North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Bell Labs or Microsoft security?

  • From: Daniel Karrenberg
  • Date: Wed Jan 29 19:11:35 2003

On 29.01 03:32, Sean Donelan wrote:
> ... Multics security. Bell Labs answer: Unix. Who needs all that "extra"
> security junk in Multics. .........    

[reader warning: diatribe following]

Gee, there once were a handflul of people;
their principle goal was to make an OS for their own use.

They did it in such a way that it could be developed by its users while
they used it.  Creeping featurism was held down successfully, at least
initially ;-(.  It ran on platforms orders of magnitude cheaper than
what Multics ran on at the time.  It taught a lot of people about
programming style.  I hope I learned some things from it.  And they
wrote up the shortcomings of the security architecture concisely at the
time this began to matter.  They understood stuff that M$ with its
"creeping featurism", "low support cost defaults", "undocumented API of the week" 
cannot possibly begin grok and deal with because of ETOOBIG.

Now you and I use it because it does the job better than anything else.
Then you blame them for not designing in today's requirements 30 
(not 20!) years ago.  Give them a break ...


PS: Worm? Virus? Who wrote this up concisely first?

PPS: Plan 9 anyone?