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Microsoft

Microsoft Openly Provides Kerberos Interop Specs 119

konstant writes: "Microsoft has published a document on its TechNet security site providing most of the information in the infamous CAB file plus sample code. There appears to be no onerous license this time." Well, it's not the *whole thing* but has lots of useful info about Microsoft's Kerberos implementation. Strange note: the page where this appears has a footer that says, "Last updated January 21, 2000," but when I did a search on Microsoft.com during our little tussle with them last month, I didn't find it.
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Microsft Openly Provides Kerberos Interop Specs

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  • Very true... in fact, look at this file that I modified on Christmas in 1942:

    -rwxr-xr-x 1 twilde twilde 107 Dec 25 1942 traceover.pl

    :) My point was just that... well, I don't think I had a point, I just felt like saying something. Fact is, if they wanted to be underhanded, there are plenty of ways they could have done it, and they probably used every single one of them. But we don't KNOW that they did! :)

    ---
    Tim Wilde
    Gimme 42 daemons!
  • Afaics the copyright notice does not prevent you from writing a SAMBA-style hack that interops with MS Kerberos. It does however prevent anyone writing commercial software which takes advantage of this. Preseumably that means that you wouldn't find an MS-kerberos workaround on a Red Hat CD, but for free off the Net? That ain't commercial.

    I think this is M$ trying to put an end to the bad PR they recieved when they stuck their hand in the pengiuns nest, so to speak. Still, it's a step in the right direction... First open MS Kerberos, next... World Domination! (er...)
  • That must be a huge blow to them, who are used to being able to dictate to people what they would use and what standards would be supported. Imagine their fear that they are losing that control and must actually play nice with other operating systems and programs.

    Finkployd
  • by Lion-O ( 81320 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:41AM (#971626)
    This action seems odd to me, allthough not surprising. When they want to push this new kerberos system they got no other choice then to make the specs publicly available sooner or later, otherwise I doubt anyone would use it. If the choice is between a "secured" document or a commonly available one, which would be your pick?

    But this does makes you wonder.. Could it be that /.'s hassle with MS was just MS's way in following the saying "it doesn't matter how they talk about you as long as they are talking about you.", which they've done before? The last (afaik also proven) example of this behaviour was during the introduction of Windows 95. There were quite some rumours going on that the OS was massivly spread by hackers (according to the local news, we call 'm warez weenies) but in the end it turned out that it was MS itself who spread those 'illegal' copies. Another scheme to get the whole campain on the news without the extra commercial costs.

    If this theory is correct, and please not that I'm not stating that it is, the remaining question would be "why /. ?". Well, it is a fact that a lot of technical skilled people hang out on Slashdot. This kind of information is only interessting for people who actually know a little bit more about stuff like this. But I'm quite positive that this thread gets far more attention now that /. had a little hassle with MS about this very same issue. At least among regular /. readers.

  • The time doesn't change for daylight savings - I'm in London, England but to get the correct times I'm using French Western time instead...


    ---
    Jon E. Erikson
  • You're damn right I'm quoting their material. Especially since there was no click-through license agreement. This information is publicly available and published. This is not the same issue as before at all. Microsoft has never before made a stink about quoting them when it wasn't a `trade secret.' And more importantly, I support those other poster's in what they did, and I would have done the same.
  • I don't know what your problem is but all times show up correctly for me (EST zone).

    Adding 2 and 2, we get: time representation is supposed to be local zone. EST goes right and CET DST (which I called CST in my previous post) is off by one hour, displaying winter time rather than summer time. Which leads to the possible answer, that for some time zones, the summertime index is broken or absent.

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • yeah I'm sorry guys... ill have to do better next time. I'm going to write a large text file that will be the best "first post" ever and then when the time comes, ill copy and paste it, and everyone will be amased.
  • The post is obviously an example of fair use. The poster quotes a small amount of text from the original text to support his/her comment.

    Besides, as the original poster noted, there is no "trade secret" clause now.
  • Shouldn't it then contain a correct release date?
    It seems the date on the document is there to leave you to believe that is the public release date not the creation date.

    I also suspect the accual creation date of the document is a bit older if it was created internally as this dosn't fit within the develupment cycle.

    No such documents like this should have been created around that time frame as Win2K was being readyed for release.

    Don't be amazed.. history has a tendency to repeate itself...
    I expect history to repeate it self and this is why I'm not supprised when people expect it won't.
  • That's not true. I used to work with their products, and have earned MCSD/partly MCSE certification. In one of the exams (cannot remember which one) they asked which system was best for a particular task. The right answer was some Novell product.

    Microsoft is a company like many others. They use whatever they can, and whatever they (think they) can get away with to make money. Contrary to the popular notion here, MS has some good products. The reason for that is that it's a way to make money.



