[Theforum] Re: root access

Joel Canfield Joel at spinhead.com
Sat Apr 27 09:48:26 CDT 2002

>The SC/Admins/top dogs should be able to revoke anything a
>working group does. Their access rights should be higher than
>those of any group.
>It's a kind of emergency power: if anything goes wrong, it
>goes *really* wrong. If an editor is angry and publishes a
>flame-article, the admins should be able to remove the article
>and revoke the offender's privileges, and fast. No
>consultations, just do it.

While I understand your reasoning, is that how it's been implemented in any
organization you've been part of? Does the CEO of the company *really* have
root access?

The rebuttal to your point is trust. I have absolute godlike power over
every bit of code, every piece of hardware in our building. If I was a jerk
I could bring a multi-billion-dollar corporation to its knees. But they
trust me, and rightly so. I've earned it thru a lifetime of professional

If we have to be concerned about someone we've given *root* access going
renegade the problem is that our barriers to entry are too low. Giving the
steering committee root access doesn't change that.


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