A Question about Croquet's Philosophy...

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at squeakland.org
Tue Jan 7 14:40:05 UTC 2003


My feeling here is essentially that there have to be some rules of what
people can and can not do with Croquet. The most important one (which we
will have to enforce) is that you can "do what you want to yourself"
(including crashing your machine if you like ;-) but not "to" others.
This is what David was referring to with the name space architecture -
in effect it means that I can ship any code I want to you but it will
not (it MUST not) harm your machine or your work in any "direct" way.

However, the name space architecture does not enforce the kind of
"social protection" that you refer to. For example, it may not prevent
me from making a script that spies on you by simply following you
around, see where you go and what you like to do - this is exactly the
kind of stuff that for example Sen. Fritz Hollings tries to protect with
the so-called "online personal privacy act" - see for example

In order to be able to cope with these issues a much more fine-grained
control about the authority I wish to grant some other (code or person)
in Croquet - and that's the place where many of the arguments that are
discussed at www.erights.org are highly relevant. So my essential
feeling here is that we have to have a two-level approach here. One that
enforces "basic security" (which really means that it makes sure your
system is not compromised) and one that is able to deal with (err...
this sounds weird even to a non-native speaker but I don't know a better
term...) "social security" in the way that gives other people directly
or indirectly access to your environment and any kind of personal

Some of this may (in fact, WILL) limit what you can do with the "always
visible, always accessible" code/data on your machine, at least as far
as remote representations of that code or data are concerned. There
_will_ be objects that are never being shipped to a remote place (for
example your credit card info) but only be provided for certain
transactions (again, www.erights.org has lots of information in
particular about the way financial transactions need to work in a secure
distributed environment).

   - Andreas

>  -----Original Message-----
>  From: Darius Clarke [mailto:darius at inglang.com]
>  Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 3:08 AM
>  To: andreas.raab at squeakland.org;
>  Kim.Rose at viewpointsresearch.org; alan.kay at squeakland.org;
>  dastrs at bellsouth.net; dpreed at reed.com
>  Subject: RE: A Question about Croquet's Philosophy...
>  Andreas,
>  Thank you for the rapid & accurate reply!
>  While the original Alan quote was regarding the OS wars & I
>  seemed to allude to
>  Open Source (in total) as being flawed, that debate really
>  doesn't worry me.
>  The argument by analogy seemed to confuse my question as well.
>  Perhaps I should have said more specifically in a "late
>  bound, collaborative
>  environment, where all symbols & code are visible and
>  accessible at run
>  time"... any mouse can roar - as well as squeak.
>  It's the social engineering that our youth are so adept at
>  (and have time for)
>  that worries me, not Croquet's technology.
>  By the way, I really want Croquet & Squeak to succeed and
>  fully meet your
>  aspirations for them, especially in self motivated learning
>  for our youth.
>  Cheers,
>  Darius

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