    ----------------------------------------------
  • by Dungeon Dweller ( 134014 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @04:25AM (#971634)
    Microsoft was never really the dominant power that it has had the image of being. I think that the world and the company was under the illusion that they were, but you'll notice that NT has never been the true dominant enterprise server, that there really are more machines that at least look like unix than ones the run windows, and that standards really do reign. What M$ had power over was their users, which while that was the significant desktop market, that has never been where the REAL power in computing was. For M$ to ever be a real dominant company in the computer science realm, you would have to see supercomputers and mainframes that run windows, and you don't, because it's not a suitable market for them. Microsoft has always had to at least meet the standards part way, otherwise nothing would ever have worked under windows. The real problem is where they "embrace and extend" things into the proprietary realm, which has been destroying good standards for some time now. I think that they are learning the lesson that you don't take, for instance, Java, and make it only work under windows. We may start looking at an era where M$ is a real rival and not just a company that holds a bigger market share (no offense guys, it just pisses people off when you wreck our perfectly good software).
  • You need to set you time zone in your preferences.

    I had no idea that anybody outside the United States used daylight savings time, but apparently much of Europe does, and I have a feeling Slashdot doesn't know about that, so if you're outside the US try setting your time zone for some country to the east of you - e.g in the UK pick France or something. Apparently the UK is currently at GMT+0100, Spain is GMT+0200, etc. and everything will make more sense in the fall.

    I'm in Arizona, which (like Hawaii) doesn't go on daylight savings time, so I'm on Mountain Standard (GMT-0700). Slashdot does know about Arizona (stupid backwards state that it is).

    blah, sorry for ranting off-topic...

    --

  • Exactly. The date "Last updated on..." is not necessarily related to the date for "Made public on..."

    ========
  • Its no surprise that this type of propaganda would flow from MS. That they would purposely use an openly MS employee as a cog in their FUD machine leads me to believe this is not a calculated maneuver.

    It dosnt surprise me, in this day when peoples attention spans are .000023ns and popular public discourse occurs on 21/3 minute segments by the 11o'clock talking heads. This is all they need to do, this will build a 'case' that the Kerbos Case is not one of embrace and extend.

    MS Markatroid Quote 06.28.01:
    "WE PUT THIS OUT IN JANUARY _LAST YEAR_, what you read on SLASHDOT are the ramblings of Linux Crazed Zealots(tm) obviously brainwashed and drunk on the evil you know of as 'Open Source'"


  • The EU-commissioner Mario Monti still wants an inquery on Microsoft.

    Mr. Monti says that the US trial does not change his views. The US trial did focus on webbrowsers, the European trial will focus on servers.

    The important question for the EU is that Microsoft Windows 2000 security software is designed only to work with Windows 2000 servers.
  • What ramifications does this new developement have for the Samba crew? Does this provide enough (legal) information for them to use?
  • No, the right thing would be to conform to the existing standard rather than extend it in some arbitrary way.

    Documenting that arbitrary extension is helpful, but requesting an extension through the original authors would be a great deal better.

  • Basically what I'm trying to say is this, they don't go out of their way to not be interoperable, it simply is that interoperability never crosses their minds when creating software.
    I would propose, mostly without evidence, that it's actually just the opposite: Microsoft programmers and designers do go out of their way to be interoperable by default... They only break things when management requires them to.

    I'm trying to think of a specific example... the best that I can come up with is Internet Explorer 3.0 for the MacOS. This was one of the best web browsers of all time, and it was specifically designed to work closely with the MacOS. And, for the record, it was released before the infamous alliance between MS and Apple. I suppose the project just kept a low profile at Microsoft, so the programmers were allowed to do it right.
  • Never attribute to malice or conspiracy what can be attributed to incompetence or stupidity.

    Not that I'm a huge fan of MS, but I personally think that the failure to update their search engine is a far likelier probability than MS intentionally concealing the specs.

  • My, what a big kerberos you have. dc:
  • You seem to be responding to this poor fellow as though he was Microsoft hatred incarnate, while that's really hard to judge without more information.

    Still, you have an interesting point, and since I do have the basic opinion you cite above, I thought I'd give you the courtesy of a response.

    The worst thing about Microsoft is simply that it builds its products on a house of cards foundation, which generally falls down on anyone trying to do serious work with the platform. Mix this with the virtual monopoly they have in many parts of the industry, and you have a killer brew which brings out the worst in programmers.

    The general idea of having to use products we despise in order to eat is highly unsettling. I'd make a case for saying that millions of programmers are slowly killing themselves working with systems they despise. Until I became fortunate enough to get a Linux-based job, I was one of those people - so I know how it feels, and that I don't exaggerate.

    Microsoft is the most vicious competitor in the industry. This is why, despite all they have to offer, they have made so few real friends. I wasn't as ferociously against them as I am now before their giant Internet push; I felt that "my internet" could survive on Unix servers and I wouldn't have to use crummy Microsoft technology. Well, I was wrong; Microsoft followed me to the net, and I will never forgive them for it.

    The reason they have a near-monopoly in PC operating systems is that developers will generally write for the platform that has the most consumer/business mindshare. They got the mindshare by basically giving away the product with PCs running their previously dominant DOS. They acted brilliantly in exploiting their position. As a result, lots of people developed for them, and Microsoft Windows, despite its faults, became dominant.

    It was proably inevitable that some company would thus gain a near-monopoly on operating systems. My beef is not with the monopoly; it's with the quality of the system and software provided with it.

    So why don't I dislike Sun, SGI, Cisco or Oracle? Because they produce high quality products, for the most part, and I like using them.

