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Re: Per-modules readers/writers ?

From: Larry Jones
Subject: Re: Per-modules readers/writers ?
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 13:15:35 -0500 (EST)

Shankar Unni writes:
> I.e. is the opposition to ACLs a matter of priorities, or philosophy?
> If it is philosophy, is it the position of the maintainers that ACLs are
> so evil that they will actively oppose any attempt by anyone to insert
> such a feature into CVS, in order to protect innocent users from this
> heresy?

A bit of both, I suspect.  There is a school of thought (of which Greg
is probably the most vociferous spokesman) that I'll call the "purists"
who maintain that any security-related feature (e.g., authorization,
authentication, etc.) that is not provably correct is worse than useless
as it deludes people into thinking there is security where there really
is not.  This group not only lobbies against adding any security-
related features to CVS, they occasionally lobby for removing those that
are already there (like pserver).  There is another group that I'll call
the "pragmatists" who argue that they're not interested in absolute
security, they're just interested in controlling the behavior of mostly
cooperative people.  Just as most door locks are easily defeated but
they serve a valuable purpose nonetheless, they believe that adding
security-related features to CVS serves a valuable purpose even if they
are provably not correct.

Then there is a third group, which is almost certainly larger than the
other two groups combined, that I'll call the "don't know, don't cares".
This group thinks both the other groups have some valid points, but have
not reached any firm conclusion one way or the other as CVS works just
fine for them the way it is today.  I suspect most of the maintainers
fall into this category.  In fact, given that very few of them have made
any changes to the code in quite some time, I'm almost certain of it. 
Given that, I suspect that you wouldn't run into so much active
opposition to adding such features as much as just lack of motivation.

-Larry Jones

When you're as far ahead of the class as I am, it doesn't take much time.
-- Calvin

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