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Comment A definition for lawyers? (Score 1) 405

Raymond Chen of Microsoft has often equated an API to a contract. An API has an implementor and a user, just as there are several parties to a contract. Each party expects the other to do certain things (use the API in a certain way) and in return promises other things (to do what the API is specified to do). If one party does not act in accordance with the contract, chaos ensues.

Comment Evven in 1850 (Score 5, Interesting) 87

Locksmiths were having this discussion at least as early as the mid-19th century.

"A commercial, and in some respects a social, doubt has been started within the last year or two, whether or not it is right to discuss so openly the security or insecurity of locks. Many well-meaning persons suppose that the discussion respecting the means for baffling the supposed safety of locks offers a premium for dishonesty, by showing others how to be dishonest. This is a fallacy. Rogues are very keen in their profession, and already know much more than we can teach them respecting their several kinds of roguery. Rogues knew a good deal about lockpicking long before locksmiths discussed it among themselves, as they have lately done. If a lock -- let it have been made in whatever country, or by whatever maker -- is not so inviolable as it has hitherto been deemed to be, surely it is in the interest of *honest* persons to know this fact, because the *dishonest* are tolerably certain to be the first to apply the knowledge practically; and the spread of knowledge is necessary to give fair play to those who might suffer by ignorance. It cannot be too earnestly urged, that an acquaintance with real facts will, in the end, be better for all parties." -- Charles Tomlinson's Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks, published around 1850

Amazing how little has changed... you'd think with improved communication and mobility (of goods and people), attitutes would have shifted in favor of disclosure.

Comment Re:MS was concerned about how this was exposed? (Score 1) 324

This doesn't repro on Vista, so it's been fixed for over 3 years. They didn't allow free upgrades to Vista, true (and according to lots of slashdotters, they wouldn't have taken it if offerred).

They didn't "fix" it by fixing the bug, they fixed it by removing the component (according to other posts, at least; I don't use Windows). So the question is: Does removing a component for entirely unrelated reasons amount to a will to "fix" the bug? In my view, no - it only demonstrates that they were willing to remove the component for unrelated reasons.

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