Jargons of Info Tech industry

Tim Tyler tim at tt1lock.org
Fri Oct 14 10:00:24 CEST 2005


In comp.lang.java.programmer Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> wrote or quoted:
> Tim Tyler <tim at tt1lock.org> writes:
> > In comp.lang.java.programmer Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> wrote or quoted:

> >> The technial problems have been solved for over a decade. NeXT shipped
> >> systems that used text/richtext, which has none of the problems that
> >> HTML has.  The problems are *social* - you've got to arrange for
> >> people to use mail/news readers that understand a rich text format
> >> that isn't a vector for viruses.
> >
> > It's not HTML that has problems, it's Microsoft's crappy software.
> 
> HTML is a problem on *other* peoples crappy software as well. It
> wasn't designed to carry code content, but has been hacked up to do
> that.

Are there any examples of HTML email causing security problems - outside
of Microsoft's software?

I can think of one: the JPEG virus.  However, that affected practically
any program that could render JPEGs - not just HTML.

> > Writing virus-free HTML renderers is not hard - but of course
> > Microsoft can still screw it up.
> 
> Sure - just disable all the features that make people want to use HTML
> instead of something else.

Not so: you disable Java, Javascript and plugins.  You leave the ability 
to format, colour and hint documents.  This is not /that/ difficult.

> > Don't blame HTML for viruses - *every* document format Microsoft has
> > anything to do with becomes a vector for viruses.
> 
> Which would mean that every open format that MS has had anything to do
> with comes a vector for viruses. Somehow, I'm not buying it.

I exaggerate only slightly.
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