[SOT] Frontends for Windows

Gerd Ewald Gerd Ewald <gerd.ewald@pro-privacy.de>
Thu Nov 22 20:45:02 2001

Hash: SHA1

Hello Ryan,

On Tue, 20 Nov 2001 16:57:06 -0600 GMT your local time,
which was 20.11.2001, 23:57 (GMT+0100) where I live, you wrote:

Sorry for the delay but I was busy.

> The difference is trusting a community of hundreds or thousands who
> approve of a piece of software, and the code's open-source disclosure,
> versus trusting a few dozen developers and their secret code.

No question, this is right. But it is what I said: Trust. Someone who
is not able or willing to review the code has to trust someone. Then it
is a matter of PR, isn't it?



> Note that the analogy doesn't apply to the functionality of software -
> it's easier for a small group to nimbly reach decisions and rapidly
> produce feature-rich, user-friendly software. Sales are their
> motivation; features and ease-of-use are what sell software. Software
> companies also have no - that's zero - liability for insecure or buggy
> software, so they can add features without worrying about anything
> else.

> If features are your only concern, commercial software is definitely
> the way to go. But as security and reliability become more and more of
> an issue in the networked Internet environment, I think open-source
> software will flourish. I believe people will eventually make money
> supporting and setting up open-source systems for clients, and will
> contribute to the open-source code base as part of that process. While
> a bit less friendly and harder to install and maintain, open-source
> software is going to become more and more attractive to those who have
> been burned by viruses, hackers, and mysterious crashes so prevalent
> these days in commercial software.

And here is the next problem: those who are not able to review the
code are AFAICS usually those who are not the most skilled users.
They have to face OpenSource Software which is not very easy to
install or use or does not provide the features AOL-users like (*g* SCNR).

With proper PR and the typical laziness of the normal human being they
will shortly use commercial software, wouldn't they?

Wouldn't they say: "And if I have to trust someone anyway, why not
those people who offer easy-to-install and easy-to-use software?"

I support OpenSource, I use it (and I trust you, as a community <g>),
but I do have problems to convince people using the software due to
the described "deficiencies".

Roger's shell is easy-to-use; it can be used to convince people using
GPG. Ok, ok, I would like to see GPGshell as FreeSoftware, OpenSource.
I don't want to discuss that it is not mentioned because it is not
open source.

> And hopefully, someday, commercial developers will see this dip in
> profits, and take active steps to produce more reliable and secure
> software. And the lines between the camps will blur, and we'll have a
> great spectrum of choice in network software - feature-rich and new,
> the trusted, tried and true, and everything in-between.

Hahahaha, sorry, but do you really think so? No, may be I'm a bit
pessimistic but I think that people don't care: you read Schneier,
Secrets and Lies? Well, re-read chapter 5 where he says something
about commercial anonymity. No, most of the people do not really care
about what could/will happen with their privacy. And even if you tell
them about what happened, you hear: "It always happen to others. Not
me!" That's the experience I made. May be a bit too pessimistic?!

Well, this has only slightly to do with the shell. I used [SOT] in the
subject to warn others. Sorry if I wasted bandwidth.

- -- 
Best regards,
Using The Bat! Version 1.53t
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I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous words.

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