[uf-discuss] Re: Software Projects Description

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Mon Oct 9 18:19:11 PDT 2006

Karl Dubost wrote:
> Le 06-10-07 à 00:42, Lachlan Hunt a écrit :
>> MD5 sums are provided for downloads like Apache and PHP.  It would be 
>> useful so that the browser could take care of checking the file when 
>> it finishes downloading.  Presently, it requires too much manual 
>> effort for an average user to even bother figuring out how to check it.
> - The browser *could* but doesn't for now.

If they did this already, this wouldn't be a problem and there would be 
nothing to solve.

> - How many common public softwares (downloadable from a Web page) do MD5 
> or SHA?

* Apache (PGP, MD5)
* PHP (MD5)
* Mozilla (PGP, MD5, SHA - from the FTP server only)
* Most Linux distros

I know, that's all softare for geeks, but I'd expect more sites to 
consider providing them if they were easier for a user to use, or in 
fact handled automatically.

> - The average user will never do MD5
>     not, because it is too much effort
>     but he or she is not a geek.

The user shouldn't have to do it manually, it shouldn't matter if 
they're a geek or not.  It's something the browser should be able to 
take care of transparently, and then only alert the user if there is a 

> - MD5 or SHA are useful only for a small geek community where the 
> software is released on a distributed network (Linux, open source 
> projects, etc.)

Check sums are useful for anyone to check the integrity of download. 
However, it's only used by geeks because it requires a geek to 
understand it's purpose and how to use it.  That is why I think it 
should be handled transparently for the user.

Torrents are useful in this respect, because the hash checks are done as 
part of the process without any effort from the user.

Lachlan Hunt

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