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Slashback

Slashback: Bundestux, Kerberos, Blizzard 325

Slashback tonight with several updates and amplifications, starting with a nice report on the current state of the effort to put Linux into the heart of the German government, but also bits on Starcraft, cleaning up UNIX config, and Kerberos.

This deserves a hearty 'Jawohl!' DocSnyder writes: "Since the Bundestux campaign started collecting votes in favor of putting Free Software into the German parliament (Bundestag), more than 25000 people have done so. A lot of online discussions - in addition to Heise News and Linux-Community.de, even some Bundestag parties have put up their online forums - are very active to share user experience about GNU/Linux and Free Software. (Sorry for most of the linked sites speaking German, it's simply too much to translate at once.)

After several open letters and press releases have been exchanged between lobbyists and politicians, some information about a research performed by the German company Infora appeared on Heise News (english version), recommending an all-Microsoft infrastructure with the exception of some security-critical services like e-mail. The detailed paper is still not available.

An internal test (english version) between the Bundestag administration, SuSE, IBM and Microsoft confirmed that GNU/Linux and Free Software are in fact ready for the Bundestag's IT infrastructure, yet the testers don't like the copy&paste method used by KDE and recommend Windows for the desktops.

Last week, the Bundestag members (MdB) Jörg Tauss and Hans-Joachim Otto have been invited by Heise for an online chat with the community. While Jörg Tauss is a clear supporter of open standards and Free Software, Hans-Joachim Otto takes the internal test as well as Infora's research as primarily relevant for the coming decision.

On Saturday, MdB Uwe Küster summarized some details in an interview. He considered the decision - officially due Feb 28 - as almost finalized. The solution would show GNU/Linux on most servers, Windows XP and Office XP on the desktops, keeping proprietary data formats and lock-in interfaces up to the next upgrade cycle, which in fact would have been problem number one to solve.

All in all, the community has provided lots of experience, ideas and solution paths which finally seem to be largely ignored in the decision finding process towards the successor of a homogenous Microsoft Windows NT4 infrastructure, which has to be replaced until 2003 when Microsoft will no longer provide support for NT4."

That's a lot of cleaning up to do! maffew writes "A lot of feedback and ideas have been flying around since my article How to fix the Unix configuration nighmare was featured on freshmeat and slashdot. So we've created an ongoing web site and mailing list for people to continue discussing, organising, and hopefully in the end coding. It's all at unixconfig.sourceforge.net.

Meanwhile here's a link to the permanent home for the nightmare article. This is where I'm making revisions and adding links."

Raise your hand if this would mean seeing it for the 4th time ... Chris Brewer writes "In case you've been living on a different planet, The Fellowship of the Ring picked up Five Baftas, the British equivalent of the Oscars, including Best Director, Best Film, and Peoples Choice. During a live interview (Real only) after the awards, Peter Jackson announces that a preview for The Two Towers will be shown from the March 22 screenings of The Fellowship."

At long last ... something? If you've followed the strange relationship Microsoft has had with Kerberos, you may feel grateful to the anonymous coward who writes: "It would seem that Microsoft is granting the world a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to implement their Kerberos extension."

Here's some comfort for Starcraft players. An Anonymous Coward writes "As stated on Blizzard's battle.net service, the latest Starcraft patch supports UDP play, so some of the compelling reasons to use bnetd have been addressed. Whatever you may think of Blizzard and the DMCA, at least it shows Blizzard is listening to its fans."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Bundestux, Kerberos, Blizzard

Comments Filter:
  • The solution would show GNU/Linux on most servers, Windows XP and Office XP on the desktops, keeping proprietary data formats and lock-in interfaces up to the next upgrade cycle, which in fact would have been problem number one to solve.


    Sounds a little odd to me - given my druthers, I'd probably go with a BSD on the servers and a custom Linux distro on the desktops.

    Speaking of which, I assume it would be SuSe?

    But hey, what do I know. Not German, for one thing.

    --saint
    • I'd probably go with a BSD on the servers and a custom Linux distro on the desktops

      No problem with it. The most important topic in the Bundestux campaign is not GNU/Linux or Free Software everywhere. It's about open standards - getting rid of proprietary data formats especially in public and governmental institutions.

      Once the Bundestag would use open, migration-friendly standards, file formats and protocols, switching between GNU/Linux, BSD, MacOSX or whatever, even back to the Microsoft world, would be quite easy. And what is more - nobody willing to communicate with members of the Bundestag would be kind of forced into a certain proprietary Office software.
  • by WasterDave ( 20047 ) <davep AT zedkep DOT com> on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:11PM (#3074767)
    Yipee! They published their wire protocol:

    "All data is encoded as little-endian."

    Oh, god. Look, since the start of time itself binary data on the net has been big endian. No, you do not know better.

    Head->table: Bang! Bang! Bang!

    Dave
    • Oh, god. Look, since the start of time itself binary data on the net has been big endian. No, you do not know better.

