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Re: SEUL: RFC: Base SEUL on Debian?

On Fri, 16 Jan 1998, Rick Jones wrote:

> I don't see why it would take 2 years to get a core together from
> scratch, since I did it in about a month without knowing what I was

Well, it's not that it would take that long.  It would probably take me a
week or two.  But starting with a distribution at least helps us maintain
compatibility with the distribution.  And it does save work.  It also
creates a great deal of work, and if the consensus was to start from
scratch I'd be happy with that too.

> > because it was built for a glibc (rh50) system.  Nowhere now can I find
> > rh42 compatible RPMs.
> I assume the problem was either that RH 5.0 went to glibc6 (Debian) from
> glibc5 (Debian) or the dependancies wouldn't allow it.

Yes, but it's still a good argument for a core.  :)

> How is that going to work given that any one eliment of the core can be
> revised at a different time than the other elements?  You going to hold
> a bug fix or security fix until the next core version?

No; the core can be updated if necessary.  We go from version 1.1 to
1.1.2, say, if we have some library buffer overflow or something.  Most
bug fixes and security fixes don't impact functionality, ease of
compiling, or much of anything.  And with luck, there won't be many bugs
or security holes in the core.  By the time this is done, glibc will be
reasonably stable, and the only 'continual source of holes' in the core
will probably be X-windows.  And it's as yet undecided how much of
X-Windows will actually be in the core.

> So you're not talking about the core binaries needed for a base system? 

No, we are.  However, core binaries aren't much different from
distribution to distribution.  It's the application packages that are

> That is probably why RH is against this and will fight to remain above

I don't know that RH is all that gung ho against it.  I don't even know if
anyone has officially approached them or not.  All I know is that RH likes
their independence, and they don't like having to coordinate their efforts
with external "governing bodies".  However, the core should hopefully not
be extensive enough to make many problems of this sort.

> and possibly implement their own in competition with you.  Be advised

Maybe, but they already have their own distribution.  Redhat and Debian
are essentially the only major distributions at this point, and Debian is
part of THIS core project.  Redhat unlike Debian has never intended their
distribution to be used as a base for other enhancements.  Redhat sells
their distribution as a block.  They will not nor can they start any
"competition" to the core. 

> that an idea can be patented and most likely will not fall into any
> aspect of the public licenses.  So if RH, or anybody else, patents the
> idea for this core they can slam the door on your effort to unify

If RH manages to patent the idea for this core, I'll be first in line to
take out patents on going to the store and going to bed at night.  You
can't patent an idea.  You can only patent inventions.  You can patent
ALGORITHMS, which is probably what you're thinking of, because the patent
office says they're industrial processes and count as inventions.  But you
can't patent ideas.