[svlug] eWeek article on MS Outlook

Deirdre Saoirse deirdre at deirdre.net
Mon May 15 20:02:12 PDT 2000

On Mon, 15 May 2000, J C Lawrence wrote:

> While this is not original to MS, the desktop data centric model
> espoused my MS, OS/2, MacOS, OSX etc, which is NOT original to MS,
> deliberately blurs the line between data files and their
> parent/relevent applications, with one of the ideas being that one may
> "execute" a data file to have it automagically invoke its relevent
> application to process it.  In this context, "double clicking" is
> analagous to "executing", with the finer distinctions being lost in
> the more general loss of the difference between content (data) and
> generation (application).

You know, I disagree vehemently. I have NEVER had a word processor file
spontaneously execute. Never.

> Assign the blame at the right place: the desktop data-dentric model
> and its (bad) implementation, not specifically to MS other than in its
> bad implementation of a Bad Idea.

No, the problem is inadequate usage of permissions models that distinguish
between read, write and execute. It has nothing, nada, zip to do with

> > And blaming MS Outlook and/or Visual BASIC Scripting ignores the
> > real problem.  
> I silently note that KDE's and Gnome's own motions toward the same
> data-centric model (in this case implemented via MIME types IIRC)
> will expose the same problem under a slightly different face.

KDE and Gnome both took this idea from BeOS, which uses MIME types to
identify files. However, like KDE/Gnome run on any Unix, only those files
that have execute bits set CAN be executed.

The real issue is that email attachments should be readable but not
executable (by default).

_Deirdre   *   http://www.sfknit.org   *   http://www.deirdre.net
"Linux means never having to delete your love mail." -- Don Marti

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