      Um, I don't mean to flame, but why does it matter? Byte ordering strikes me as rather arbitrary. Except for the fact that you probably want to keep any new standards consistent with the existing dominant processors, which seem to be little endian. At least, I for one am annoyed at having to call ntohl() every time I want an int I pulled off the network to be usuable.
      • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:17PM (#3075108) Homepage Journal
        Byte ordering strikes me as rather arbitrary



        actually why it's an issue at all is shrouded in history ..... Arabic numerals were originally written in - well - Arabic which is a right-to-left writing system ... however in the original numbers were written LSdigits first, which makes sense since a culture of traders back in those days mostly did addition, which is done LSdigit to MSdigit .... it seems that some monk in Spain (where the Arabic numbering system was adopted when the Moors were driven south from Spain) ... didn't really realize what he was doing an copied the Arabic system into Roman scripted languages (ie left to right) without reversing the order of the digits - the result is the mess we're in today - a scripting system where we think of text being left-to-right, but numbers being right-to-left (except we're so used to them we don't realise this). This means that there's no real culturally 'natural' way to handle byte ordering for us (if our first stored program computers had been invented by native Arabic speakers they'd all be little endian and it wouldn't be an issue)

        • You read numbers MSD first: 'one thousand, three hundred and fifty-six'. So in English at least it makes sense to write them bigendian. The situation may be different in other languages (consider obsolete 'four and twenty blackbirds' in English).
        • Your reasoning about the digit order in Arabic is wrong because it is completely irrelevant for addition whether your MS digit is on the left or on the right.

          Arabic numbers are written LS right, MS left because of the way numbers are read in classical Arabic. Classical Arabic (unlike modern standard arabic) reads numbers LS digit first. Since Arabic is written right-to-left, the LS digit comes first, i.e. right. That's why Arabic numbers in Arabic script are written the way they are.

          Since numeral ordering is a relatively script-independent thing, the order of the numerals was retained when the Arabic digits were adopted into the latin script (probably in medieval Spain). This is convenient because most Indo-European languages pronounce their numbers MS digits first.

          BTW The Arabic numbers weren't even invented by the Arabic. Arabic numbers were originally invented in India and written in the Sanskrit language and the Devanagari [unicode.org] script which runs left-to-right. Sanskrit numerals are pronounced MS digit first, so it makes sense that way as well. In Arabic, the so-called "Arabic" digits are called Indian digits even today.
      • Um, I don't mean to flame, but why does it matter?

        Because there is such as thing as network order [google.com].

        At least, I for one am annoyed at having to call ntohl() every time I want an int I pulled off the network to be usuable.

        It's called "portability".

        If you're following good programming practices, you shouldn't have to care - or even know - whether your system is big-endian or little-endian, unless you're writing kernels or compilers.

      • x86 stores integer data in a different binary format than other architectures. One of the amazing things about TCP/IP is that it's designed in such a way as to be oblivous to the underlying architectural implementation. Hence, network byte order.

        It's the only way to allow different computers to communicate with each other.

        I would say though that the whole berkley socket interface is antiquated for handling binary socket data. It works wonderfully for handling ascii data (which is what a majority of early protocols where).

        Fortunately, most languages have decent socket libraries that abstract network byte ordering. Now, the really annoying thing about berkley sockets is the lack of an async name lookup mechanism...
        • You're wrong. "Network byte order" is a convention that is equivalent to big endian. TCP/IP organizes things by 8-bit bytes. Programmers put things into "network byte order" because it is a convention.

          Suppose you want to send a 32-bit integer, let's use 2864434397 as an example, since its hexadecimal representation is the convenient form 0xAABBCCDD.

          Now, suppose this value is stored in memory starting at location 0. On a little endian machine, location 0 would contain the byte 0xDD, 1 would contain 0xCC, 2 would contain 0xBB, and 3 would contain 0xAA. On a big endian machine, those values would be reversed (0xAA would be written first).

          This also applies to file data. Suppose you have the following C code:

          void write_data(int x[], int count)
          {
          FILE *f;
          f = fopen("data.bin", "w");
          fwrite(x, sizeof(int), count, f);
          fclose(f);
          }

          On a big-endian machine, the data file would be written out as big-endian. On a little-endian machine, the data would be written out as little-endian. If you want to read the data file written by a little-endian machine on a big-endian machine, you'll have to swap the individual bytes around.

          Anyway, the convention for "network byte order" is to send AA first, followed by BB, CC, and DD, in that order. Some protocols, such as Gnutella, send things in little-endian mode. I can only assume that this is because the original programmers were lazy and were using x86 machines.

          Now if someone could just tell me why I bothered to write this long of a reply...

          Cryptnotic

          • You're wrong. "Network byte order" is a convention that is equivalent to big endian. TCP/IP organizes things by 8-bit bytes. Programmers put things into "network byte order" because it is a convention.

            Network byte order is an abstraction. It just so happens that it's implementation is the same as big endian.

            TCP/IP had a standard word size so I am definitely confused as to what your talking about 8-bit bytes. Higher bit words are needed for things like storing the packet CRC, size, etc.
        • x86 stores integer data in a different binary format than other architectures.

          A different binary format than some other architectures use. It's not the only processor capable of operating on little-endian data; a number of other processors can run in little-endian mode (most if not all MIPS processors, at least some SPARC V9 processors, Alpha processors, at least some PowerPC processors, at least some PA-RISC processors), and some of them typically run in little-endian mode (Alpha, for example).

          One of the amazing things about TCP/IP is that it's designed in such a way as to be oblivous to the underlying architectural implementation. Hence, network byte order.

          It's the only way to allow different computers to communicate with each other.

          If by "it" you mean "network byte order", no, it is not the only way to allow different computers to communicate with each other over a network.

          There are several ways to allow different computers to communicate with each other over a network (or via files). For example:

          • you can use big-endian (network) byte order for data sent over the wire, even if the machines are little-endian;
          • you can use little-endian byte order for data sent over the wire, even if the machines are big-endian;
          • you can "tag" the data with a byte-order indication;
          • you can send the data over the wire as text.

          (There may well be others I haven't listed.)

