[rc5] Security, Java, and Source

Albert Garrido Albert.Garrido at nextel.com
Fri Oct 10 13:09:26 EDT 1997

[Rants deleted, heavy snippage]

From:   "Eric Gindrup"<gindrup at okway.okstate.edu>[:]
Sent:   Friday, October 10, 1997 10:04 AM
To:     <rc5 at llamas.net>
Subject:        Re[2]: [rc5] Security, Java, and Source 

    "all of the idiosyncracies on each target compiler/platform.  Java 
        would make all of this code *exactly* the same on every platform.  "

>I have a question about this assumption.  Yes Java's good for cross-platform
development, but I don't trust Sun and Microsoft fighting it out to make it
work.  I'm sure they'll throw in enough differences to make it a pain, althought
it would probably be easier than debugging straight C++.  But is it worth it? 
Are the current clients that screwed up?  I really don't think so.  Do they have
problems?  Probably, is the value-add worth the cost of recoding them from

     Second, GUI code is even more platform specific than the first 
     collection of items.  Although there are two GUI programming targets 
     in Java now, that number is much smaller than the number of platforms 
     with non-compatible GUI interfaces.  Finally, there have been several 
     complaints about the reliability of the connection process used by the 
     clients.  Java networking appears considerably more robust.
> This is where I have specific problems.  Assumping you code the client to run
under Java, how many run-time libraries will be required on machines to make it
work?  The JDK 1.1  is a whopping 12MB Binary assuming you install it.  Or will
the client cracker run under Netscape/IE or HotJava to get compiled?  So far I
am only aware of OS/2 and Linux being able to natively run Java Apps, everything
else will require additional libaries.  I'd like to keep the clients the way
they are now, small enough to fit on a disk, and operate.  While it's tricky to
fit EVERYTHING a linux machine needs on a disk, it's possible.  I'd like to know
where this leaves Win95/98/NT machines.  Since I don't run the Macintosh client,
I can't comment.  Popular to common belief, 98 doesn't have the facilities to
natively run Java apps.  Regardless of what Bill wants.  I also don't trust MS
apps to handle this with aplomb.  My next concern is the mention of the GUI, I'd
like to have clients without a GUI.  A hidden Java client would be a nice idea,
but if the compiler is always running, how many cycles does it take to keep
running? I'd rather have the core cracking routines running, and ignore the GUI
entirely.  We use a number of Java apps internally, and some of them are
complete and utter cpu hogs.  I have noticed that performance has increased, but
I'm still wary.  I'd also want the majority of cycles devoted to key cracking,
not pushing pixels on the screen.

I've noticed that Java has the tendency to be more robust, but like any other
programming language, if you don't know what your doing you can make a shitty
network application.  While some people have had problems with the current
client's networking functions, I haven't.  I've had more problems keeping the
machines stable long enough to take advantage of them.  I don't think the
current clients fundamental design problems, they have at most, a few kinks to
be worked out.  It's a testament to how well they work, that so much of the
keyspace has been done so far.  If the clients were as horrible as some people's
letters make them out to be, I'm sure we'd still be at 4%.

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