    I hate using Microsoft Windows, and yet there's a Microsoft Windows computer on my desktop. Granted, I have three others that I use 95% of the time, but the fact that even I have to use Windows for some things irks me.

    I hope that answers your question.

    D

    ----
  • Geez, time zones, daylight savings time, and 12 clocks are incredibly annoying IMHO. I wished the whole world used 24 hour UTC (and I don't live in UK)

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    Well, I was wrong; Microsoft followed me to the net, and I will never forgive them for it
    "I come from the 'Net ... infecting systems, peoples, and cities, to this place -- Wintel, MY domain... My format: Microsoft. To corrupt and conquer."
    -- MegaGates

    :)

  • Blockquoth, in part, the MS Web site (http://microsoft.com/misc/cpyright.htm [microsoft.com]):
    NOTICE SPECIFIC TO DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE. Permission to use Documents (such as white papers, press releases, datasheets and FAQs) from this server ("Server") is granted, provided ... use of such Documents from this Server is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only ...
    Doesn't this read more like a license than a statement of copyright? If fact, it appears to be an attempt to control the usage of something published, even though the "something" isn't software. This is, of course, not legally valid and hence not legally binding (but IANAL). They just hope you won't notice.

    To my increasingly paranoid eye, this is yet another attempt to seize by misdirection and intimidation rights and protections not actually granted by law, and to deny by those same tactices the rights accorded to actual breathing citizens.

  • I was not virulently anti-Microsoft until I was forced to use their products. Currently I am looking for an escape, but management seems convinced that MS is the only possible choice. This makes things difficult. Every crash that I experience increases my distaste for MS. They seem to go out of their way to make it difficult to do anything except what they've planned for you to do. This is probably seen as making it simple, but if that's the goal, why didn't they include "rename data table" in the help? All I could find was how to do it by hand. Eventually I figured it out (by trial and error) but that was something that should have been easy which ended up taking several hours. If they weren't paid big wads of cash for this garbage it would be easier to forgive them. If there was any reasonable way to find the information I would be less continually irritated with them. Trial and error is *not* how I like to approach programming!
  • I wouldn't be surprised if it was up on their site the whole time. Speaking as someone who regularly has to try and find content on MS's site I can safely say that it's impossible. Often the same search will return different pages several days apart. Trying to find development info is a joke I spent two hours looking for a place to download the ADO update. After looking through 15+ pages of marketing fluff and presentation slides the search engine return, all of which were telling me how great the update is, I gave up and went looking for RDO info. Annoyingly from there I found a link to the DAC which apparently encompasses the ADO. The point of this rambling is that I was probably there in plain "Microsoft" sight, which translates to if you had the exact URL you could have found it.
  • Your virulent-anti-Microsoft frame of mind coupled with the lack of *equally* strong foundations to back it up make me wonder about your mental health.

    If you are a qualified mental health professional then I'd be interested to know what your diagnosis of my condition is after never meeting me and reading merely a few of my sentences. If you are not a qualified mental health professional, then it should be clear to you how idiotic it is for you to make statements about my mental health.

    It can't be [ . . .]

    This is an example of "trifurcation" (kind of like bifurcation, except with three examples instead of two). You attempt to discredit my argument my limiting me to three positions and then systematically shoot down each one. Do you think there could be another reason (or reasons) why I loathe and detest Microsoft? Would it make a difference to you if my reasons may be valid? At this point I can't tell if you care.

    When you go off the deep end in your dislike of Redmond inhabitants you do more harm to your own position than to Microsoft's.

    This is a valid argument, and I agree with you. I find it hard to temper my anger in the face of such egregious evil. At the same time, I know that the Microsoft people will point to me as some "foaming-at-the-mouth linux zealot." You know what? They're right. And it does hurt my position. But when I calm down and explain my position those Microsoft people get awfully quiet or get that deer-in-headlights look. Alas, I'm only human.

  • From my point of view (the Netherlands), it seems like the things posted are off by one hour, which would mean the time represented is British Summer Time, or whatever it's called. Currently UTC+1, anyway. This post, for instance, which will be submitted around 14:42 CST, will, for me, be time-tagged as 13:42. So part of the answer you seek lies therein.

    HTH, HAND,
    Stefan.

    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • No, Gates only wants towell boys who know that humans are primates :)

    Finkployd
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:44AM (#971653)
    The last release was copyrighted (because it was a published work) AND labelled a "trade secret". It was this second designation that allowed MS (or so they thought) to add "so don't use this to create your own implementation" to the license.

    With only a copyright, this essentially becomes a "how to implement MS Kerb" book--you can use it to create an implementation but you can't copy the text. Just like any other book.
    --
  • No, they just doctor video tapes for court evidence :)

    Finkployd
  • I've never been able to find anything by searching on the Microsoft Site. Google or AltaVista have a better index of MS than MS does.
  • Or, they could be testing the waters of the usefullness of the DMCA. This gave them a good oppurtunity to use it in battle, and they wanted to see how it would work out. After all, practice makes perfect..

  • The key here is that the license does not use a click thru to attempt to ban reverse engineering the protocol.

    That is pretty important.
  • by molo ( 94384 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:50AM (#971658) Journal
    An excerpt:

    Building Sample Data Files

    [..]