          Each of those is used by some protocol or protocols:

          • the first of them is used by IP, UDP, TCP, ICMP, and most if not all Internet protocols that don't use text, as well as by ONC RPC;
          • the second of them is used by SMB/CIFS (works just fine between little-endian PC's and big-endian machines running Samba, for instance);
          • the third of them is used by DCE RPC and, I have the impression, CORBA;
          • the fourth of them is used by {F,SM,HT,NN}TP and the like.
          I would say though that the whole berkley socket interface is antiquated for handling binary socket data.

          It wasn't intended to provide a presentation-layer protocol to allow machines with different data representations to communicate; it was intended to allow you to build that atop it, just as read() and write() (or ReadFile() and WriteFile(), for Win32 folks) don't provide a mechanism for writing out files in a data-representation-independent fashion, but they let you build such mechanisms atop them.

          • If by "it" you mean "network byte order", no, it is not the only way to allow different computers to communicate with each other over a network.

            No, by "it" I mean TCP/IP. All your examples can be simplified to simply "both sides agree on a way to send data."

            BTW: The IP protocols use network byte order. Network byte order != big endian. It's an abstraction. Just because it happens to be implemented as big endian, does mean that one should not use ntoh? on big endian machines.

            Of course SMB would use little endian. It's was originated by MS! Windows runs on x86.

            And I have to disagree with your assertion that read() and write() are not meant to be the high level socket interface. The C library is filled with high-level interfaces for things. The fact of the matter is that when these functions were designed, cross platform portability and data sharing wasn't much of a concern.

            If these functions were rewritten today, they would be knowledgable of such things (i.e. iostreams in C++).
      • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:52PM (#3075248) Homepage Journal
        Byte ordering is arbitrary if you don't give a hoot about interoperability or standards. It's not called "network byte order" for nothing. It's the default byte ordering for all RFC-defined internet protocols -- including Kerberos itself.

        Almost all network software uses "hton*" and "ntoh*" functions to convert the byte ordering from host to network byte order and reverse. On big-endian machines they happen to be NOPs. So now what? Everyone implementing the protocol on big-endian machines has to implement their "itoh*" and "htoi*" ("idiot to host", "host to idiot") functions. And to implement any software portably you'll need the same functions on little-endian systems as well. OK, so now you can write your non-portable apps without the "ntohl" -- that's OK if don't care about playing nice with others. Those of use who work in heterogenous environments and write software for a living do care.

        Sure, network byte ordering is arbitary. But big-endian was chosen long ago and causes no harm. What Microsoft did is just a good way to piss off folks who care about everyone playing nice on the internet.

      • Byte ordering strikes me as rather arbitrary.

        Arbitrary perhaps, but not unmotivated. Big-endian of course has the obvious relation to how we write numbers. Little-endian has the advantage that if you are attempting to load a 1-byte value into a 2-byte register you can use the same offset (assuming the next byte is 0). This means casting an unsigned byte to a short to an int or back does not require any actual pointer fiddling.

        Now, back to your regular program...
      • by Rasta Prefect ( 250915 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @12:17AM (#3075787)
        Um, I don't mean to flame, but why does it matter? Byte ordering strikes me as rather arbitrary.

        Yes, it's completely arbitrary. Which means that since Kerberos is supposed to be Big Endian, Microsoft had no compelling reason to screw with it. Its arbitrary, but by no means interchangable. Now when using Kerberos you actually need the check every time you use an integer to determine which way 'round it ought to be, thus allowing for a whole new class of bugs. Hooray.
        • Either you're clueless, or you're trolling. The little endianness only applies to Microsoft's proprietary PAC. Only applications that care to be compatible with Windows 2000's implementation of Kerberos need worry about the format of the PAC, especially since they'd need to worry about other Microsoftese formatted structures like user and machine SID and GUIDs. Besides which, nearly the entire PAC uses NDR encoding (Network Data Representation -- the type of data encoding that DCE/RPC does).
      • by Tony-A ( 29931 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @01:56AM (#3076150)
        Which side of the road you drive on is arbritrary. Things just work a lot better if everybody agrees on the *same* arbritrary.
        The existing dominant processors are the IBM and Sun big iron.
        Maybe you like reading the hex value 12345678 as 78 56 34 12, but I don't.
  • by hillct ( 230132 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:15PM (#3074787) Homepage Journal
    I remember vividly my discussions with microsoft personel at the Win2K launch even in North Carolina. We were debating the validity of adding data to optional fields in a Kerb ticket which would effectively prevent a ticket issued in a unix realm from beung useful in a Windos Kerb realm, but not the reverse.

    After filtering out the marketoids who repeatedly insisted everything was fine, a couple engineers conceded that the implementation was broken. It;s interesting to see Microsoft try and sell this as an extension that others shoupls implement and use. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the effect of monopoly power.

    'We support the standard but if you want to access our systems you need to implement the standard our way'

    What a sham.

    --CTH
  • Linux on desktops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blibbleblobble ( 526872 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:16PM (#3074792)
    So the linux clipboard (or lack of compatibility thereof) provides enough reason for them to buy and use Windows/Office XP?

    Sounds like a reason to fix the shitty broken clipboard, then. I'll be grateful when I can at last paste from KMail into Mozilla.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:28PM (#3074863) Homepage Journal
      Actually, I don't think anything's broken. The clipboard is just your classic you-can-configure-everything X-Windows app. And every distro seems to use the standard hacker-friendly config. Which does allow you to work with a minimum of clicks if you're used to it, but is insanity-inducing if you're used to the simpler Windows model.

