SOFTWARE: NSBD 1.1, web-based free software distribution

SOFTWARE: NSBD 1.1, web-based free software distribution

Post by Sandy Harr » Fri, 08 May 1998 04:00:00

Reposting something I think Linux folk might be interested in:

>Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.announce
>Subject: SOFTWARE: NSBD 1.1, web-based free software distribution
>Followup-To: comp.infosystems.www.misc
>Date: 6 May 1998 19:59:46 -0400
>Organization: Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, Naperville, IL
>This is to announce version 1.1 of NSBD, Not-So-Bad Distribution.  NSBD is
>updated frequently, but the version number is changed only rarely; the
>patchlevel, however, is always changed whenever there is an update.  The
>most significant change since the last announcement on this newsgroup is
>added support for re-distribution of installed packages.  More experience
>has been gained with the use of NSBD inside Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies,
>which has resulted in numerous bug fixes and small feature additions.
>Also, I have come to view NSBD as especially important for free software on
>the internet, where the network cannot be trusted and a software provider
>is also suspect, and I have changed the introductory text accordingly.
>Watch for an article on NSBD in an upcoming issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal.

>For more information see

>------ Intro from the NSBD home page -----

>NSBD is an automated Web-based distribution system that is designed for
>distributing free software on the internet, where users cannot trust the
>network and cannot entirely trust the maintainers of software. NSBD
>authenticates packages with "Pretty Good(Tm) Privacy" (PGP(Tm)) digital
>signatures so users can be assured that packages have not been tampered
>with, and it limits the maintainer to only update selected files and
>directories on the user's computer.  NSBD's focus is on security, leaving
>as much control as is practical in the users' hands.

>To accomplish the automated updates, NSBD supplies a means of checking for
>updates to packages and automatically downloading and installing the
>updates.  This "automated pull" style of distribution has the same effect
>as the "push" style of distribution that is being given press lately, but
>gives more control to the user.  A direct "push" style is also supported
>which is not used as frequently but which is especially appropriate for
>situations where there are multiple contributors to a shared server (for
>example, a shared web-page server).

>NSBD is free software, released under the terms of the GNU General Public
>License. Binaries are available for a variety of Unix platforms, and the
>source is available.  It is written in TCL/TK and C. It is portable to most
>Unix platforms, and it shouldn't be very difficult to port it to PC-Windows
>(any volunteers to help?).

>- Dave Dykstra

>The funny-looking address this is posted from is a real address that I
>can use to help filter spam, using the Lucent Personalized Web Assistant
>(  If you manually send me email, you can use the address