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From Alex Karasulu <>
Subject Re: Client API : Delete request
Date Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:49:31 GMT
On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 9:41 AM, Emmanuel Lecharny <>wrote:

> Alex Karasulu wrote:
>> BTW, with a client API we'll be encountering a spectrum of people who know
>> much to almost nothing about LDAP but all should be able to use it easily.
>> We need to think like our most ignorant users.
> Totally agree.
>> A good API will talk to you
>> when you don't know anything.  I know I've been a monkey myself looking at
>> API java docs to find a square peg to fill a square hole.
> It's just a brute force issue ;)
>   What design
>> decisions and conventions in the API will best direct confused and LDAP
>> ignorant users?
> The less we expose, the better. This is why we think that at some point,
> using an XXXRequest Object is probably a better option than using many
> parameters which won't talk to anyone at first site. Nothing is more
> annoying than a method with 7 parameters, most of them being String, for
> instance.
> Regarding the deleteTree method, the biggest risk is that it make the users
> think that this operation will work on any server.

It can work on any server we can swap the implementation under the hood
replacing it with either a control based approach if the control is
available on the target server or use a recursive implementation.  We can
use the Abstract Method Pattern to implement it.

> That mean we have to check if the control exists on the server, and if not,
> write the reursive code to do so. Certainly not a hammer to put in all the
> users' hands ! Not to mention the danger of a quick and misleaded deleteTree
> done on the top of the DiT (remember this rm -rf / we all did once as root
> ;)

Right but UNIX allows it and if administrators don't guard against it then
it's their problem.

>  In this case, we need to balance being true to the protocol (direct and
>> clear) with providing sufficient insulation to our less savvy users.  One
>> should be able to delve in deeper to get more out of the API based on
>> their
>> own proficiency, needs, and exceptional situation in a direct fashion.
>>  Meanwhile most common cases should be easy and not too involved while
>> still
>> remaining clear and direct with respect to the protocol and the LDAP
>> access
>> model.
> I think this is what we are targeting since day one.

Oh yes I noticed that - not saying this was not the case.

>  This specific situation is a good example.  Our least LDAP savvy users
>> will
>> just want to delete a node or an entire tree.  They don't know jack about
>> controls.  Most will not even want to learn about it - they just need to
>> scratch an itch.  Let's let them scratch the itch without pain and they
>> will
>> be back again and again even when sometimes it will cost more to scratch
>> more complex itches.  This is how our API will be more pleasant to use.
>>  So
>> a user seeing this signature will know exactly what it means without even
>> reading the java doc statement.  It's self explanatory.
> Yes. And we can do the same for the ModifyDN operation, splitting it in
> three methods : rename, move and moveAndRename.
>> Sorry for beating a dead horse to death especially with this example but I
>> want to impart how I would approach an access API in case it would help
>> during your design.
> He, why do you think we are asking on the ML about this API ? I'm most
> certainly biased too, and I really appreciate the feedback we get.

Heh yeah right.

> More important, the number of responses we get is a good sign that these
> definitions are *very* important to most of us, not to mention our potential
> users.
> This is, IMO, the best way to get a well designed API.


Alex Karasulu
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