Start Confirmations

Paul Lemmons paul at lemmons.name
Wed Jul 22 19:57:48 BST 2009


> I don't understand why so many has problems with this, it's a security
> risk (not a big one but still...) and it's not the UNIX way to be able
> to execute programs if not the execute-bit is set on the file.
> Speaking of Microsoft and Vista why do so many have problems with
> that? You have to type a password in Linux to when accessing hardware
> or changing things in the system.
>
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xdg/2009-February/010209.html
> http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2009-February/msg00132.html
>
> / Jonas
>
>   
The reason is more philosophical than technical but let me see if I can 
explain.

I use Linux exclusively and I do so because of the control I have over 
the environment. I have trusted sources for software and I have the 
ability to customize my system in any way I want. I even have the 
ability to be stupid if I want to be; even incredibly so. Microsoft and 
Apple try to protect the user from themselves by placing restrictions on 
what a person can do on their own computer. They also leave the training 
wheels on by constantly asking the question "Are you sure?". The 
deliberate restricting of what I can do on my own computer is just plain 
wrong. To date, the Linux community and desktop developers do not do 
this and I am not really afraid of this changing.

The constant pop-up confirmation which in essence asks "Are you smart 
enough to be doing this?" is both irritating and insulting to a person 
that really does know what they are doing. It is just irritating to the 
less experienced. I would also suggest that It is not in the least bit 
protective of the user. Do you know of anyone that does not say "Yes" to 
one of those dialogs? For Microsoft and Apple it may protect them from 
law suits but it does not protect the person using the software. In the 
end, I am either smart enough to say "yes" or inexperienced enough to 
not say "no".

Yes, I do have a password and it is a good one and I do enter it once. 
Once, during login, is enough. I have verified who I am. If I leave my 
computer unattended and logged in, I lock it. If I forget, my screen 
saver does it for me. I have set the sudoers file so that I am not 
prompted for a password for every change I make to my system.

I apologize for my insulting choice of words in my original few posts. 
The appearance of this new Vista-like 
protection-the-user-from-themselves scheme took me aback and I responded 
poorly. I deeply respect the hard work the devs do on the various 
programs that I use. This was just not one of the best design choices 
they have made and I want the ability to turn it off.

-Paul

And for the record, the issue was not the execute bit, it was the fact 
that the .desktop files were not in a "standard" directory. They were 
shortcuts to the rdesktop command; a base system program.

-- 
Sometimes I wonder.  Were our faith able to stand upright and look around, would it be looking down at the mustard seed or standing in awe of the height and breadth of it.

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