      Hmm. This is just the sort of problem Lycoris would attack. Another reason to download it -- as soon as the slashdot effect dies down.

      • by Bilestoad ( 60385 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:02PM (#3075025)
        Here's why Linux isn't making up ground on the desktop. When someone says something doesn't work right the response is RTFM, or that it is supposed to be like that. If Linux is going to succeed in environments like the German government then intuitive or ingrained use patterns should be the norm, no matter how much geeks like the other way and no matter how much it might seem like windows. Geeks can turn it back the other way if they like, they know how.
        • Here's why Linux isn't making up ground on the desktop.

          If I had a dollar for every time some slashdotter made the claim that reason X was why Linux was never going to succeed on the desktop, I'd probably have enough money to take my other kidney out of hawk.

          • If I had a dollar for every time some slashdotter made the claim that reason X was why Linux was never going to succeed on the desktop

            And if I had a dolla' for every time a slashbot comes to the defense of the slow, ugly,
            antiquated, inconsistent-by-design POS that is X, I'd have a limitless supply of beer money.

            C-X C-S
      • by schon ( 31600 )
        I don't think anything's broken.

        OK, with you so far.

        insanity-inducing if you're used to the simpler Windows model.

        Here you lost me..

        Using the windows clipboard isn't simpler, it's more complex - highlight, edit -> copy, click destination, edit -> paste.

        Using X (or at least Xfree, the only version I've used), it's highlight, (middle) click destination; half as many steps to accomplish the same task.

        I keep hearing about how poor X implements the clipboard - for graphics, it's true; but for text, it's not only better, it's simpler.

        Can someone explain to me exactly where the problem lies with the X clipboard?
        • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Trepalium ( 109107 )
          Using X (or at least Xfree, the only version I've used), it's highlight, (middle) click destination; half as many steps to accomplish the same task.
          Except when you're using the clipboard to replace the text you've selected. In MS Windows, you can select the text you want to copy, press the copy button (ctrl-C), switch to where you want to paste it, select what you want to replace, and press the paste button (ctrl-v). Add to the fact to accomplish all of this in MS Windows, you need not touch the mouse once. It's really frustrating when you use both X and MS Windows frequently. I get the feeling the only way to make former Windows users confortable with X would be to have two clipboards -- the selection clipboard, and the cut/copy/paste menu/keystroke clipboard.
          • In MS Windows, you can select the text you want to copy, press the copy button (ctrl-C), switch to where you want to paste it, select what you want to replace, and press the paste button (ctrl-v).

            OK, thanks for that explanation..

            One thing that's interesting though - I've been around (and used) PC's since Windows 3.0, and I've never seen anyone use this functionality (I know it existed, but nobody I've ever known uses it... which might explain why I didn't think it was an issue :o)

            How many windows users use this feature?
    • for reference: I am a long time windows user (4 years) before using a *nix system. I am a win2k admin by trade with 4 bsd machines at home.


      Moving to X (enlightenment) the biggest change someone has to get used to between windows and X is the paste. It *is* pretty annoying. That and to close the window you now have to click on the upper *left*, but who ever needs to close windows when you've got 4 desktops?

      I also don't use X terribly much except for just having multiple terms open, and the occasional mozilla so there's probably more unintuitive stumbleblocks, but the cut&paste is the only thing that isn't easily picked up and remembered...

    • Hey, I agree. Copy/paste is one of the worst usability problems with KDE (and other window managers I've used).

      It works perfectly in windows.

      I hope that this news reminds some people that there are still basic problems to be addressed before linux on the desktop can go mainstream.

      (OTOH, I am pretty impressed with KDE. It has been running 160 days straight on this box, and 160 days ago was my first boot... other window managers I've used have not been so stable.)
    • Sounds like a reason to fix the shitty broken clipboard, then. I'll be grateful when I can at last paste from KMail into Mozilla.

      "shitty" broken clipboard? Use the X clipboard (works on every Unix I've tried it on) to copy and paste from Kanything to anythingelse. Swipe with the left button down to mark, change focus and middle-click where you want to paste ... maybe I'm missing something badly off the wal, but I haven't found a case where it doesn't work.
      • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:46AM (#3076279) Homepage
        It's very simple. If 99% of the desktop machines in the world do it one way, and 1% do it the other way, that 1% is wrong from a usability design standpoint. No matter how much better in theory. It's the equivalent of sending out Dvorak keyboards as the standard keyboard for a computer because it's a better design, or giving people foot-operated mice so they can keep both hands on the keyboard. I don't care what logical arguments you make, it it's still wrong.

        The Windows and Mac clipboards work one way. The X clipboard works another. X is, therefore, wrong.

  • ...yet the testers don't like the copy&paste method used by KDE and recommend Windows for the desktops.

    Choosing a desktop on the basis of a copy and paste model. I thought people got their priorities wrong but this takes the biscuit. Copy and paste vs free and more stable...

    Just out of interest - how easy would it be to port a windows-style copy and paste model to KDE? I thought the KDE UI was relatively customisable in this sort of area so implementing such a feature would be relatively easy. Then again, I could be completely wrong.

    • by nuxx ( 10153 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:45PM (#3074956) Homepage
      I'm sure I'll get flamed or modded down for not trashing MS and pumping Linux, but here goes anyways:

      I would imagine that what the users are talking about is the inability to copy and paste all formats of data from anywhere to anywhere. Like copying a table from a HTML document and pasting it into Excel. That's just useful sometimes when your manager is breathing down your neck looking for a report of something that could just be looked up online. We all know how it is.

