Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Unix and Email Viruses

Author:Paul L. Bruno
Posted:6/16/1999; 6:54:41 AM
Topic:Unix and Email Viruses
Msg #:7428 (In response to 7424)
Prev/Next:7427 / 7429

Dave, in the past several months you have given several excuses for Unix not becoming an end-user operating system. It's too complex, there are too many ways of doing things, there's too much of a choice in user interfaces, and now there are arrogant idiots in Unixland. If I haven't been a long time listener, I would jump to the conclusion that you were a paid spreader of MS FUD. But that would be incorrect based on your history. Instead, I'll just say you must have been mightily flamed and annoyed.

There are arrogant idiots anywhere. They should not be considered a factor. As proof, let's assume there are Windows geeks who are arrogant idiots. Have they undermined the power of Windows to become an end-user operating system? This is not a factor. I won't apologize for them. Please ignore them.

The other reasons you give can be considered strengths.

Regarding the spreading of viruses by email, while you question Gosling's statement on the front page of your site, the discussion thread has I think clearly pointed out that Unix is inherently more virus-resistant than Windows. So the thread turns to the ability of novice users to protect themselves when using the internet.

Giving novice users Windows and putting them on the internet is similar to giving drivers with a shiny new learner's permit the keys to a car without an air bag or insurance. Chances are, nothing will go wrong. But. The extraordinary interrelatedness of Windows software that Microsoft has succeeded in delivering makes Windows-Outlook-Office-IE easier to use, easier to use without thinking, and easier to use incorrectly. Melissa is NOT as big a problem with Eudora as it is with Outlook, I believe. I wonder if cruise control has ever been linked to increased highway accidents?

Your strengths are my weaknesses. Unix's complex permissions and user system comes from it's roots on the network, and it doesn't look easy-to-use on the desktop. Windows comes from the desktop and it should be clear is only trying to be a quality network-oriented OS.

As you already know with your Frontier-Linux/Zope experiments.

Anyway, I know you are not a spreader of MS FUD. You should update the front page of Scripting News -- the door is not wide open, Gosling was right.

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