historical references to X.400 mail, OSI, and
Europe:

http://www.isi.salford.ac.uk/staff/dwc/Version.Web/Chapter.1/Chapter1.htm
(1994 D. Chadwick)

http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1160.txt
(1990 Vinton Cerf)

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/mail/setup/unix/part1/
(1991-1998 Chris Lewis)


Here are some other interesting historical references:

http://www.fokus.gmd.de/step/internet/intro2.pdf
http://standards.edna.edu.au/reports/scopeattb.pdf
http://www.w3.org/People/howcome/p/telektronikk-4-93/Dybvik_P_E.html
http://www.house.gov/science/landweber_9-10.html
http://www.wia.org/ISOC/itu_mission.htm
http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/imr/imr9306.txt
http://www.ifi.uio.no/~oleha/Publications/bok.b.html
http://www.traxon.de/brochures/icm_5.1_dec00.pdf
http://www.infosociety.gr/infosoc/policies/tele/docs/testa.pdf


Ah... here is a canonical reference to the use of X.400 and OSI,
in European email systems:

http://www.hypermail.org/rfcs/rfc1506.html
(1993 J. Houttuin, Reseaux Associes pour la Recherche Europeenne Secretariat)

Obviously, you should know how to use search engines, too, if
you need more references.


As an incredibly amusing aside, this historical document talks
about X.400 in a really derogatory fashion (it shows the US/Europe
battle lines being drawn, but it also has a cute section:

http://hyperarchive.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives/archives/back.issues/1992.volume.12/vol12.iss801-850

"Senator Albert Gore from Tennesee has repeatedly sponsored
legislation that will eventually turn the major research
networks sponsored by the U.S. government into a "National
Data Highway System". I expect that this will be a
cornerstone in a Clinton/Gore industrial policy program.
Once the "acceptable use policy" restrictions are lifted
from the NREN backbone, RFC822 mail will truly be the
lingua franca of public and private electronic mail systems
from FIDOnet to UUCP mail."

Unfortunately, there aren't a hell of a lot of records from 1988
and 1989, which is when I was tasked with implementing serial
communications software for use in accessing X.400 email systems,
and network terminal GOSIP support for the U.S. OSI initiative
utilizing Intel "OpenNet" protocol stacks on Prime, Unisys, SCO,
and other systems (anyone else remember NVT or FTAM?).

-- Terry

Terry Lambert

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 1:36:02 PM12/17/01
to
Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> > Credentials are incredibly useful for keeping
> > single users from being able to aim guns at
> > their feet, without extraordinary effort.
>
> Both cannot simultaneously exist. To have multiple credentials, you must
> have multiple user identities, and this requires multiuser awareness. If a
> single user does not have access to all credentials on a system, it is a
> multiuser system.

Then I guess Windows, as of the 95B distribution, is a "multiuser
system". I personally wouldn't make that distinction, though.

> The swap file cannot be deleted because it is in use (at least on my NT
> system); there are no credentials that permit you to delete files that are
> in use, just as there are no credentials that allow you to write outside the
> bounds of a file.

Sure there are. It's called a "level 3 followed by level 0 volume lock".

> > No, it requires more effort to turn it off.
>
> Only if it is on by default, but no system is initially configured with
> diminished credentials, since it would be impossible to modify or maintain
> it if it were.

Do you actually run 2000/NT, or have you just heard of them?


> > You have to explicitly OK the navigation, as
> > these are protected directories.
>
> That is a protection applied to all users, not one based on credentials.

No, because the OS doesn't have a problem going there, and
neither do install programs. Just because the enforcement
is in the tools doesn't make it any less an enforecment.
You have priviledged and unpriviledged programs, and the
priviledge bit is, defacto, a credential.


> > It's like the Steve Jobs argument about cutting
> > 30 seconds off the Macintosh boot time: sell
> > 1,000,000 machines, and for evey 30 seconds
> > you cut off the boot time, you've saved an
> > entire human life.
>
> That's the sort of reasoning I'd expect from Steve Jobs. If I follow the
> same reasoning, then every time a Mac crashes, three dozen people are
> killed.

I don't see your problem?


> > I felt compelled because you were obvious
> > ignoring it.
>
> No, you explained it in the hope that you would be able to damage my
> credibility by creating the impression that you know more than I do about
> the topic. You've done that a number of times, with myself and with many
> others with whom you hold discussions, so it is easy to spot.

You are too precious a troll...

> > It's nice to know from your response that it
> > wasn't ignorance, but the inconvenince of the
> > facts to your argument, which caused that
> > omission.
>
> Those facts were not relevant to my argument.

Only because you continually redefine your argument...

> > It's only painful when doing things at an
> > enterprise level.
>
> You did not initially apply any qualifications to your statement.

