Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 8th Jun 2008 15:53 UTC, submitted by sonic2000gr
Legal The story of Hans Reiser, the eccentric file system programmer, is a tragic one. The author of the ReiserFS was arrested under suspicion of the murder of his wife Nina Reiser in 2006, and was declared guilty in April 2008. Some still placed doubts about the conviction, stating that he might be innocent. It now seems that all doubt has been quelled, since Alameda County District Attorney Thomas Orloff has revealed that Hans Reiser will disclose the location of Nina's body for a reduced sentence.
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RE: Comment by Oliver
by dagw on Sun 8th Jun 2008 16:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by Oliver"
dagw
Member since:
2005-07-06

would you use work of Charles Manson or maybe Hitler?

Except that we do use the work of Hitler, and people worse than him. For example the medical experiments carried out at the Nazi concentration camps where horrendous beyond belief and most of it was simple sadistic torture without any notable scientific validity. Despite this some of the results, like those from their experiments on hypothermia, have been used by doctors around the world to save lives.

Now there are people who argue that this information should never be used, no matter what lives could be saved from it. Anything the Nazis discovered we should rediscover humanely. But it seems most people think that saving lives is of the highest priority even if the knowledge of how to do so came from monsters.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Comment by Oliver
by Havin_it on Sun 8th Jun 2008 18:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by Oliver"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

It's a very compelling question. A bit OT (Hans did not commit murder to enhance his filesystem, I,m pretty sure) but certainly an interesting point.

It seems similar to this term I keep hearing on Law and Order, "fruit of the poisoned tree". Evidence of a crime, no matter how conclusive of a defendant's guilt, is not admissible in a trial if it was obtained by illegal means. Or course Sam Waterston & co. will usually find some clever way around this rule, and we'll (or are expected to, I think) applaud them for it.

This behaviour is almost unique because, as you indicate with the Nazi example, we tend to regard knowledge as a Genie that can't be kept in its bottle. We're always told to learn lessons from the Nazi era, so should one be subjective in that enterprise? I'm sure that, if the powers who got hold of those research data had decided to bury them for moral reasons, they would still have leaked eventually.

Of course, turning your nose up at working on (or using) a bit of software because the author--one of the authors, for accuracy--did a Bad Thing is not really comparable to the above. The software still deserves to be evaluated on its own merits. I think, though, that that is exactly what is happening, and the suggestion of unfair prejudice based on Hans's crime is spoken mainly by die-hard fans as an excuse, rather than an objective assessment of any community members' behaviour.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Oliver
by dagw on Sun 8th Jun 2008 19:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Oliver"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

It seems similar to this term I keep hearing on Law and Order, "fruit of the poisoned tree". Evidence of a crime, no matter how conclusive of a defendant's guilt, is not admissible in a trial if it was obtained by illegal means.

Which is quite interesting in and of itself, since it seems to be a very American concept. In other countries all evidence, no matter how gathered, is admissible. It is then up to the lawyers to argue, in court, that the way it was collected makes it tainted, unreliable and thus should be ignored. If laws where broken in gathering the evidence, then that will be treated in a separate and unrelated trial.

Again it is hard case arguing which is prefereable. Letting a guilty person go free because some rookie cop forgot to dot every i and cross every t is on the one hand a bad thing. On the other hand the system does make sure that everybody involved in an investigation tries extra hard to stay on the right side of the law when gathering evidence, since doing otherwise might lead to a guilty person walking.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Alwin Member since:
2005-07-17

Let me give you another example. I'm a vegetarian, for several reasons, one of them is the suffering we put animals through. Locked up in small cages for their whole (short) life, then transported across Europe, slaughtered, just to transport the meat back to the country where the animals came from (because slaughterhouses elsewhere do it cheaper).

In general I consider the 'damage done' when the meat is bought. Now if I'm someplace where meat sandwiches are passed around, and there's one or two left over (that will be thrown away), I'm inclined to grab one. Why? Because after you've put those animals through all that suffering, the least you can do, is enjoy the result (I *do* like many meat products, I just don't eat them - normally). If you don't, all that suffering was for nothing.

So if people suffer, but something useful comes out of it, that can save others from going through similar suffering, use it! I'd almost say you owe that to the victims.

As for ReiserFS, I hope people will be sensible enough to separate Hans Reiser's personal troubles from the merits of his filesystem, and decide its use on practical/technical merits alone. However, Hans Reiser's situation can be part of that: if as a lead developer he's unable to contribute any longer, and perhaps nobody else has enough of a grip on the codebase, it would go unmaintained soon. Now that is a practical issue to consider. Let's hope there are enough interested parties, so that a good filesystem doesn't go to waste.

Not that it matters much, perhaps: there's so countless men-hours put into projects that go nowhere anyway, and there are other good filesystems to use with Linux (ext2/3, XFS, etc).

Edited 2008-06-08 23:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Arty Ziff Member since:
2008-06-11

The problem is, ReiserFS / Reiser4 simply isn't that good a file system for actual production machines. It's a niche FS without much general use.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Oliver
by Hakime on Mon 9th Jun 2008 10:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by Oliver"
Hakime Member since:
2005-11-16

@diegocg

"Hitler was vegetarian, he hated tobbaco and alcohol and under his government germans were one of the first countries that had laws that protected animals against experimentation, etc. And I don't think people looks at Greenpeace as a nazi organization"

What is going on here? Even though i think that speaking about Hitler has nothing to do with the content of the present news, i feel the need to reply to this king of comment.

Let me ask you something. Have you ever heard that Greenpeace has killed thousand of people just because they were ***? Or have you ever heard that Greenpeace has organized, planed and supported one of the biggest genocide in the history of humanity?

Well i don't think so...

Or maybe it's that you are so f...k uneducated and stupid that you think Hitler was a good guy just because he did not smoke or drink alcohol?

I am amazed to see so much stupidity. How can anyone try to defend Hitler in any way or for any reason? Are you crazy or what?

And also to the people arguing that humanity is using anything that the Hitler regime could have created. You people are insane, you don't know what you are talking about. Go to say this to someone who got his grand father/mother or father/mother or any relative killed in a gas chamber.

Think about it, and stop the bullshit, you are embarrassing the web. Go to school to educate yourself.....

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[3]: Comment by Oliver
by JMcCarthy on Mon 9th Jun 2008 12:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Oliver"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Epic fail. You missed his point entirely.
Reminds me of something I recently read.

@Hakime
I am amazed to see so much stupidity.


Except that I'm not. In case you still don't get it, he was pointing out the absurdity of an association fallacy.

Edited 2008-06-09 12:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1