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Re: Should Emacs provide a uuid function?

From: Ken Raeburn
Subject: Re: Should Emacs provide a uuid function?
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 18:22:36 -0400

On Apr 30, 2011, at 14:39, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> On the other hand, correlating my location with Suzy's is a waste of
> the hacker's time, because it's easy enough to figure out where I am
> several days a month from the online university course catalog and
> from webserver logs (IP addresses for the rather balkanized campus
> network often allows determining probable -- assuming no deliberate
> obfuscation -- location within 50m).

Just because some of us don't go to such efforts to keep our information 
private doesn't mean others don't, or don't want to.  One could use Tor (as you 
suggested), or a VPN configured to tunnel even traffic destined for the outside 
world.  Add use of a pseudonym instead of one's real name, and it gets trickier 
to trace a location.

>> Different sorts of exposures lead to different kinds of
>> opportunities for attacks.  Just because one hasn't been closed off
>> doesn't mean it's not worth looking at others.
> Certainly.  I don't think this one justifies an addition to core
> because

On its own, I'm not sure it does, either.  But if any of the use cases might 
want stronger privacy guarantees than some of the uuidgen implementations 
provide, or there are portability issues, then "just use uuidgen in each 
package" looks like a poor solution.

> (3) I think the whole idea is currently only half baked, especially
>    with respect to UUID formats, and it would not hurt to have one or
>    more implementations in ELPA, which would allow experience to
>    determine best practice before putting in core.

I'm inclined to agree, though if multiple packages in the main distribution are 
(and should be) using UUIDs, eventually having a common function included to 
generate them doesn't seem like a bad thing.


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