The monoculture of meritocracy
Posted Nov 14, 2012 1:18 UTC (Wed) by geofft
In reply to: The monoculture of meritocracy
Parent article: Crowding out OpenBSD
So the article says "Monocultures are unhealthy in general; a Linux monoculture may be the ultimate vindication of our approach to development, but it still would not be a good thing for the world as a whole. As in natural ecosystems, diversity is a source of strength."
I'm happy to disagree with that, and say that either Linux isn't a monoculture or that Linux is a good monoculture, and that all the BSD developers should give up and switch. :-) But it's what the article says, so I'm assuming it's representative of our community. Maybe it's not!
That said, to give one possible argument, we might find a class of attacks against a certain way of thinking about things in Linux that wouldn't happen against another OS. This sort of thing is certainly common in low-level crypto design (e.g., side-channel attacks from algorithms that aren't carefully designed to do the same operations regardless of the input), and is one of the many motivations for the AES and SHA competitions involving getting lots of different people to propose different ideas and attack each other's ideas, instead of collaborating on a single algorithm. On the software side, I've heard of cases where, e.g., several separate security bugs were found regarding NT's kernel entry ABI, and you couldn't fix those bugs at once without completely redesigning that ABI and possibly API.
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