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Re: Netscape vs. Digest (?)

From: Michael Smith <ms@gf.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 96 16:47 EDT
Message-Id: <m0uvV2r-000TYOC@www.gf.org>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Lou Montulli <montulli@netscape.com> wrote:

>Why would you ever want to use digest if you already have
>certificate support?

I remember years ago thinking that IBM should replace "think" as its
corporate motto with "Why would you ever want to do that," a phrase 
often heard in IBM's palmy days from their sales types, whenever you 
asked about some requirement they hadn't anticipated. Perhaps it's 
something of an occupational hazard in companies that attain a certain 
degree of market dominance. 

Clearly there is a belief among the community of people interested in HTTP
and its future that a lightweight, non-proprietary mechanism is desirable, 
even though, as Lou says, "certificates are available." Available is nice, 
compulsory isn't. Incredible as it may seem, some of us like to have 
alternatives. 

Is it overly cynical to suspect that Netscape would like to _eliminate_ 
the alternatives? Perhaps, but I don't think I'm the only one to whom 
the suspicion will occur. A greater _appearance_ of respect for the 
standards process would be good PR, at any rate -- unless, of course, the 
market dominance is thought to have reached such a point that good PR 
can be dispensed with. 

--Michael Smith
  ms@gf.org
Received on Tuesday, 27 August 1996 13:53:52 EDT

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