Strip Club Source Code

From Reuters via Slashdot: Microsoft are making the Office source code available to world governments so they can audit it for security flaws. This follows on from a program to make Windows available in a similar way.

Of course, this is “strip club source code”[0] – look, but don’t touch. Are these governments allowed to make fixes, compile the code and use and redistribute the resulting binaries? No? Well then…

Microsoft: Here. Use these binaries. They are made from the source code you audited.

Government: How do we know that?

Microsoft: Er… because we say so, and we’re nice people?

Diebold: And if you believe that, we have some voting machines to sell you…

You need the freedoms free software gives you to guarantee the integrity of your IT infrastructure. With any other form of “access to source code”, you are just doing free QA for the company concerned.

[0] I’ve never visited a strip club, and never would, but I still think it’s a catchy name.

7 thoughts on “Strip Club Source Code

  1. — I’ve never visited a strip club, and never would, but I still think it’s a catchy name. —

    Just wondering, how does the content on the page linked from “never would” mean that you never would?

  2. Gervase:
    Good point… Microsoft sounds like they’re just playing games – honoring the ruling with their lips, but their hearts are far from it. =)

    On the page you’re referring to (which is part of Gerv’s personal website), he says, “…if anything I’ve said seems wrong or strange, feel free to mail me.” Therefore, since it seemed wrong or strange to you that he linked to it in such a way, one would assume you e-mailed him about it?

    Just guessing, but I believe Mr. Markham is referring to, among other things, Jesus’ stating that looking at a woman lustfully is on par with adultery (Matthew 5:28).

  3. Why would Microsoft not honour this? Yes Micro$haft LOL Bill Gates of borg etc etc, but what they’re getting is government employees reviewing their source code for nothing. If they find anything seriously wrong with it why would they NOT issue fixes for the rest of us?

  4. If they find anything seriously wrong with it why would they NOT issue fixes for the rest of us?

    Because issuing fixes to Windows costs them a fortune? As Windows is not sold on a service model, they have no incentive to fix anything unless the publicity gets really bad.

  5. > Only a woman?

    Greg: You may be being ironic, but I’d like to take the opportunity to answer the point seriously, because I believe it to be important.

    The message of the broader passage, as I understand it, is as follows. Jesus starts by endorsing the whole of biblical moral law (as epitomised in the Ten Commandments). At this point, his sermon probably seemed uncontroversial, because most people in that place and time probably agreed. But the crunch is that none of us keep that moral law properly, and as we compare its high standard with our low achievement it should make us beg to God for forgiveness. Nonetheless, it is possible to subvert that the intent of biblical law by interpreting it in such a narrow way that we feel that we do obey it, to the very letter. Such an attitude is extremely dangerous, because it gives us false confidence and prevents us from turning to Jesus who can save us from condemnation. So Jesus warns against it, by giving several examples of how the true scope of the law is far broader than we might tell ourselves. And just in case we are still feeling smug and don’t recognise the finger pointing at ourselves as Jesus repeats “anyone who…”, “anyone who…”, “anyone who…”, he summarises the law’s demands by telling us to be perfect, just as God is perfect. Ouch!

    So hopefully it is clear that the point is not simply a prohibition on (presumably men) looking at women with lust, nor even a more general prohibition on indulging in sexual fantasy, but that we in every conceivable way fall far short of God’s standards.