    The following files are needed for building in the Solaris environment, using the Kerberos 5 GSSAPI:

    Usre_id.h
    User_id.c
    K_server.h
    Gssapi_k_server.c

    Using the GNU GCC compiler, the command line should be:

    %gcc -c PDP.c6 user_id.c Gssapi_k_server.c -lgssapi_krb5 -lkrb5

    Wow, MS is recommending interoperability with Solaris using GCC! Personally, I never thought I'd live to see this.

  • Aside from legal issues, paranoid conspiracy theories, etc., has anyone considered that the guys at Micro$oft are jsut trying to do the right thing for once?

    Sure people like Gates and Balmer are megalomanical incarnations of evil, but not everyone at Micro$oft is bad. Is it possible that somewhere in the chain of command there was a good guy that stepped back, took a long look, and realized that trying to add proprietary stuff to Kerberos was just a shitty thing to do?

    When Micro$oft does things like this, try not to be such dicks about it. If people encourage them to keep open things open, and allow for interopability, and on top of that come up with some sort of positive response, maybe Micro$oft will start doing this sort of thing more often.
  • This is horribly funny. Anything a MS employee walks away with from a meeting between his two ears (in his natural memory) is considered the property of MS. And once it's theirs, as we see, they never, ever give it up.
  • by Effugas ( 2378 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @04:36AM (#971661) Homepage
    I wasn't the only geek who grew up watching MacGuyver. Essentially, an hour long show(with a great theme song) of Ad Hoc Geekdom saving the world on a regular basis. Great TV; I'm sorry it's gone.

    For all the fears about bombmaking information on the Internet, MacGyver in its time never needed to worry it was really teaching kids how to make any form of explosive--while most of the steps were technically accurate(usually), something was always left out so that kids wouln't blow off their fingers and sue the production company.

    My question here is, has Microsoft left something out, something minor and non-obvious but critical to successful reimplementation? I'm not accusing them of doing this, but I am interested in what's been removed from the public documentation. Now, it's likely to be nothing--there's more likely more than a few very pissed off Kerberos developers within Microsoft, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if them and a few "volunteer managers" were starting to get fed up with being used as pawns, particularly with the stock price falling so precipitously. The entire Kerberos debacle was a embarassment for everyone involved and I'm sure MS Upper Management figured that out reasonably quickly.

    But still, the question remains: Has anything substantive been removed from these pubic documents?

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    http://www.doxpara.com
  • Sheesh, I'm seriously thinking of putting the Microsoft topic in the same place a the Amiga topic. Nothing worthwile is showing up in the discussions here. It's always open-source, (because it's free as in beer,not speech, although they say otherwise) closed-mind-Linux-above-everything crap spews out here. Frankly it's making me sick. I dislike MS, and think they have become market leaders, not because of good or even inexspenive products, but right through bullying and other shoddy methods. But I don't loathe Ballmer or Gates, actually I suspect that Gates is an intelligent geek, but sadly raised by a laywer (What would you expect out of a child who has a big cat attorney for a father?:>) Ach, why do I even bother?
    J.
  • Preseumably that means that you wouldn't find an MS-kerberos workaround on a Red Hat CD, but for free off the Net? That ain't commercial.

    A RedHat CD isn't commercial either; its contents are free software. Remember, they're charging for the media and the packaging, not for the software.

    --

  • Does anyone else think this might just be a ploy to garner a little more ammo for their upcoming appeal?
    "Look your honor - we can play nice! The geek community complained, and we opened our arms to them!"
    And how many people will ignore or forget the fact that the problems arose when MS bastardized an open protocol. Of course, when you're Bill Gates, you can afford to re-write history...
  • J.K. Weston has been reassigned to an exciting new career as trainee in the phone tech support dept?
  • Shouldn't it then contain a correct release date?

    "Last Updated" means the last time a document was changed. You can't equate Last Updated with Release Date. They are two totally different things.

    If MS changed the information in the document, would you want the Last Updated date to be when they updated it, or the original release date of the information?

  • You know, in the low-end space where Microsoft has been playing, interoperability has never been that much of a concern for anyone. Apple? Novell? WordPerfect? Unlike in the midrange, there hasn't been a great "open system" tradition for the desktop/file server market, so Microsoft is of course making it up as they go along. The results are the "Microsoft Way" you speak of -- more of a defacto religion than a planned one.

    (I'll ignore your "dark ages" stuff which just seems to take away from your point.)

    Now they are trying to get into the big market datacenters, of course their 'Program Manager' sales droids are running into actual real world Unix and Mainframe people. These are they kind of folks who understand these sorts of issues and are actually worried about little details like MS Kerberos interoperability. Microsoft is probably finding that they can't dictate solutions, because their customers already have similar solutions in place, and they simply won't buy Microsoft unless MS plays ball. This is going to have to bring about a cultural change within MS.
  • When I first talked to a Microsoft employee, it was all I could do to keep from screaming, "How can you do what you do and feel good about yourself! Are you some kind of whore!"

    In my current, virulently-anti-Microsoft frame of mind, I don't know how I'd react if any of my friends went and worked there!

