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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It will never fly. An interest group will quickly come to say, "while we in the EU are heaping on large costs to comply with the governments' rules on quality, the software makers in Brazil and the USA and whatnot are cheaper and quicker, and the consumers naturally go for them".

    How about this: like with organic/non-genetically-modified food, let the authorities issue a stamp of quality. Those who want or need high quality software will go for it. So this is a wholly volunteer thing and the market regulat

    • As for software from other countries, they may be cheaper and quicker, but we still have liability laws for non-software products from them. If a small shop in Texas sells their software in Europe via the Internet and they hurt people, you could still bring suit. For shrink-wrapped software, Europe could simply ban the software from being shipped here if they didn't comply. Granted you might not get anywhere suing software manufacturers from other companies, but that's the way it would work for smaller companies. (Annoyingly, this might be an incentive to buy from larger firms).

      Big companies which have the greatest impact on consumers are the companies most likely to comply with this because they won't have a choice. Microsoft will release more secure software and they'll probably be hurt by this because they've been going on too long without security. Apple, ironically, may be even worse in this regard.

      Put in a reasonably grace period of five years or so and we'll see dramatic shifts.

      As for your "stamp of quality" authorities, how would they evaluate all of the software out there? They couldn't. There's simply too much of it. They'd have to issue that to entire companies and the certification process would be so onerous (I guarantee it), that most companies wouldn't bother and people would ignore it. Microsoft, IBM and others would automatically get that certificate because they could afford it and then they'd just ignore it. It would be meaningless.

      • Microsoft will release more secure software and they'll probably be hurt by this because they've been going on too long without security.

        Why do you believe this? Microsoft is not in the habit of complying with regulations it considers annoying or onerous. I'm sure Microsoft is also very capable of demonstrating irreparable harm to its business (and if you want to talk about negative externalities, consider the cost to customers) by breaking all existing software.

        Maybe the government should also run a To