      About the more stable thing... The last time I tried making ANY in-depth spreadsheets on *nix, I tended to take the app (I think it was Star Office) right down. Or sometimes when importing data from other existing sources the app would either blow up or fail to import the data. Users can't have that when they have deadlines. On the other hand I've been sitting here for the last five hours working up process documentation in Excel (yep, management can't get it done, I want a faster process, I'll write it myself) without a single issue.

      Yes, I love Linux, but I don't think it's ready for the desktop. MS has it right with near-universal copy and paste and stability is no longer an issue. On a properly configured machine there is no reason that 2000 or XP should crash. Ever. My machines don't, yours can too. I still believe that Linux's best place is on the back end. Passing out files with Samba without people thinking about it. Serving internal websites with Apache. Watching what's going on with Snort. There's many, many good places for Linux, but the desktop just isn't there yet.

      Not to mention notebooks... I've yet to see a Linux distro that can transparently handle being undocked, taken to a conference room, hooked up with a PCMCIA NIC, worked on, then docked again. If I'm wrong here, please correct me and provide links...

      -Steve
      • In regards to your notebook comment, I'm not sure what "docking" envolves, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work with just about any linux distribution with pcmcia support.

        I have a Sony 505TR notebook. I installed Slackware 8.0 on it when I got it back in September. I've since rebooted the thing once (to install a 2.4 kernel). Basically the thing's been booted for nearly 6 months, all i do is close the lid to suspend it. I'm always swapping out PCMCAI NIC's (wirless at home, ethernet at work, no card on the road) and have never had to manually change anything when switching cards (if that's what you mean by transparent).

        Am I missing something?
      • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:59PM (#3075270) Homepage
        No, they are probably complaining about the simple inability to cut & paste text.

        It is true that selection and middle-mouse click will work between all X applications.

        However Windows users are used to ctrl+x and ctrl+v. Most X apps initially supported this by simply making ctrl+x do nothing (because the text was already selected) and making ctrl+v do the same as middle-mouse click. This is how current KDE applications work.

        This worked pretty good, but it turns out most Windows users were also used to selecting the text they wanted to replace and then typing ctrl+v to replace it. This unfortunately changed the clipboard and the paste did not work. They do have a point that this is confusing to anybody coming from Windows.

        There are several kludges an app could do to detect this and do what the user expects, but it appears the solution adopted, first by Motif programs like Mozilla and then by GTK and several other toolkits, was to have 2 clipboards, one for the selection and another for the most recent ctrl+x. In many ways this is an ideal solution, as in fact the middle mouse is really equivalent to drag & drop and is best combined with that mechanism, not the clipboard.

        The problem now is that KDE apps (and quite a few others, I'm sure) do not understand this. Typing ctrl+v still pastes the selection. Since this is usually the same as the clipboard except for the "select and replace" Windows reflex it probably isn't any worse than before. However the opposite way is a pain, as ctrl+x in KDE does nothing and ctrl+v in a newer program then pastes and older ctrl+x, which I am sure drives the user nuts.

        Yes the next version of KDE will fix this.

        PS: the newest versions of FLTK match GTK as well, it had the same problem as KDE.

    • KDE 3 will supposedly finally have decent clipboard managing. It will have one clipboard that will only be overwritten when a copy is performed, like Windows. It will have another clipboard that is overwritten whenever you select something with the mouse, like X. To paste the Windows-like clipboard, you press Ctrl-V (or whatever you have paste bound to), and to paste the X one you use the middle mouse button. This way people who prefer one type of clipboard can simply ignore the other one with no harm done. I hear this will also make KDE's clipboard more compatible with other X applications.

      So Germany should use KDE 3!

  • kennedy... (Score:3, Funny)

    by doooras ( 543177 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:21PM (#3074826)
    ich bin ein Linuxuser
  • by AndyDeck ( 29830 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:23PM (#3074836) Homepage Journal
    I'm practically speechless here... Microsoft has actually relinquished a proprietary lock.

    I am neither expert enough at Kerberos nor Samba to know if the above-referenced web page (Here [microsoft.com] in case you missed it) is truly sufficient for interoperability, but it sure looks like it.

    And the critical language is at the bottom:
    Microsoft grants you a perpetual, nonexclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right and license under any Microsoft copyrights in this specification to copy, publish and distribute this specification, and to implement this specification in your products.

    and

    Microsoft is not currently aware of the existence of patent(s) and/or pending application(s) that are essential to the implementation of this specification. However, if Microsoft becomes aware or has any patent(s) and/or pending applications that are essential to implement this specification, Microsoft will grant you a royalty-free license under applicable Microsoft intellectual property rights essential to implement this specification for the sole purpose of implementing this specification. Microsoft expressly reserves all other rights it may have in the material and subject matter of this specification. The licensing commitments made hereunder do not include any license for implementation of other published specifications developed elsewhere but referred to in this specification.


    Translation: You can use this spec in your products. It's not covered by any of our current or pending patents, and even if it is, you can still use it royalty-free.

    Other related specs are not rendered licensed or royalty-free, so they MAY have kept a loophole - but this looks sincere so far.

    Amazing news, really.
    • I think you can thank one Vinod Valloppillil [opensource.org] for exposing the larcenous behaviour of the Microsoft Marketing Dept. - and thier influence on Microsofts coding practices - for this one. Much news about Microsoft has transpired since then, and most of it very, very bad for them.

      /imagine: a half bald, bawling marketdriod with a pile of his own bloddy hair at his feet, more in his fists at the side of his head, shouting "NO! We could of owned it all! NOOOOOOO!". Now smile. :-D/

      IMHO, it was the leaking of the Halloween Documents that had the most devestating effects on Microsoft. Those very same documents also give reason to still be guarded with our support.

