We Are The Change We Seek
"i got this" - Kenny Wyland
This isn't where I thought I was going to be when I looked forward into my life, but here I am....
Yes We Can
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2004-02-17 1:05 PM
For those of you not eyeball deep in the geek community, you may not be aware that the Windows 2000 and NT source code has been leaked. If you aren't sure what that _really_ means, you can jump to the end of this entry and I'll explain it.
The reason why I'm posting this entry is because apparently the source code is filled with profanity. Programmers cussing at other programmers, profane variable names most likely put there out of frustration, anger at technology that doesn't work, etc. It's actually quite funny:
// the fucking alpha cpp compiler seems to fuck up the goddam type "LPITEMIDLIST", so to work
// We are morons. We changed the IDeskTray interface between IE4
In this CNN article on the source code leak, they are making it sound like they don't know if Microsoft programmers are the ones who put the profanity in place:
It's not clear whether numerous profanities that are written into the code -- invisible to front-end users of the programs -- were put there by Microsoft developers or those who got their hands on the files after them.
Well, I'm here to tell you it WAS there before it got leaked. A little while before the leak happened I was talking to someone I know who used to work at MS and that person told me that he always found it amusing reading through the code because it was filled with obscenity and venom. Then a little while later, the leak and now the question... did MS programmers put these comments in? heh. Yes, they did.
It's also fairly common place. I'm pretty sure there aren't any in the JournalScape code, but I remember seeing all sorts of stuff like that in Hosting.com code. Things like "Change this code and die like Biggie" or variables names like "shit" and "chickenpoop." Programmers get frustrated and weird at late hours. It happens. :)
So, what does it mean that the source code was leaked. The best analogy I can think of is to have the most widely purchased cookie and having your recipie stolen. The bigger difference is that the recipie is 50 million lines long.
So, what does this mean for Windows users? It means that you are going to have to watch out for hackers and viruses even more. Generally what hackers and such do is make guesses at what the MS programmers might have done wrong, write a program to take advantage of that suspected problem and then test it. This is a long slow, iterative and creative process. However... with the source code in hand, they don't have to guess. They can look directly into the code and find problems, they now have 50 millions lines of suggestions on which direction they can go with their viruses and hacks and such. It's a little scary, eh?
It might not come of anything serious at all, but we can't know.
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