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《勇敢 GNU 世界》 - 〈第五十二期〉
Copyright © 2003 Georg C. F. Greve <>
中文翻译:刘 昭宏 <>
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Welcome to another issue of the Brave GNU World, more or less "late-live" from the LinuxTag in Karlsruhe, Germany, since there was no time before LT to get working on it.

欢迎来到另一期的《勇敢 GNU 世界》,或多或少是自「在德国 Karlsruhe 的 LinuxTag」来晚了,因为在 LT 可以接续它之前已经没了时间。

e-Government -- sometimes referred to as e-Democracy -- is one of today's more controversial subjects. A large number of lobbies are looking into this topic. The European Commission has launched a special working group; some trade unions, like Ver.di [5] in Germany, have even organized congresses on e-Democracy, and the IT industry looks forward to increased revenue in future [6].

电子化政府(e-Government) -- 有时候是被称做为电子化民主(e-Democracy) -- 是今天较为引发争论的主题中的一个。许多的游说团体正在注意著这个议题。欧洲委员会已经发起了一个特别的工作组;一些贸易联盟,像是在德国的 Ver.di [5] 甚至已经组织了关於电子化民主的会议,而信息科技产业则希望能够在未来增加收益 [6] 。

Generally speaking e-Democracy is designed to make government's working processes more flexible and transparent, reducing costs and increasing efficiency, and improving accessibility to the general public. One topic under the e-Democracy umbrella is e-Voting, and this is what the Sede Project [7] deals with.

一般来说,电子化民主是设计用来使政府的工作时程更有弹产和透明、降低花费并且增加效率,同时增进一般公众的可参与度(accessibility)。电子投票,是在电子化民主伞下的一个议题,而这正是 Sede 工程 [7] 所处理的。

安全民主(Sede ;简单、安全的投票程序)

Sede [7] is an acronym for "Secure Democracy". The goal of the project's initiator, Jos Boersema, is to create simple, but secure electronic voting mechanisms, that ensure the voter's anonymity and at the same time allow results to be validated, thus avoiding fraud.

Sede [7] 是「安全民主」(Secure Democracy)的首字母缩写语。工程发起人 Jos Boersema 的目标在於创造出简单,但是安全的选举投票机制,以确保选举人的「不记名」,同时允许结果是有效的,从而避免诈欺。

The mechanism is fairly simple. Each voter receives a unique ballot code. The ballot code has an arbitrary length and is generated randomly to help prevent manipulation. Sede mails virtual ballot papers, including the ballot code, to the voters before the election. The voters can then use their email clients to return their votes to the voting server.

这机制蛮简单的。每一个投票人会收到一个独一的选票号码。这选票号码有个任意长度,并且是被随机地制作出,以帮助避免操纵选举。 Sede 寄出包括了选票号码的虚拟选票纸邮件,在选举之前给投票人。这投票人可以接著使用他们的电子邮件客户端来回覆他们的选票给投票服务器。

The voting server collects the votes and filters out duplicate and invalid votes. Each voter can then check her vote online to ensure that her vote has been counted correctly.


Voters can add comments and statements, and the ballot forms can be adjusted to comply with voter preferences. As an addition, Sede supports proportional representation.

投票人可以增加评论和陈述,并且选票表格可以被调整,以符合投票人的喜好。作为一种附加功能, Sede 支援了比例代表〔机制〕。

The idea behind this project occurred to the author in November 2002, while looking into how a system based on a ballot form code might work. After some teething trouble the program proved its value and has been the subject of concentrated development activities ever since.


The project was written in C and Z shell script and is a free software program released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Sede is a modular program that allows the use of other protocols instead of email. However, it still lacks a graphical front-end for Web access.

这工程是以 C 和 Z 外壳脚本所撰写而成,并且是个在 GNU General Public License (GPL) 下发行的自由软件。 Sede 是一个模组化的程序,那允许了除了电子邮件以外的其它协定的使用。然而,它仍然缺乏了一个供网页存取〔使用〕的图形化前端。

As already mentioned in issue 25 of Brave GNU World, this project is somewhat controversial. Many people question the security of this kind of mechanism and its implementation. Also, some people would prefer mechanisms of this kind not to be implemented at all.

如同已经在《勇敢 GNU 世界》第二十五期中所提到的,这工程有几分引发争论。许多人质疑这一种机制以及它的实现品的安全。另外,一些人宁可这种机制从来也不要被实现出来。

As Jos' sees it, the problem is that many attempts have been made to complete imitate paper based ballot procedures using computer techniques. Of course the advantage here is that these programs do not actually leverage the potential of electronic data processing.

就 Jos 〔的观点〕来看它,问题在於许多的尝试被做成,使用电脑科技来完全地模仿以纸面作为基础的选票。当然这里的优势在於,这些程序并不真的使电子资料处理的潜力更容易〔进行〕。

Non-voters are another important aspect. If an intruder managed to sniff the system's email messages, and discover the voter codes of non-voters, the intruder could exploit these codes.


