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   Re: [xml-dev] Managing Innovation

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Dare Obasanjo wrote:

>>Really?  Which part?  The assertion that Unix is basically 
>>simpler than the alternatives, or the assertion that it 
>>achieves a good level of security?  
> The latter. Better people than me can tell you why this common
> misconception is false[0,1].

I don't buy it.  For that part of my professional career between the 
time that networking became ubiquitous and sometime in the last 24 
months, it was the case that a competently-managed Unix-family system 
was hard enough to break into that it usually wasn't cost-effective to 
try.  Simultaneously, a competently-managed proprietary OS, including 
but not limited to Windows, was signficantly enough easier that it was 
frequently worthwhile.  That is the only metric that matters.

Also, as (I think) Dare acknowledges, the proportion of Unix-family 
systems that was competently managed was higher than that for 
proprietary OSes.

What's changed is that recently, a competently-managed Windows box has 
become quite challenging to break into.

I still claim that the cost of competently managing a Windows box [I 
frankly have no idea how the sysadmin community keeps up with the 
constant torrent of patches, it's a major pain in the ass on the handful 
of Windows boxes around my house] is substantially higher than that for 
a Unix-family box, and that one strong reason for that is the simplicity 
of the underlying OS architecture.

To be fair, another reason is that Unix boxes served as time-sharing 
systems for a decade or two before the dawn of ubiquitous networking, 
and their designers were thus forced to think about protecting one user 
from another.

> The main thing the Unix family of operating
> systems  have going for them with regards to security is the higher
> degree of sophistication of their users and their lack of mainstream
> adoption

"Lack of mainstream adoption"?!?!?  On which planet?  Is this a wry, 
ironic performance-art parody of a clueless Microsoft marketing droid? 
Spare us.

Cheers, Tim Bray (http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/)


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