    You probably don't feel as strongly about Microsoft as I do (I've found few people who do), but do your friends believe the same lies which Microsoft dumps on the public? I.e., have they been "brainwashed" to the "One Microsoft Way"?
  • I took TRoLLaXoR's course and now I too am a dreg of trolldom. You can be one too! Here's [saltire.org] a link to some more trolling tips. I hope they are helpful.
  • I didn't take this name, boy, I earned it. I am the one and only ERRoR 808. To help you see the TRoLLaXoR/ERRoR 808 conection, here's [saltire.org] a link to set you on your way.
  • They don't go out of their way to not be interoperable, it simply is that interoperability never crosses their minds when creating software.

    Wish this were true, but it does not explain numererous gratuitious incompatabilities. Why for instance do they insist on showing & using backslash in all file names in all interfaces, even though their internal interfaces (no doubt under the influence of Unix users) accept forward slash. It has nothing to do with user friendliness: the forward slash is easier to type and would be consistent with http names. The original need for the backslash (back compatabilitye with DOS 1.0's COMMAND.COM) is long gone.

    Another example is that they have refused to add real symbolic links, in fact deleting a somewhat sybolic-link like facility (the assign command in DOS 5). This would actually be very useful to users by allowing them to pretend multiple disks are a single one, and to installation programs that want to reuse files. I also suspect it is trivial to implement. However it would also allow the Unix filename space to be simulated by setting these links, allowing easy back & forth porting, and the fact that they don't want this is the only plausible reason why they have never done it.

  • The odd date might be pertaining to the actuall document. Which may have not changed except for the fact that you don't have to click through. I mean they would never falsify documents to make it look like they aren't being bad. Would they =)
  • We saw acouple of progress reports from Roblimo about talking with lawyers and such, but where does it stand as of right now? Did the Redmond legal machine actually back down? Did they they just bury it and hope everyone would forget? Details, details!

  • This is a valid argument, and I agree with you. I find it hard to temper my anger in the face of such egregious evil. At the same time, I know that the Microsoft people will point to me as some "foaming-at-the-mouth linux zealot." You know what? They're right. And it does hurt my position. But when I calm down and explain my position those Microsoft people get awfully quiet or get that deer-in-headlights look. Alas, I'm only human.

    It's your declaration of it as "egregious evil" that indicates to people that you've got some kind of problem - you make it sound like Microsoft is the Third Reich. Which it's not - not by a loooooooooooong stretch. It's those kinds of statements that get people wondering.

    Personally, I'd say lay off the caffeine and try to learn that life isn't binary; there are shades of gray. This way you'll find it much easier to deal with life in the real world.

    Simon

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, we all konstant [slashdot.org] is actually an employee of Microsoft, and he's submitted this story both here and at kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] now. Haven't read the info at the website yet, but I'd be inclined to believe that this is some kind of MS set up, especially in light of their attack on /. last month...

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    No, the right thing would be to conform to the existing standard rather than extend it in some arbitrary way
    Please tell that to the GNU folks as well. When you use bash extensions, your scripts no longer work with the industry standard sh. Ditto for gmake, bison, etc.
    It's been a while since I've slogged through this sort of thing, but... bash, make, etc. are intended for use on a single system. It's unlikely and unwise that you'd want or allow someone to run a program remotely that needs, say, bash.

    The Kerberos mechanism, on the other hand, is intended to help different machines talk to each other. Thus, it will often be used to talk to machines completely beyond your control. As long as they all follow the standard, and as long as the standard hasn't been "embraced and extended", it won't matter if the different machines use different software.

    The poster made it sounds like people were criticizing MS for making Word files incompatible with, say, WordPerfect. But it's more like Microsoft "extending" HTML so that a Unix machine can't connect to them.

  • Wish this were true, but it does not explain numererous gratuitious incompatabilities. Why for instance do they insist on showing & using backslash in all file names in all interfaces, even though their internal interfaces (no doubt under the influence of Unix users) accept forward slash. It has nothing to do with user friendliness: the forward slash is easier to type and would be consistent with http names. The original need for the backslash (back compatabilitye with DOS 1.0's COMMAND.COM) is long gone.

    No it's not. Backwards compatibility has to be in there - for DOS and Windows 3.0 apps which people are still running. I kid you not.

    The IRS is a prime example; as of late 1998, they were still running Windows 3.1 on most of their machines - and still didn't have CD ROM drives.

    Another example is that they have refused to add real symbolic links, in fact deleting a somewhat sybolic-link like facility (the assign command in DOS 5). This would actually be very useful to users by allowing them to pretend multiple disks are a single one, and to installation programs that want to reuse files. I also suspect it is trivial to implement. However it would also allow the Unix filename space to be simulated by setting these links, allowing easy back & forth porting, and the fact that they don't want this is the only plausible reason why they have never done it.

    See NTFS, and the plethora of symlinking functionality in Windows 2000.

    Simon
  • Of course not.... MS would never do anything so wrong and immoral and not nice :) It's possible the page was just out there and not indexed/linked anywhere... IIRC, most of those timestamps are (theoretically) generated on-the-fly by the ASP engine based on the actual modification dates. Not really any way of checking that though. Unless someone wants to break into MS's web server(s) ;)

    ---
    Tim Wilde
    Gimme 42 daemons!
  • by carlhirsch ( 87880 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:23AM (#971679) Homepage
    but when I did a search on Microsoft.com during our little tussle with them last month, I didn't find it.

