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Solomonic Ruling applied to namespaces (was Re: Updating the policy for conflicting binaries names ?)


On Sun, 2018-09-09 at 21:32:36 +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> I am in favour of my "cut the child in half" rule, as a general rule.

While the intention there was good and it might apparently feel like
a good deterrent, I think the Solomonic Ruling is actually a very bad
fit for something like a non-animated entity such as a place or a name.

The Solomonic Ruling (might) work in its original form, because it
applies to a single animated entity (a human) that stops being that
entity if cut in half, and because it's assumed one of the parties
will have a higher desire and emotional attachment to preserve that
entity intact, than to "own" it.

This does not work for a location, physical or virtual, probably even
less so virtual. If there's a claim on an entity in a namespace, and
someone else wants to claim the same, and we apply that Ruling and both
need to relinquish the claim (because "cutting" the entity in half makes
no sense :), then suddenly there's no one to claim it, and it can be
taken by a third party. If there's a well established existing claim
on an entity, and a new contender ends up forcing relinquishing it, that
just feels like spiteful sabotage to me, TBH. A variation of that is, it
being susceptible to be used for DDoS purposes, and even though I expect
that would not pass within the community, I'm not sure how the underlying
motives would be determined, so following that policy to the letter would
make it possible.

So I think it's probably been only a good deterrent, because it sounds
scary, messy and very confrontational to invoke, not because it has good
inherent properties. And that's one part of that policy I think we should
definitely fix.