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From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: [Kerberos] PKINIT support
Date Sat, 29 Sep 2007 00:00:39 GMT
I've had some discussions with Alex and Emmanuel and it's become  
clear to me that I let a combination of my own frustrations and lack  
of knowledge of the history here run away and lead me to making some  
unfortunate statements.

IIUC the underlying situation here is that most of the apacheds  
community has an informal criterion for code being in trunk and  
released -- that more that one person can support the code.  This  
could be from several people working on it, general familiarity with  
it, or through javadoc, documentation, and examples.  Through some  
historical accidents there is some code in the server that doesn't  
really meet this criterion very well and there's some confusion about  
what to do about it and how to keep the problem from getting worse.

I believe one step that has been taken is to suggest that new code  
that may not immediately be OK be developed in a sandbox or branch  
until enough people feel it can be well supported at which time it  
can be moved into trunk.  I think this is a great idea because it  
provides a simple process solution to what was starting to appear to  
be a personal clash.  ("all defects are process defects")  I think it  
might be a good idea to have a "production ready sandbox" where  
working code that needs documentation or review can sit and gain  
documentation and comments until enough people agree that its  
supportable.  It might be advisable to move some code out of the  
server to here.

I don't think there's been an overwhelming amount of discussion about  
this process on the dev list so I'm hoping that if I'm right about  
this process we'll hear more about it and that it will be documented  
somewhere on the project web site.  And if I jumped to yet more  
unjustified conclusions I look forward to hearing about them as well :-)

david jencks

On Sep 22, 2007, at 11:14 PM, David Jencks wrote:

> dunno alex. but this strikes me as a bit strange for you to be  
> criticizing Enrique for thinking about adding new features whereas  
> for the last month you were too busy adding new features to review  
> a pretty simple code cleanup patch.
> I'm also a bit unclear exactly what you mean by "I'm just going to  
> say no for now".  To me this looks like a proactive veto of code  
> that hasn't even been written yet, without a technical  
> justification.  I don't quite see how that fits into normal apache  
> procedures.  What am I missing?
> I thought one of the ways to make an open source project flourish  
> was to encourage people to contribute what they want and can  
> contribute.  I think that telling people their work is not welcome  
> is likely to keep the contributor base, well, extremely manageable.
> Personally I think this is looks like a nice bit, not that i  
> understand any deep details about it, and if my voice meant  
> anything i'd encourage Enrique to work on it.  If he wants to write  
> more docs than he already has on some other bits he's contributed  
> that would be fine with me too, but I usually find that docs are  
> wrong by the time they are actually written and available.  I  
> generally find clear code is a better bet.
> BTW, where are the developer and user guides for the dynamic schem  
> stuff?  I'm probably just not looking in the right place but I  
> haven't been able to find the docs on how to use this feature.
> And finally, what are
> configuration.html
> which I found in the advanced user guide table of contents?
> I hope I'm not burning too many bridges with this email but I can't  
> say I have any desire to work on a project that features responses  
> like this to proposals for cool new stuff.
> thanks
> david jencks
> On Sep 23, 2007, at 12:11 AM, Alex Karasulu wrote:
>> IMO if you have some time you might want to start work on some  
>> developer documentation
>> on DNS as well as a user's guide so we can attract more committers  
>> while answering user
>> questions around DNS.
>> Just this week someone asked about this on the users list and all  
>> they heard were crickets.
>> Emmanuel had to sit there and tell the guy that we cannot support  
>> him and its an embarrassment
>> for us.  He had to apologize for your actions. That's not cool.
>> Although I want to see you make strides on adding new features to  
>> Kerberos I think it's a bit irresponsible
>> for you to get back into new features without documenting others  
>> that you added in the past.
>> You just can't do that while you leave the DNS situation in a poor  
>> state.  Do you understand
>> the point I'm trying to make here?  Do you see some merit in what  
>> I am saying from a community
>> perspective? I'm trying to get you to understand where we're  
>> coming from and not think this is
>> at all any means to lessen your value.  We really like the  
>> technical things you do but a community
>> is not just about the code.
>> It's antithetical to OS culture to just drop code or features into  
>> some project and leave.  You have
>> to take care of the users, the developers that come after you so  
>> the project is alive rather than being
>> an inanimate piece of code.  By suggesting this new feature  
>> addition before taking care of your
>> inherent responsibilities to the community clearly shows that  
>> you're not thinking about these aspects.
>> This is why I'm going to just say no for now.
>> Secondly with respect to technical matters how does this impact  
>> what we have in Triplesec
>> with HOTP?  Is this another SAM type for the kerberos server which  
>> uses the class loading
>> scheme we already have in place for verifiers?
>> Alex
>> On 9/22/07, Enrique Rodriguez <> wrote:
>> Hi, Directory developers,
>> I have a window with no major deadlines for the next few weeks, so I
>> looked into adding 1 new Kerberos feature for the next release.   
>> After
>> doing some "due diligence," ie reading the relevant specs and
>> reviewing what support I need from the JDK and various libraries,  
>> I am
>> highly confident I can add PKINIT support for 1.5.2.
>> PKINIT is a pre-authentication type for Kerberos (detailed in RFC
>> 4556).  For those not familiar, PKINIT can be quickly summarized as
>> "smartcard authentication for Kerberos, replacing the
>> username/password."  PKINIT can also work with a local keypair, so
>> there isn't a requirement for hardware like an actual smartcard,
>> though that is the intended deployment scenario.
>> Since this is only a new pre-authentication verifier, I would rather
>> not branch and instead develop this, at first, in my sandbox.  I have
>> time starting this weekend, so I'd like to start to get code
>> committed, to back the code up.
>> Enrique

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