    What ever happened with that tussle, anyhow? Did MS slink away when Andover's lawyers got tough or what?

    -carl
  • by Dungeon Dweller ( 134014 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:22AM (#971680)
    Yeah, we used to put the wrong dates on our timecards just to avoid managerial and legal tussle too. It happens.

    As for the spec. I think that Microsoft realizes that nobody will adopt their software if it doesn't work in the existing infastructure, and doesn't conform. I mean, I can call Java C++ all I want, but it doesn't mean that Java is C++, and programmers trying to use it to write C++ will go with a different compiler. Get it? Whether they found it morally right or wrong, they are beginning to see that they have to start playing nice, or die after they are split up.
  • by gclef ( 96311 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:24AM (#971681)
    As pointed out on kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org], this isn't actually open. The copyright restrictions are still there, if you click on the copyright link [microsoft.com] at the bottom of the page you get a page that says (among other things):

    NOTICE SPECIFIC TO DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE. Permission to use Documents (such as white papers, press releases, datasheets and FAQs) from this server ("Server") is granted, provided that (1) the below copyright notice appears in all copies and that both the copyright notice and this permission notice appear, (2) use of such Documents from this Server is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only and will not be copied or posted on any network computer or broadcast in any media, and (3) no modifications of any Documents are made. Educational institutions ( specifically K-12, universities and state community colleges) may download and reproduce the Documents for distribution in the classroom. Distribution outside the classroom requires express written permission. Use for any other purpose is expressly prohibited by law, and may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible

    Documents specified above do not include the design or layout of the Microsoft.com website or any other Microsoft owned, operated, licensed or controlled site. Elements of Microsoft websites are protected by trade dress, trademark, unfair competition, and other laws and may not be copied or imitated in whole or in part. No logo, graphic, sound or image from any Microsoft website may be copied or retransmitted unless expressly permitted by Microsoft.

    Looks pretty much like the previous release, just without the trade secret nonsense.

  • Of course they have to have backwards compatability, I'm not complaining about that. I don't mean get rid of the backslashes, I just mean change the documentation and gui of new programs to encourage the use of forward slashes. This would not break any programs, they have supported both types of slashes in the system interface since DOS 2.0.
  • So, does this mean we won? Is Slashdot still under threat of Microsoft lawyers, or has that all blown over? We want to know! :)
  • by Agelmar ( 205181 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:50AM (#971684)
    I think it's about time MSFT does something like this. I work at a computer company, and we do a lot of software development. Currently, we are developing for Windows CE, and I have to say, I was really ticked when I learned I couldn't just d/l the SDK... I actually had to **order** it off of the developer store (Now true, it was free, but I still had to pay $7 s/h and wait 3 weeks to get the darned thing). Although this is a bit late in coming, it is a welcome addition. It will really help in programming for Windows 2000 sekurity. Better late than never!
    Agelmar
  • We've seen the incoming and the outgoing[0], but have they followed on with more? The M$ letter sounded quite sure and serious, but that's of course just legalese for "We really mean it!". But I wonder whether they actually thought they did have a leg to stand on, and intended to try and do that.

    Stefan.
    [0] Letters, not missiles.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Commander Taco
    Will bend over any time
    I troll in haiku.
  • Two points:
    • (2) use of such Documents from this Server is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only and will not be copied or posted on any network computer or broadcast in any media
      -- This seems to preclude using this document as source material for building an interoperable interface to MS-Kerberos, and
    • Elements of Microsoft websites are protected by trade dress, trademark, unfair competition, and other laws and may not be copied or imitated in whole or in part.
      -- So Microsoft is depending upon anti-trust laws to protect them from unfair competition?

    Are you moderating this down because you disagree with it,
  • I don't know what your problem is but all times show up correctly for me (EST zone).
  • As previously suggested, MS might have provided the documentation on their site, but that certainly doesn't mean it's open. I poked around their site quite thoroughly when all of this Kerberos Extension Cr*p began, looking for their specs, but found nothing, and that was just a few months ago. It certainly doesn't look like that date is valid in pertaining to that site at all.

    However, the point can be furnished that it WAS available... within the Microsoft internal network. Perhaps that document carries that date based NOT on the time that it was released, but at the time of its original internal publication. It seems a very Microsofty thing to do (using the tired old suspicious airs that we /.ers are known for).

    Of course, this is all conjecture, and is completely un-needed, but it does offer some explaination to those curious enough.

    -wulf-
  • OK so they make a point of saying

    "(2) use of such Documents from this Server is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only and will not be copied or posted on any network computer or broadcast in any media"

    But isn't Samba non-commercial? Couldn't most open source projects be considered non-commercial? OK so Red Hat probably can't develop software to use this, but others can.

    Or at least that's my thoughts.
    -cpd
  • My guess is that it was an internally developed and viewed document until it was made public this week. It's amazing how many people assume the sinister simply because of the source.
  • From their copyright:

    Elements of Microsoft websites are protected by ... unfair competition

    Does this not make you want to ROTFL?

  • Educational institutions (specifically K-12, universities and state community colleges) may download and reproduce the Documents for distribution in the classroom.

    [Emphasis added.]

    Parent:
    So, Honey, what did you learn in school today?