      The timing of this is also suspicious with .Net on the way. From what I've read, most big comanes are telling Microsoft that .Net is OK, but thier keeping all thier data. Ergo, what if Microsoft wants to use Kerberos authentication from your server, whatever it is, to allow .Net services in? It may be needed for thier business model to actually work. Hmmmm.

      To paraphrase a famous Trojan :
      "I fear Microsoft even when they come bearing gifts".
      I'm pleased, but will still be very wary all the same.

      Soko
    • About time. The main issue people had wasn't the extension to Kerberos (which is in the Kerberos spec anyway, as I understand it), it was the fact they didn't tell anyone what it was or what it did. Then, when they did, they basically said "you can read this, but you can't use it to write anything or talk about it to anyone else". Now they've finally (it appears) opened up and said "this is how we do it; go forth and use it, but only to talk to Win2k".

      Hopefully, this will help products such as Samba and pam_smb to interoperate with win2k better.

  • by cybermage ( 112274 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @08:37PM (#3074915) Homepage Journal
    Most people, at least in the US, don't bother to sit through the ending credits; so, they'll miss the trailer for Two Towers unless they're told about it as the trailer will run, properly, after the movie.

    Of course, given what theaters pay their workers, let's hope they actually tack it to the end and not the beginning. ;)
  • Blizzard (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Seclusion ( 411646 )
    "Whatever you may think of Blizzard and the DMCA, at least it shows Blizzard is listening to its fans." And it only took them 4 years to get around to this issue. Not that I'm complaining much, blizzard is better then some other software company's when it comes to patching games after sales for them have dropped. Still, I have to wonder if it's worth supporting a company that represses the people who actually buy their software in the name of piracy protection.
    • UDPbnetd (Score:2, Informative)

      by hirschma ( 187820 )
      Um, the UDP thing doesn't replace bnetd. You can't use it to play against other folks on the Internet (unless you're using VPNs, or some kind of tunnel that doesn't currently exist). Choice is still lost, unfortunately.

      Blizzard is suck.
  • Starcraft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:05PM (#3075044)
    Actually the UDP support has nothing to do with bnetd. Starcraft was ported to Mac OS X, which doesn't have a working IPX protocol that they could use. So rather than try to graft IPX onto the Carbon version of Starcraft they created a new UDP version for LAN play with OS X, then added UDP to the other versions afterwards.

    There were a few posts to insidemacgames.com's forums by the Blizzard techs who made the patch.
  • "Whatever you may think of Blizzard and the DMCA, at least it shows Blizzard is listening to its fans."

    Oh? Which fans might that be?

    I think I can speak on behalf of D1 players everywhere: over 5 years on the clock and still running. Where's the patch for the dupe bug, Blizz? Oh, what's that you say? There's NOT a patch for the most egregious bug in the game YET? After 5 YEARS? And don't even get me started on all the other bugs that would be easily fixed if they gave half a rat's ass.

    Hm. So much for the fans.

    -Kasreyn
    • by Bowfinger ( 559430 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @10:21PM (#3075371)
      Be reasonable. D1 was great in its day. I lost thousands of hours to it. But D1 is a dead product, superceded by D2. If you liked the original, you will probably like D2 even better. It's the same basic game, but with far, far greater variety and replay value. Of course, if you didn't like D1, you may not like D2 either. To each his own.

      There is no replacement for StarCraft. There doesn't appear to be one on the horizon. I think it is remarkable that a company like Blizzard continues to support and enhance it. How many other companies are still provding free patches for five-year-old games? How many other companies even provide bug fixes for old products like this with little sales potential?

      I too am concerned about Blizzard's actions with respect to bnetd. I understand their legitimate need (and their right) to control the spread of the Warcraft III beta, but they overreacted. I hope this is just an aberration. Too many companies seem to have run out of fresh ideas of their own, so they use the legal system to suppress fair competition. It would be a shame if Blizzard has joined that list.

      Yes, Blizzard has problems. If you look at their overall record, I think Blizzard is still one of the good guys. There don't seem to be many of them left. Give Blizzard a little slack, at least for a while longer.

      But that's just my $0.02 worth.

      • There is no replacement for StarCraft. There doesn't appear to be one on the horizon.
        You sir, are terribly uninformed. One of the many reasons bnetd is popular *right now* is the fact that it can be used to play the Warcraft 3 beta (which is almost as stable as Starcraft with almost all the beauty of Homeworld) which was leaked by a participant in the public beta. Sure, there is no legal commercial repacement for Starcraft yet (no other game has the same style of play that only Blizzard does right), but Warcraft 3 is not just on the horizon, but already available to the warezing members of the gaming public.
      • D1 was great in its day. I lost thousands of hours to it. But D1 is a dead product, superceded by D2. If you liked the original, you will probably like D2 even better. It's the same basic game, but with far, far greater variety and replay value. Of course, if you didn't like D1, you may not like D2 either. To each his own.

        You're wrong. D2 is a whole different kettle of fish. I have both, and you know what? I prefer D1. D2 is not an enhancement, it's a cheap knock-off of a game they did right the first time.

        How many other companies are still provding free patches for five-year-old games?

        All their recent patches do is remove functionality, change the networking of the other games to better suit D2, and screw with the balance for games that will never be balanced. Frankly, I could live without patches like that. I like the rules of a game to remain consistent over time as I play it, but that's not the case in SC and D2.

