Tag: X11

The tiniest bug can blow a lot of security

The X11 windowing system is used on an awful lot of computers. Every Unix and Linux machine needs it – even Macs have it for the occasional open source prog (think OO) that isn’t created for Cocoa.

What does it take to create a critical vulnerability in such a venerable application? A missing parentheses.

Will this discovery bring newfound hope for my coding skills? I was wondering why makefile always crapped out on me – maybe it is just missing parens.

Naw, I think there is a lot more missing than that.

Follow the directions, especially with tech

I rarely read directions. I once assembled a piece of furniture for a girlfriend, only to wind up with 10 spare parts. The cabinet subsequently collapsed (as did the relationship, soon thereafter).

While compiling the Ethereal packet sniffer for OS X, I missed some of Jamie Methnen’s directions, and I paid for it with roughly two wasted hours.

Thanks go out to Jamie for finally setting me straight. And..thanks to Martin Fuhrer for creating XDroplets, which made launching my newly compiled X11-based app that much easier.