[SASAG] Proprietary Formats on Public Mailing Lists -- Was: Re: System Admin Job opportunity

Benjamin Krueger benjamin at seattlefenix.net
Sat Sep 1 14:10:44 PDT 2007

* Ken Meyer (kmeyer at blarg.net) [070901 09:32]:
> Hi, Ben --
> Good to see you surface, MR2 list or not.
> I should be pleased with this group's defense of M$ Word documents, as I
> still remember one time when I attached a poster in Word format to an
> announcement for a GSLUG meeting and sent it to various lists -- mostly
> Linux-centric.  The incoming was positively nuclear.
> What concerns me here is that Mohsen's original message included some
> allegations of serious problems that could accompany a Word document.  No
> one has addressed the validity of these claims, or means to circumvent them.
> All have chosen to interpret Mohsen's input as born of pure prejudice, which
> it seems to me, is the easy way out.
> Ken Meyer

Hey there Ken,

I'm working on getting a shop crane to pull the motor from my MR2. Once it's back in, you should see more of me. :)

Mohsen's allegations are like many; they contain a kernel of truth and are almost completely bent, inflated, or just plain irrelevant. Good anti-virus can be had for free, and most of the occupants of this list are using it. Many in multiple layers at their mail server and at their client. 

If we approach Mohsen's email from the perspective that he truly is worried about the security implications of Microsoft word documents, then we must assume that he is pretty silly. Claiming that a bunch of professional sysadmins and serious hobbyists need the mailing list to protect them from the mean word documents is akin to demanding that we protect a group of hunters from rabid rabbits. Hunters are well endowed with defenses against rabbits and sysadmins are well endowed with defenses against Word viruses.

So, we give Mohsen the benefit of the doubt. He isn't silly or ridiculous in a way that lacks intelligence, but simply waxing zealously about something he hates and wishes for us to hate too.

Benjamin Krueger

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