[svlug] eWeek article on MS Outlook

dfox@belvdere.vip.best.com dfox at belvdere.vip.best.com
Wed May 17 17:09:41 PDT 2000

> That's fine, except it has squat to do with desktop vs. command-line, as
> JC is asserting. My counterexample is the MacOS paradigm, where scripting
> was never a major part of the paradigm. Opening a file is opening, not
> executing.

What about the case of macros? They are documents, or portions of them,
but they do execute. 

> Under Windows, since DOS had an underlying tradition of scripting, the
> reverse is true: many "programs" weren't really programs.

They were shell scripts (or at least as far as you can get, with DOS's
pathetic idea of a shell). These files can execute by themselves (*.bat
extension). Files that aren't executable (those extensions that are not
COM/EXE/BAT) can't execute by themselves; you need something to execute
those. And if they aren't *directly* executable, that's certainly no
guarantee against damage -- even a basic program can cause damage if it
gets run. The fact that it needs to invoke the interpreter to execute it
is really not of consequence -- it's just an extra step.

> There is NO way to reliably determine what is or is not a virus. None.

Isn't the real requirement for a virus that it have the ability to 
replicate itself, infecting other systems -- or at least have the
potential to do so? AFAIK, that's the test to determine whether or
not something is a 'virus' vs. something else that's harmful, like a

> _Deirdre   *   http://www.sfknit.org   *   http://www.deirdre.net
David E. Fox                     Census         Thanks for letting me
dfox at belvdere.vip.best.com        2000          change magnetic patterns
Be Counted: http://www.census.gov               on your hard disk.

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