The anonymity relies on there being no way to link voter codes to specific email addresses. But there can be no guarantee of this, as email messages are transferred across the Internet. An attacker could create a database of email addresses and voter codes, by sniffing the ballot documents on delivery.


Thus, the success of the project depends to a great extent on the implementation of the individual components. Of course, feedback mechanisms and email encryption could improve security drastically.


After all, paper-based methods also have some weaknesses, as some elections in highly developed western countries shown. In recent times we have seen that checks by volunteer civil helpers can do nothing about that.


Notwithstanding any potential weaknesses, the Sede Project is definitely an interesting contribution to the technical discussion taking place in this field.

尽管存在任何可能的弱点, Sede 工程对於在这个领域中正在进行的技术讨论而言,肯定是一个有趣的工程。

Future development plans envisage enhancing the program to provide a compact and stable solution, and getting down to some serious debugging shortly. The next thing on the developers' list is encryption support and creating packages for various Linux distributions.

未来的开发打算,预想著增进这个程序,以提供一个简洁并且稳定的方案,并且立刻认真地处理一些严肃的调试除错〔问题〕。在开发员列表中的下一件事是「加密支援」以及为许多的 Linux 散布件创造包。

As usual, the project could do with some help to get all that work done. Jos welcomes feedback, and more help.

如同往常,这工程可以在一些帮助之下把所有的工作完成。 Jos 欢迎反馈以及更多的帮助。


But before going further into implementing online voting, it is warranted to think some more about whether online voting is (un)desirable.


People who advocate this new technology are convinced that it will allow quicker and more efficient elections. On its own merit, this would certainly not change the quality of the process of democratic decision making, although some objectors claim that computer votes would not be taken as seriously.


Things start getting really interesting when the promoters of a more direct form of democracy state that online voting would allow more elections to take place, and thus provide the people with more control over government.


This increases the danger of permanent election campaigns, and as experience shows, good politics and election campaigns do not typically go hand in hand. Especially necessary but unpopular decisions will probably not be made.


It always takes a while to go through coalition talks and take over the offices of government. This is why some people are in favor of having local elections at the same time as national elections.


Unfortunately, there is another reason to assume that more elections will not automatically improve the quality of democracy:


The votes themselves are not the most important aspect of an election. Every vote is preceded by an opinion and decision finding process in which the likely effects are examined and the long-term questions are considered.


A vote will only reap a qualitatively good result if every single voter has participated in that process before making a decision -- and that takes time.

一场选举,只有在当如果每一个个别的选民,已经参与到那做出决定之前的过程,才会获得有品质的好结果 -- 而那需要花去时间。

But even today we find that professional politicians can often not participate in all decision finding processes they would have to be part of, even though they are usually only responsible for specific ressorts and generally have very long working days.


Consequently, in a direct democracy it would be impossible for every single voter to go through a process of intensive reflection, even if the whole population were to do nothing else but think about politics. Thus, decisions are often based on an extremely superficial appreciation of a scenario, and this can be strongly influenced by rhetorical trickery. All of this impacts the quality of the decision made.


All of these considerations imply that more elections increase the tendency to more superficial short-term decisions. It would seem better to change the system in a way that allows politicians to actually participate in the decision finding processes they are responsible for.


However, finding a way of achieving that has very little to do with the question as to whether online voting is a good thing or nonsense, so let's get back to computer business, more specifically to the often maligned subject of backups.



Storebackup [8] by Heinz-Josef Claes stores data on hard disks; either locally, or on a remote computer using NFS. This allows you to create backups quickly and simply without investing in additional hardware.

由 Heinz-Josef Claes 所完成的 Storebackup [8] 将资料储存在硬碟;不管是在本地,或是在一个使用了 NFS 的远端电脑上。这允许了你快速而且简单地建立备份,而不必投资在额外的硬件上。

Although tape backups provide an extremely secure solution (particularly if you keep the tapes in a safe in another building), hard disk backups do speed up and simplify the process of restoring your data.


Storebackup first saw the light of day about three years ago; at the time Heinz-Josef was regularly on the road with a laptop and on the lookout for a backup system that did not require too much in the line of resources and could use a parallel Zip drive with a low data transfer rate. This is why the program is designed to use as little hard disk space as possible and to simplify the process of restoring your data.

Storebackup 首先在大约三年前问世;那段时期 Heinz-Josef 经常在路上有一台膝上型,并且在寻找一个在资源上需求不大的备份系统,并且可以使用一个有著低传输率的平行埠 Zip 机。这就是为什么这程序被设计来使用尽可能小的硬碟空间,并且简化回复你的资料的过程。

Storebackup uses hardlinks to ensure that identical files are only written to the backup disk once -- even across independent backup sets. Additionally, this approach leverages the benefits of incremental and full backups.

