[FoRK] Microsoft patents 'sudo'

Simon Wistow simon at thegestalt.org
Thu Nov 12 11:54:44 PST 2009

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 01:41:26PM -0600, mdw at martinwills.com said:
> Checkout this article.
> http://gizmodo.com/5402796/microsoft-patents-the-sudo-command

I took a quick look at this yesterday and my impression was:

* They didn't patent sudo, they even mention sudo in the prior art 
  section of the application.

* What they actually patented was a gui (i.e unlike sudo) which allows 
  you to choose the user with just-sufficent-enough priviledges to do 
  the task you want (i.e very unlike sudo's immediate dropping to root 

Now, I'm not defending software patents or whether this is a 
sufficient innovation to deserve a patent or whether there even exists 
prior art for something like this (didn't BBEdit have something similar) 
but knee jerk hysteria of the "OMG Micro$s0ft patented sudo LULZ 
!111!!!!1111" doesn't help either.

You know what I'd like - when I'm editing some file and then realise 
that I don't have permissions to save it I'd like to be able to swallow 
the current process in sudo so that I can can continue.

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