Subject: Re: DJB [Was Re: Microsoft: Closed source is more secure]
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 03 May 2001 09:55:28 -0700

Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org> writes:

> Not only that, I have to look at a wide variety of feature adders
> because the author, because of some political game he wants to play
> (it's in his docs, "can't add this feature because it would expose
> me to this security-related criticism"), won't.

I don't know what feature this refers to.  However, although I've
never met DJB, he doesn't strike me as playing political games.
Anybody with an ounce of political sensibility would not act the way
he does.  He certainly does play personal games: he attacks people who
have offended him, and he uses harsh language (e.g.,
http://cr.yp.to/qmail/venema.html).

He has no flexibility on issues like security and his opinion of good
design.  This leads him directly to his licensing terms; see, e.g.,
http://cr.yp.to/compatibility.html.  I recall that he once argued that
a different license wasn't necessary since qmail was wide-spread
anyhow, and the existing license ensured a single consistent
interface; however, I can't find that quote.

These characteristics make him difficult to like and difficult to work
with.  Sadly, they greatly inhibit distribution of his code.  If I met
somebody in person who acted the way DJB does on the net, I would
assume a mild case of autism.  But of course DJB probably has a
different persona in real life.

Ian