I did, in the part you carefully omitted to quote. I will quote
it for you again:

] > > The ability to perform "point-and-click" for


] > > trivial administrative tasks (such as minimal
] > > firewall installation, or minimal mail server
] > > configuration) far, far outweighs "raw power"
] > > in most cases.
] >
] > Point-and-click gets very tiring very quickly when you have to do a lot of
] > system administration, especially at a distance. Just modifying a text file
] > can be a lot faster and simpler.

]
] Sure. That's what scripting languages are for. Most people don't
] need to do that sort of thing, though, for a non-enterprise installation,
] and even if they do, the number of people they have to support is small


] enough that they can "live with the pain" of GUI administration.

]
] And since small businesses grow up to be big businesses, a GUI


] administration facility is a requisite bridge that make market
] penetration significantly easier.

Note the intentional use of the phrase "Most people". You cut out
the first two paragraphs of that statement and substitutes an ellipsis,
without indicating that it was your ellipsis, and not mine.


> > Almost without exception, companies which have
> > remained in any market and active have sold
> > up market as their products matured, in order
> > to maintain both their profit margin, and their
> > rate of increase.
>
> One glaring exception being, of course, Apple.

Apple is not an exception.


> > There are several other books which show the
> > disasterous effects on comapnies unwilling to
> > change their margin and/or profit model ...
>
> One good example is Apple.

No. Apple did not attempt to enter a new market with an old
model, and expect the same results as the old market. Novell
and WoolCo (the short-lived "discount" branch of Woolworths)
are much better examples.

Apple is a horse of a different wheelbase.


> > Frankly, Microsoft has leveraged its monopoly
> > position on the desktop ... in order to force
> > what is probably premature entry into the server
> > market on its part ...
>
> If its entry is premature, it will fail in its efforts. I don't think that
> Microsoft knows enough about the server market to really succeed within it,
> but if it can find customers that are at least as naïve as it is--and that
> is certainly possible with the continuing expansion of the server market--it
> may be able to sell lots of servers, anyway.

That's incorrect. If you can build clients that operate in a
damaged way for lack of Microsoft servers, and everyone has to buy
Microsoft clients (because of many reasons, including the negative
advocacy of people like you any time a potential alternative is
discussed), then Microsoft will be able to displace servers in
proportion to their clients (increasing) non-operability without
them.

>
> > Eventually, I expect that Microsoft will spin=
> > off or simply "decide to abandon" the desktop
> > market.
>
> Not any time in the foreseeable future. Virtually all the revenue of
> Microsoft comes from the desktop. Additionally, Microsoft has consistently
> demonstrated that it only really understands desktops, not servers.

Luckily, we have a number of States Attorneys General who don't
care about continuing that profit model...


> Revenue growth would have to come more from the server sector, since
> Microsoft has locked up the desktop OS domain and hasn't produced any killer
> apps in years, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft will succeed in this.

See previous post.

-- Terry

Dag-Erling Smorgrav

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 1:50:18 PM12/17/01
to
"Hunter J Morris" <ska...@merle.it.northwestern.edu> writes:
> 3. Communism vs. socialism -- democracy, I'm American!

I'm curious - what does being American have to do with democracy?

DES
--
Dag-Erling Smorgrav - d...@ofug.org

Brad Knowles

unread,
Dec 17, 2001, 2:17:35 PM12/17/01
to
At 9:59 AM -0800 on 2001/12/17, Terry Lambert wrote:

> Talking to people who were actually there would be a good idea.

Remember -- we want people who were there in the early to mid
1980's, back when the DNS was first invented and implemented.

> Here are some good historical references to X.400 mail, OSI, and
> Europe:
>
> http://www.isi.salford.ac.uk/staff/dwc/Version.Web/Chapter.1/Chapter1.htm
> (1994 D. Chadwick)
>
> http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1160.txt
> (1990 Vinton Cerf)

I haven't read all these documents yet, but all they show is that
X.400 and X.500 was in limited use in the 1990's. Yet RFC 920
"Domain Requirements" (October 1984, superceded by RFCs 1034 and 1034
in November of 1987) laid out the first recognized domain names, as
they had originally been conceived in RFC 881 (November of 1983).
So, you're about five years late here.

Absolutely nothing of interest here. At least, not to this discussion.


Please keep in mind that I was also a reviewer of _sendmail_, 2nd
edition, and that I've been using Internet e-mail (albeit primarily
through UUCP, until later when we joined the full ARPAnet via a 56k
line) since I started school in the fall of 1984 at the University of
Oklahoma, and that it was in the spring of 1984 that Mike O'Dell left
OU to help form what became Uunet.

Also note that I was materially involved in the X.400/X.500
implementation projects for the Defense Information Systems Agency in
the early 90's, and that we were also responsible for handling
X.400/X.500 implementations for the Office of the Secretary of
Defense, and all their gateways to the various X.400/X.500 systems
run by the Services.