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Re: lynx-dev anonymous usage of Lynx (was Arizona)

From: Philip Webb
Subject: Re: lynx-dev anonymous usage of Lynx (was Arizona)
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 08:53:17 -0400 (EDT)

981009 Brian Pardy wrote: 
> I think asking for a dedicated machine is often too much to ask for when
> dealing with the sort of sites that are allowing anonymous access to users
> for whatever reason. Said sites are probably (I'm assuming, having no real
> experience) operated on little or no budget, and anything we can do to
> make Lynx A) more secure in general, or B) make it a more usable program
> for people providing this kind of service is a Good Thing to me.

hardware's quite cheap these days, lots of it second-hand.
of course, if someone gives them free programming support
they won't see any need to improve their hardware.

> People running sites allowing anonymous access to the net are a wonderful
> thing, and I'd hate to see them be left out in the cold[1]. 
> To me, Lynx is a way that I can attempt to give back to the community that
> has provided so many things for me (the net, so much great free software,
> friendships). I think the people that help others get on the net at their
> own personal expense (time/money/etc) are doing quite possibly one of the
> best things the net can have done for it. And anything I can do to help
> these people out makes me feel good.

i certainly can't quarrel with your fine words
& you undoubtedly put your own time & skills into the effort,
but you may be overestimating how genuinely deserving
typical users of freenets are (eg someone today mentions winter vacationers).
it may have been true when Lynx started, but i doubt if many N Americans today
have to RELY on freenets for access to the Internet.
if all anonymous Lynx is really doing is saving residents taxes
they would otherwise have to pay for better library service,
i can't see any point in it.
> Philip Webb wrote:
>> Lynx started out on a campus freenet, but has long outgrown those origins
>> & today tends to be installed -- a/a used -- mainly by individuals
>> running Linux, Windows or DOS or shell-account users on UNIX (like me).
>> there appears to be no-one currently developing Lynx
>> who also runs an anonymous site & so is motivated to be security guru,
>> so i'ld say we have to ask managers of sites with anonymous users
>> to contribute their own time & skills to the effort insofar as they can:
>> otherwise, they should not expect security vs anonymous miscreants
>> to have any kind of priority in future Lynx development efforts.
> That seems a curious thought given how much coaxing was required
> to get you to attempt to debug the rcfile problem you were having.
> I don't think any bug is an acceptable bug.

you shouldn't be directing these words at ME!!
I (emphatic) had to persist in reporting the bug
in face of retorts that "we can't see it here" etc!
i've done everything to track it down very promptly,
but the advice i have been given has been  c 75 %  correct on average.
in the end, the only solution to date is my own crude hack at the code.

SUPPORT     ___________//___,  Philip Webb : address@hidden
ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|  Centre for Urban & Community Studies
TRANSIT    `-O----------O---'  University of Toronto

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