    5-year-old:
    We learnt 'bout Curb-rose!

  • no $hit, they have the worst search engine and organization I've seen. I heard somewhere that they constantly rearrange stuff so that search engine spiders think it's new and index it higher. That goes hand in hand with my real world experience. Quick, someone go find the IIS download! See ya in 30 minutes...
    --
  • All one has to do to generate a date in a document (past or future) is to change the "Date & Time" from the taskbar to whatever they want, and then to create or modify the document. Voila! So I really don't know how you can actually trust any dates in a document.

    wiZd0m
  • Wow, MS is recommending interoperability with Solaris using GCC! Personally, I never thought I'd live to see this.

    It's not too surprising once you realize the amount of people with *nix backgrounds that they hire. I have three friends who work there and they all either own a Linux box or have hacked Open Source projects at one time or the other.

    The problem with MSFT isn't that they are evil or that they are out to screw Open Source but that they truly believe that the Microsoft Way will advance technology and bring the coolest technology to the masses. It is this belief in their rightness that makes them (at least at the developer level) dangerous to Open Source and third parties. After all, if you believe that without MSFT technology the world would be in the dark ages and your mom wouldn't even be able to use a computer without MSFT wizards and GUIs, then you'd begin to have a certain kind of tunnel vision which would border on delusional.
    Basically what I'm trying to say is this, they don't go out of their way to not be interoperable, it simply is that interoperability never crosses their minds when creating software.

  • Dude,

    It's even easier than that. There are multiple utilities that allow a person to specify an exact time and date to which a file's time stamp should be changed. Any one of those utilities will allow a person to specify ANY time and date (and it's really cool to send someone a document that has an obviously impossible time stamp just to see if they are paying attention).

    This sig here in lieu of something clever.
  • This is barely related to the previous flap. In particular, there is nothing here which says what MS did with the PAC. Or in other words, how a non-Windows system can find out to what groups a particular user belongs. I don't see what all the hootin' and hollerin' is about.
  • You seen any of the films? Oh, lordy they're poor. The one about the Lost Secrets of Atlantis (I think, doesn't matter) was especially bad. Started off with Mac' and Brian Blessed (putting in plenty of acting) robbing some grave in Eygpt, then getting trapped in a big hole with bars across the top, up to their necks in rocks. Opening credits; then:

    BB: I'll never forget how you got us out of that trap in Cairo, MacGyver, Ho, Ho, Ho!!

    Not once was it explain how they escaped.

    The film ended with the chamber of secrets collapsing due to the planets aligning (he watched them line up out of a hole in the roof, you could see the surface of Jupitor, for gods sake).

    Oh, and the 'Eastern European Military Camp', which was actually Battersea power station.

    And 'The London University', which was actually Royal Holloway University.

    Very poor.

  • Well couldn't it have been last updated January 21st but now put up onto the live site until recently?

    Josh
  • they now pay me to wear their shoes.
    CmdrTaco
  • If you wish an extremely amusing take on how daylight savings time is handled in the rest of the world check out the last Darwin Award.
  • One question on an MCP exam does not indicate that Microsoft openly admits when someone else makes a superior product.
  • Well I must say, I'm impressed. The whole kerberos thing was kind of the last straw for me as far as considering buying Microsoftware in the future.(its gotta work with Unix, or its gotta go) I guess I'll cautiously keep an open mind about them.

    As far as the date on the page is concerned, well they make heavy use of headers, footers & other automated elements on their site, so I don't think they are trying to claim its been there since Jan. 21st.

  • by Moderation abuser ( 184013 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2000 @03:28AM (#971709)
    You'll have to become Bill Gates's towel boy to use them!

  • Err... if you actually take a look at the TechNet web page, you'll discover that there isn't nearly enough information to actually *implement* an interoperable implementation. There's a very high-level description of what goes into the Kerberos AUTH_DATA field, but not nearly enough bits-and-bytes information to actually implement anything interesting.
  • So when do you think MS will apologize for threatening a lawsuit?
  • Looks pretty much like the previous release, just without the trade secret nonsense.
    That was the entire point. It's MS. If you ever expect something MS to be totally open and, by your inferred definition, copyright-free, you're a lunatic.

    ---
    Tim Wilde
    Gimme 42 daemons!
  • re:"Last updated January 21, 2000,"

    There are two distinct possibilities. I will be generous and present them in order of highest benefit to M$:

    • This was M$'s plan all along. The have a long history of doing something dorky at first, only later to do something that comes closer to being the right thing. This gives them the feeling of having done the right thing while giving us confirmation that M$ is run by dorks.
    • M$ is still suffering from Y2K fallout and they are just now getting their systems to recognize Y2K dates (as of 3 weeks ago). Unfortunately, they have not had the opportunity to send the college interns around to reset all of the system clocks, a task that most of us handle by having our systems access a central clock.

  • > Elements of Microsoft websites are protected by trade dress, trademark, unfair competition, and other laws and may not be copied or imitated in whole or in part.
    -- So Microsoft is depending upon anti-trust laws to protect them from unfair competition?


    No, it clearly says that Microsoft will use unfair competition to protect the material on its Web sites!
    --
  • konstant works for Microsoft (and, when making pro-Microsoft posts in comments includes that fact in his .sig).

