Privacy Rewrite GSoC Project

Ethan Blanton elb at
Fri Aug 7 02:46:47 EDT 2009

I am breaking my normal rule of not replying to your valueless trolls,
because you're screwing with one of our SoC students.  I expect this
to be your last email on the topic.

Felipe Contreras spake unto us the following wisdom:
> > Regarding "Allow All", I am in favor of supporting this feature for every
> > protocol. For protocols like MSN, we can produce a confirmation dialog,
> > telling user the consequences of the action, asking the user to confirm that
> > he really wants to choose this option. If we are choosing to implement a
> > single coherent interface, we should avoid exceptions, and instead figure
> > out ways to handle the rough edges.
> Think about this use-case:
> Dude, I feel like chatting, but I normally have too many people
> blocked, let's "allow all"
> AIM: protocol supports it, a bit is switched
> MSN: protocol doesn't support it, all contacts are manually unblocked
> Hmm, I'm back to my usual busy status, I want my usually blocked
> people to be blocked again
> AIM: protocol supports it, a bit is switched
> MSN: protocol doesn't support it, you are screwed
> You want all of the protocols to work the same? Sorry, that's just not
> possible.

This is simply another case of not understanding data structures vs.
behavior, if in a bit more abstract sense.

There is no reason that, when switching to "Allow all" on MSN, we
can't keep track of the previous block list state, and restore it when
changing back from "Allow all" to "Block below".

I'm not sure I think that Allow all is a useful state to support in
the UI, but that's a very different issue from "it can't be done".
I'm tired of hearing that things can't be done, or are a problem, when
the *real* claim being put forth is "I don't like this, and I haven't
thought about it.

If you don't understand something, tell us you don't undersatnd it and
we'll explain.  Don't assume that our capabilities are limited by your
imagination, however.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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