On Friday 13 May 2005 12:05, you wrote:
> On Fri, May 13, 2005 at 10:18:49AM +0300, Ori Idan wrote:
> > I think this is an academic debate if GNU/Linux is more secured or not.
> >
> > For the simple people, let us look at the facts:
> >
> > 1. When was the last time any of this list members has seen a virus in
> > his GNU/Linux desktop? (I guess the answer is never)
> >
> > 2. When was the last time you had a spyware in your desktop? (again the
> > answer is never)
> >
> > So the end result is: GNU/LINUX IS MORE SECURED.
> No, the end result is that the members of this list are more
> security-aware than the average. Much more so. I'd make a wild guess -
> even if all of the members here used XP/MS Office regularly, they would
> still have much much less virii/spywares than the average. OTOH, if 80%
> of the world's computer users used Linux, you'd see more viruses and
> spyware in Linux. Maybe not as much, maybe with less average damage, but
> while I agree to your conclusion, I do not agree to the reasoning.


> This reminds me of Paul Graham's articles, in which he claims that LISP
> programmers are better. But why is it so (whether or not you agree to
> the conclusion)? There are at least two opposite reasons: 1. Because
> programmers that learned LISP become better 2. Because good programmers
> prefer LISP when they come to know it.

No. 1 is true, naturally. No. 2 is not true - I know LISP but I prefer Perl. 
Other like Python, etc. The reasons I don't prefer LISP are:

1. The standards of Common LISP and Scheme don't define anything practical.
2. LISP is at the moment incredibly verbose.
3. As Larry Wall noted, all LISP code comes in parenthesis and so it all looks 
the same. (Perl is the exact opposite in this regard).
4. I cannot make heads nor tails of serious LISP code. Many LISPers create so 
many macros and use them along with regular LISP code, so you keep having to 
refer to the previous definitions, and make a lot of research to get you 

SICP Scheme is easy and fun. But serious LISP code can take too much time to 
understand. OTOH, recently I had little problem reading the source code of 
other Perl programmers, and extending it or fixing bugs. (likewise for 

> Just to prove my point - everyone here will agree that putting a default
> install of most major distros open in the net without some kind of
> firewall or hardening will very quickly make it broken into (I know
> about exceptions, no need to remind me). Why?  Because linux is very
> common as a server. So the crackers develop means to break linux
> servers. If/When linux is very common on the desktop, you'll start
> seeing the same there.

Actually, a default install of Fedora took several months to break into. As 
opposed to less than 20 minutes for Windows.

> To get to even more philosophical ideas - I must say I do not accuse MS
> for behaving the way it behaves. I accuse the users. Users want "Bread
> and fun" ("LECHEM VESHA`ASHU`IM"). 

It's "bread and circuses" in English, AFAIR. Comes from Latin, if I know.

> Users do not want freedom. They do 
> not want security. Nor power, nor robustness. They want a lot of
> software, that doesn't require them to read anything or to think in
> order to use it (note I did not use the shorter term "easy to use", I
> know it won't pass some tests). So that's what MS sells to them. It's
> not that I agree to all of MS's policies - but I think this is the root
> cause.

From my experience mundane users want computers and software that "just 
works". Gets the job done, has no bugs, that has all the necessary features, 
that does things the way you're used to. Somewhat like a toaster. I believe 
Linux does that much better than Windows. The main problem of Linux right now 
is compatiblity with Windows formats and protocols. But it's getting better.


        Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish      [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

Tcl is LISP on drugs. Using strings instead of S-expressions for closures
is Evil with one of those gigantic E's you can find at the beginning of 

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