        Yes, Blizzard has problems. If you look at their overall record, I think Blizzard is still one of the good guys. There don't seem to be many of them left. Give Blizzard a little slack, at least for a while longer.

        Give me a break. I was giving Blizzard slack for years. I'm tired of it. If you'd been around Bnet as many years as I have, and seen the way they treat their oldest fans, you'd be disgusted with them too. I'm all out of patience and loyalty to Blizz.

        You act like it's unreasonable for them to patch those bugs in D1? Those bugs ruin the game online. People don't even need trainers to ruin the play. Not only that, those bugs have been fixed in fan-written mods, yet Blizzard continues to say they can't do it. Won't is closer to the truth; I'm sure if they asked the modders for the patch code they'd just GIVE it to them for free, just to see the bugs finally fixed. And yet they've managed to release enough patches to bring Diablo to version 1.09, without ever finding time to even bother with it. You know what those patches did? They removed functionality from D1, and brought it in line with D2's new Bnet networking scheme.

        I don't think what I ask is too much to ask from a company like Blizzard used to be. But they're not what they once were, and I for one have seen through it.

        -Kasreyn

  • Microsoft is granting the world a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to implement their Kerberos extension.

    It's good to know they're not granting the world a royalty-free, exclusive license.

  • Solve two problems, configuration and proprietary file formats, and Microsoft products will disappear. Why? People don't like being abused. For one of the many, many examples of Microsoft abuse, see Microsoft Program Tracks User Info [yahoo.com].

    Suggestion: 1) An interface like Ganymede [utexas.edu]. 2) Have every project write their own modules to integrate their configuration text files with Ganymede. 3) Put characteristics that depend on other characteristics into a folder-like structure, to show the dependency.
  • by antis0c ( 133550 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:50PM (#3075238)
    Not really, they added UDP LAN support, and they added that in the initial release of 1.09, a week before they went after bnetd. The biggest problem this fixes is play using Windows 2000 across the LAN works now, before many Windows 2000 clients would get no response errors when attempting to join LAN games. This didn't change much in the way of Battle.net at all, At least I think, feel free to correct me Slashdot-style by insulting my intellegence and boosting your ego. ;)

    Ever since Blizzard went after bnetd using the DMCA, my respect for Blizzard dropped below that of goatse.cx trolls. And I hate to say it but I will not purchase WarCraft III. I played WC3 at E3 almost 2 years ago. I had to change my underwear at the hotel that evening because of it, but sadly, I am being forced to boycott WC3 because I don't agree with their business practices, and it's sad because they make good games.. It's similar to Microsoft, Microsoft has a fantastic marketing ability, and a real appeal to the average user, but man, do they make a bad Operating System...

  • UnixConfig (tm) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KidSock ( 150684 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2002 @09:52PM (#3075247)
    I was ready to post my message to the UnixConfig message board but apparently I wasn't logged into sourceforge. I think I'll just post my comments in response to the documents prepared there here instead:

    --8<--

    A core system would handle parsing, verification and storage of text-based configuration files in one or two basic formats.

    We cannot do this. We must be able to handle arbirary file formats. There is no way we will get anyone to change the format of Samba's smb.conf, Apaches truly arcane httpd.conf, or DNS zone files for example. We *could* standardize on a uniform in memory representation but I'm not in favor of that either. I think we have to go all the way up to the API level (e.g. int exports_add(const char path, int flags, ...,{SMB|HTTP|NFS|...}).

    The master copy of the configuration is always left in the native text files (in /etc and ~/.*). This is where linuxconf falls down, it starts keeping its own copy of the configuration, which means if linuxconf takes over your system and then later something stuffs up, it's difficult to edit a text file manually without losing linuxconf completely.

    Absolutely. The confuration files *are* the database. On a separate front, we might provide an idealized open-ended application configuration library for assisting new development but I think there would have to be some weight behind the main front before developers would even consider it. That might also give us the opportunity to normalize on a few file formats (e.g. scanf, WINI, XML).

    Another option is to allow plugins to handle how the data is stored.

    That's a goodish idea but there are interfacing issues. By "plugins" are you suggesting one could write their parser in C or C++ or Perl? At what point do you normalize on a common language? Keep in mind this has nothing to do with *file* formats.

    In order for some features to work, it might be necessary for application developers to switch to the use of the configuration manager for their internal routines.

    We cannot do this. We must transparently manage data within the configuration files of the applications themselves. There is no way in heck we'll get app developers to convert. Their intrests are far more important in their mind (and they're probably rigth).

    A key element would be the configuration format description file. This would list the configuration options for a given piece of software, giving for each one the name, type (boolean, list, string, filename, internet address, etc.), options, category (for sub-sections within the config), and help text (short and long).

    You'll end up with a glorafied property editor and that's not what you want. What I mean by this is that you do NOT just want to map configuration options within application config files to the configuration options of whatever tool we're talking about. This is one of the greatest failures of UNIX confuration tools. It would be far more effective to isolate and the concepts associated with changing the behavior of a system (or group of systems) rather than just mapping check boxes to booleans and selects to lists. The KDE runlevel editor is a spectacular example of this failure; it does not isolate the concept of what it means to change the initialization behavor of your system.

    For example, rather than writing configuration screens for Samba, Apache, Pro-FTPd, and NFS exports, write an "Exports" module that handles all of them uniformly. They all do essentially the same thing; make a portion of your filesystem available as a network service. Similarly, instead of having a PPP dialer, make a module that controls your "Network Interfaces" (RH has largely done this working PPP into network-scripts). Again, isolate concepts rather than parameterize configuration options.