    This is not a criticism, it's just something to keep in mind when you read his take on things - just as it is when any employee of a company publicly comments on something directly involving that company's business).

  • After all the fuss [slashdot.org] last month over people posting Microsoft's copyrighted material to Slashdot, now someone's gone and done it again. Let's hope Microsoft see this as "Fair Use" before they unleash the lawyers again.
  • Microsoft has a habit of backdating alot of its technical articles. It is hard to tell if this is because the article existed internally for a while before it was released (most likely), whether it was a mistake, or whether they are trying to be sneaky. I have seen security problems reported to them that cause a technical article to appear publically with a date weeks in the past.

    -weld
  • by iceT ( 68610 )
    I disagree. It might not be happening as fast as you might think, but using Microsoft products in an Enterprise environment is happening, although probably not as fast as MS would like.

    For example, MS Exchange is already the mail system of many of the Fortune-500 companies (Ford, EDS, Boeing, to name a few). Most companies have also deployed an IIS web farm, for both internal and external use, and many are starting to deploy SQL*Server DB farms as well..

    The most interesting thing to notice is that it's being driven from the desktop. Microsoft is the predominent desktop operating system, and Microsoft Applications (read: Office/FrontPage/Project/etc.) are the predominent applications. To get the most out of your Microsoft Applications, you will want to use the corresponding Microsoft Server Application (read: Exchange, IIS, SQL*Server)

    Try using Outook in an SMTP/IMAP/LDAP environment, and then try using it it MS RPC/Exchange Server environment. With MS RPC, you get scheduling, journaling, task assignment/management, directory services that are NOTICABLY better than their LDAP implementation, public folders, forms, routing.... the list goes on.

    That's how Microsoft is getting into the Enterprise. By making client software that people want to use, and from there, they 'expand' the functionality to include other services. One prime example is with our favorite security hole ....er... I mean.. web browser, IE.

    With Outlook98, you had to install IE, and just in case you didn't need Outlook98, Office2000 requires IE. Now, everyone has IE, whether they want it or not, just because they wanted Office2000, or Outlook98.

    Remember, most end users don't care about what the back-end service is. They just want all the features they can get. So IT departments are FORCED to deploy critical applications on MS products just to satisfy the end users. So MS is working their way up from the desktop, bringing all their proprietary features with them.

  • There are a lot of those out there, too. Search AltaVista for "19100" [altavista.com]. There are over two million hits, most of which are Y2K bugs.

    (Slashdot thinks I'm not logged in, though I was logged in a few minutes ago. Slashdot's been wierd today; a few minutes ago I was seeing lots of Perl error messages regarding "mu.current.nu", which supports Slashdot in some way.)
    (OK, did a Preview, and now Slashdot has me logged in again. Somebody needs a new roll of duct tape.)

  • Your virulent-anti-Microsoft frame of mind coupled with the lack of *equally* strong foundations to back it up make me wonder about your mental health.

    It can't be the closed source nature of Microsoft, because you don't display the same hatred towards other closed source companies or even shareware authors. It can't be the size of Microsoft, because again you aren't displaying the same level of antagonism towards Oracle, IBM or Cisco. And it can't be the monopoly position because I haven't heard your utterances about TW/AOL brainwashing or "One (insert telco here) Way"

    "I don't know how I'd react if any of my friends went and worked there"

    When you go off the deep end in your dislike of Redmond inhabitants you do more harm to your own position than to Microsoft's. In fact, I think Bill and Steve would have loved to have you on the witness stand before Judge Penfield.
  • True, but how many research machines, supercomputers, massively distributed systems, that sort of thing run it? How many machines are designed to run it? More these days, but most of them were designed with a version of unix that comes along with it. Look at the riscstations, the sun systems, the new processors.
  • The copyright notice prevents you from taking the document and selling it or redistributing it elsewhere. It does not restrict your use of the information. You can still make a commercial Kerberos implementation based upon the information.

    The big furor was that this document previously was under a license that said that it was a trade secret, and which prohibited you from using the INFORMATION in it. This license doesn't do that, it merely prohibits you from re-distributing Microsoft's copyrighted document. No big deal, eh?

    While I dislike Microsoft's business practices as much as the next guy (see my home page :-), let's not go overboard and read things into their actions that aren't there.

    -E

  • The date, 21 Jan 2000, is probably accurate. A quick AltaVista search for that particular article title shows matches at the Microsoft TechNet site as early as 10 Feb. A more likely explanation is that M$'s search engine didn't get updated in a timely fashion. Or M$ paid off AltaVista to pre-date their index (which isn't very likely at all).

    ---
  • Yup. MS can now see how much they need geeks. Trying to sell an operating system to upper management can only take you so far.
  • I get the impression that notice is a blanket statement covering all documents available on the Microsoft website, as opposed to anything specific to the Kerberos spec (like "trade secret" designations). If anything, they probably have that there as a knee-jerk insertion to all their documents, and for the most part don't even entirely realize it's there.

    Unfortunately, I do notice some pretty hefty attempts to regulate distribution nontheless... "will not be copied or posted on any network computer or broadcast on any media"... "distribution outside the classroom requires written permission. Geesh, M$. Lighten up!

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"

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