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Seven Steps to Software Security

Stob A website called MySpace is 'in a death spiral' according to Mr Robert Scoble, who attributes this unhappy state to its being implemented using Microsoft .NET technology, and because it is headquartered in Los Angeles, where apparently there aren't enough good programmers.

Slightly cross-eyed with concentration at his three-carry, and skilfully avoiding the crowd surrounding the Last Proper Pinball Machine in West London, the plump man navigated back through the pub to his booth and carefully placed the pint glasses on the table in front of his two companions. Then he felt in his jacket pocket and pulled out a packet of crisps.

"There you go, boys," he said, "never say I don't spoil you. I even got you a packet of Walkers Stephen Fry crisps."

(Like all modern programmers, and also users of the click languages of South Africa, he was naturally able to embed URL links into his spoken sentences.)

"No thanks, Dennis," said one of his companions, pushing the proffered packet of crunchy treats back across the table with a disdainful finger, "I would, but my doctor has put me on a low smarm diet. Actually, while you were up, Phil and me were wondering what you made of this end-of-MySpace thing?"

"Or, more properly speaking, the My_____ thing," said Phil-the-third-man, who naturally enough could pronounce the underscore character too.

"That? I had supposed that it was simply because there weren't enough places for young people to put up photos of Justin Bieberlake," said Dennis, who had daughters. "That and unsuitable self-portraits, of course."

"Actually, we were thinking more about the technological perspective. You being a C# champion, and that."

Dennis-the-C#-programmer licked beer foam off his upper lip and re-narrowed his eyes.

"Oh, right. Here we go. Jake the C++ guy and Phil the PHP guy gang up on Redmond technology. Shuffle the mp3, why don't you! Besides," – he hesitated, knowing he was bringing a weak argument into play, but needing a stalling tactic – "besides, I thought they had worked out that it was to do with good techies not wanting to live in Los Angeles?"

"What? You mean 'the ability to write code increases in proportion to the square of the distance to Hollywood'?" asked Jake scornfully. "Don't tell me you still believe in Demi Moore's Law?"

"Come on, Dennis. Anybody running a serious 24/7/365 web operation..." began Phil.

"Surely a 24/7/52.2 operation?" interrupted Dennis. "Or a 24/365/aeon operation? Having introduced the concept of a week, I don't think you should abandon it mid-cliché."

"Or perhaps a 24/29.530589/49, for those of us still holding out for general adoption of Newton's lunar cycle," added Jake, unhelpfully.

"Anybody running a serious 24/7/365 web operation," repeated Phil, struggling to regain his momentum, "with an ultra-visible public profile and terabytes of boy band and heartache to be streamed every second, should know it is suicide to use the .NET web stack. Look at any serious public website – FaceBook, Wiki, whatever – and you are looking at PHP code at work," said PHP Phil.

"Unless you are looking at StackOverflow, or maybe Dell..."

'Dell?'

"Sorry," said Dennis, "sorry, but are you really claiming that PHP, a language that has evolved from Perl's sweepings like an unexpected potato plant found growing in the compost heap, is a serious alternative to a stack powered by compiled C#, proper designed-in OO, static typing and full of LINQy goodness?"

"I'd hardly call C# 'compiled'..." began Jake, but was ruthlessly cut off by Dennis.

"Do shut up, Jake, you don't know anything about it. Go away and write a device driver, or something."

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