    • I absolutely beleive their should be a /etc/xml-config hierarchy, optionally populated, with translators between the old and new formats.

      Once done, any of the usual xml property editors can be used to edit same.
      • I absolutely beleive their should be a /etc/xml-config hierarchy, optionally populated, with translators between the old and new formats.

        Once done, any of the usual xml property editors can be used to edit same.

        No. This is a very naive approach that does nothing to solve the real problems. XML is a file format. This UnixConfig issue will not be solved with a file format. We are not writing a property editor.
    • Another option is to allow plugins to handle how the data is stored.

      That's a goodish idea but there are interfacing issues. By "plugins" are you suggesting one could write their parser in C or C++ or Perl? At what point do you normalize on a common language? Keep in mind this has nothing to do with *file* formats.


      No need to "normalize on a standard language" ... back in the 80's I wrote utility modules for Autocad Lisp programs in C ... and neither I, nor the developers of the AutoLisp programs needed to worry about glue code. It is up to the authors of the plug-in API to write the bindings for the various languages that might be used for parsers.

      Personally, I would expect that a Universal Unix Configuration Tool(TM) would come with a plugin interface supporting C, C++, pascal, fortran, Java, perl, php (maybe ... gotta keep webmin in mind), Tcl/Tk and Python before it could hit a 1.0 release. Your program needs a different parser and you don't like any of those those languages? It's your itch ... scratch it ... write the parser and contribute to the project.

      IMNSHO, The Universal Unix Configuration Tool and the Kernel Janitors project, comprise the KEY component in the World Domination Project(SM).

      Unix (and Linux IS a "u" Unix) IS user-friendly ... it's just a little more picky about who it's friends are than the monopoli^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcompetitor is.
  • It's time to make an app that will make a "LAN" out of the internet. Nothing drastic, just an IRC chat client, and some software to keep track of the IP addresses of the gamers, and fool the game in to thinking that the game is being played over a LAN. It shouldn't be much harder than hacking together a new battle.net, and I doubt there is anything Blizz legal could do about it (since all you're doing is making a virtual UDP LAN with a chat client, Blizzard's own software is doing all the rest). This software could even be open source, since it requires Blizz to add the LAN play themselves (read: War3 betas wouldn't work with this). I see definite possibilities...

    BlackGriffen
  • What's the about MS granting the world a non-exclusive license to implement their Kerberos protocol? We need an *exclusive* license. We don't want the trilobites on Europa to be implementing a protocol that has security implementations.

    What ever happened to the Prime Directive, dammit!
  • From the license:

    However, if Microsoft becomes aware or has any patent(s) and/or pending applications that are essential to implement this specification, Microsoft will grant you a royalty-free license under applicable Microsoft intellectual property rights essential to implement this specification for the sole purpose of implementing this specification.

    First, there's a word missing in there somewhere. To what are they granting a license under "applicable Microsoft intellectual property rights"? But more importantly, when they grant whatever it is, what will those "applicable Microsoft intellectual property rights" do to the entities that try and use whatever is being granted? This is NOT the GPL by any stretch of the imigination.
    • However, if Microsoft becomes aware or has any patent(s) and/or pending applications that are essential to implement this specification, Microsoft will grant you a royalty-free license under applicable Microsoft intellectual property rights essential to implement this specification for the sole purpose of implementing this specification.

      Read that to say "the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing ... but if we find out you've gotten a hand job by relying on this, we won't try to charge you anything ... "

      "OTOH, if somebody else has a patent/copyright we've infringed, you're on your own (read 'hosed'), Bubba, because our IP rights are zero."
  • So we hear:
    "Microsoft is granting the world a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to implement their Kerberos extension."

    Hurray! But... It is jus the license and doc's for half of their extensions: the part which does group enumeration. Which was already understood anyway.

    The real beef - i.e. the domain controller specifics - are still as closed as ever. And according to the presentation at the RSA conference last week - are going to remain so.

    Congrat's to slashdot for picking it up just as the spinmeisters intended :-)

    Dw.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @07:20AM (#3076711)

    If you plan to comment on the "cut and paste" issue, please read the X clipboard explanation [freedesktop.org], in detail, and make sure you fully understand it before commenting.

    X - or, at least the X11 Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM) - does specify a clipboard that works like the MacOS/Windows clipboard. Selecting text does not have to copy to that clipboard; it merely has to set the "primary selection". The middle mouse button can paste the "primary selection". Ctrl+C and Ctrl+X can copy/cut to the clipboard, and Ctrl+V can paste the clipboard even if you've subsequently selected something else (in which case it replaces the selection with what you're pasting).

    Motif and GTK+, for example, work that way. Qt 1.x and 2.x, as used by KDE 1.x and 2.x, didn't; Qt 3.x, as used by KDE 3.x, works that way.

    The KDE announcement speaks of the primary selection and the real clipboard as both being clipboards; that was, as far as I know, done to avoid "frightening the horses", i.e. to work around the confusion that some people suffer from, thinking that selecting text copies it to "the clipboard". The ICCCM doesn't call them both clipboards (it calls them both selections; for better or worse, that's standard terminology inside the innards of X, but you don't have to call them "selections" when talking to users).

  • [...] Microsoft is granting the world a royalty-free, non-exclusive license [...]

    Boy, talk about a 180-degree policy change! First Microsoft keeps the extensions proprietary, then they reverse that and make it so open that license is even extended to other worlds. I guess that's a good thing. I'd hate to see a Mars mission that couldn't login to the on-board network simply because the authentication algorithm wasn't licensed for use off of Earth...

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