Storebackup 使用了硬连接以保证相同的文件只会被写到备份碟中一次 -- 即使是经由〔个别〕独立的备份集。除此之外,这一个作法也使渐近式以及完全的备份变得容易。

After completing an initial backup, any subsequent jobs only require the resources needed for an incremental backup. Despite this fact, each backup set includes the whole filesystem tree with all its files. Thus, when users need to restore data, there is no need to go through an arduous search procedures just to find a specific file.


As both the backup and restore procedures keep file permissions, a file manager can be used to restore some files. One disadvantage of using hardlinks is the fact that some assistance from the administrator is required at times. If multiple users have identical files, they may be unable to restore a file, as their file permissions do not allow this.


The individual backup steps are performed in parallel. For example, the program calculates MD5 checksums to identify identical files. Each user can also specify a pattern that Storebackup will use to select files for compression. The processes of creating hardlinks and copying large files also takes place simultaneously. To utilize multiprocessor systems more efficiently, copying and compression can also be performed in parallel.

个别的备份步骤是被平行地实行。举例来说,程序计算 MD5 checksums 以辨识出完全相同的文件。每一个使用者也可以指定一个样式,而 Storebackup 将会使用来选择要压缩的文件。创造硬连接以及复制大型文件的过程也同时地进行。为了更有效率地应用多处理器系统,复制以及压缩也可以平行地实行。

The Storebackup Project includes analysis and restore tools, as well as a tool for managing individual backup sets, and deleting older backups. Furthermore, Storebackup generates useful logfiles.

Storebackup 工程包括了分析以及回复工具,还有管理个别备份集、以及删除较旧的备份的工具。此外, Storebackup 也制作了有用的日志文件。

The program was written in Perl and released under the GPL. A Debian package is available besides the source code, however, the package status is Testing and Unstable at the time of writing.

这程序是以 Perl 撰写而成,并且在 GPL 下发行。除了源码之外,一个 Debian 包也可以取得,然而,在写作的此时,包的状态是「测试中、不稳定」。

The project has already seen some production use. In many cases, it greatly simplifies users' tasks, such as the case of an employee required to edit quite sizeable spreadsheets and unfortunate tendency to destroy the spreadsheets at regular intervals. After switching to Storebackup, the time required to restore the spreadsheets dropped From two hours right down to two minutes.

这工程已经看到了一些生产性的使用。在许多例子中,它极大地简化了使用者的任务,像是这个案例:一位雇员需要编辑相当大的试算表,但有「在规律的间隔毁掉试算表」的不幸倾向。在切换到 Storebackup 之后,需要用来回复试算表的时间,从两小时缩减到了两分钟。

When asked how he had achieved this, the administrator joked that he had been watching the employee quite closely and logging her activities. The employee only calmed down again after the admin had explained the real reason to her and was apparently able to laugh about the issue some time later.


Heinz-Josef plans to improve the routines for deleting old backups in future versions. He also plans to add a direct link between the analysis of a backup (when was the file modified? Is there an identical file somewhere?) and the restore process.

Heinz-Josef 打算要在未来的版本中改进删除旧备份的副程序。他也打算要增加一个介於「一个备份的分析」(什么时候文件最后被修改?是否在哪里有个完全相同的文件吗?)和「回复过程」的直接连接。

The other enhancements in the pipeline are "luxury items": backing up files, that are not directories, files, named pipes, symbolic or hard links.


Heinz-Josef would appreciate some help with the documentation. All the programs have a fairly advance help function, but there are no manpages available at present, for example.

Heinz-Josef 将会感谢在文档上的一些帮助。所有的程序都有著颇为高级的帮助函数,但,举例来说,在此时并没有 manpages 可以取得。


So, that's all for this issue. As usual, I would appreciate feedback, questions, comments, and suggestions about interesting projects and new developments to the usual address [1].

所以,那就是本期的全部了。如同往常,我将〔非常〕感谢关於有趣工程以及新发展的反馈、问题、意见、以及建议,〔能够〕送到通常的位址 [1] 。

[1] 请将想法、意见和问题送到 《勇敢 GNU 世界》 <>
[2] GNU 工程的首页
[3] 乔格的《勇敢 GNU 世界》首页
[4] 「GNU 艺廊」原创
[5] ver.di Kongress 07. - 09. Mai 2003: eDemocracy - eGovernment (电子化民主与电子化政府;以德文写成)
[6] "E-Government als ein Motor der IT-Branche" (作为信息科技工业发动〔平台〕的电子化政府)
[7] SeDe(安全民主; Secure Democracy)
[8] Storebackup(储存备份)

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Copyright (C) 2003 Georg C. F. Greve
中文翻译:刘 昭宏

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this transcript as long as the copyright and this permission notice appear.


Last modified: Fri Aug 29 13:01:18 CEST 2003