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Re: WEBDAV Security

From: -=jack=- <jack@twaxx.twaxx.com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 15:12:25 -0700 (PDT)
To: Jon Radoff <jradoff@novalink.com>
cc: "Ron Daniel, Jr." <rdaniel@lanl.gov>, w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SGI.3.95.970501144805.26909H-100000@twaxx.twaxx.com>
>   1.  Define an API which would exist in a shared-library type space on
>       the server (or a DLL on NT).
>   2.  Applications that wanted to be able to verify if a user has a
>       certain permission would make API calls to do so and respond
>       accordingly.
>   3.  The shared-library containing API calls would be able to connect
>       to compliant modules defined by the system administrator (e.g.,
>       if vendor X wanted to provide a module that makes them
>       compatible with the API, they'd ship this as a component -- not
>       unlike how ODBC works in the database world...)

This is pretty nice, that's a good approach, IMHO, and ODBC has
been a fairly successful endeavor, so that also bodes well.

>   4.  A basic concept of the API is to abstract the concept of
>       authentication and let the application worry about this (it
>       may be that we want to think of an interface specification for
>       authentication data too, but it wasn't part of my original idea).
>       We should discuss the pros/cons of this.

By authentication data, you mean a digital signature or some
such ilk?  Would you clarify this?  Thanks...

>   5.  The API attempts to give the concepts around security a
>       "real-world" feel.  Users own abstract, named permission
>       entities as opposed to traditional read/write/execute
>       permissions.  That way, applications and security management
>       systems are free to define what a given named permission
>       entity means.

Again, would you please clarify what you mean by "permission
entities"?  I would just like to have a clear definition of terms.

> Other items for discussion:
>   a.  We should discuss whether it makes sense to include in any
>       standard the ability to define new permission entities;  I was
>       leaning against this because I thought if we didn't keep it
>       abstract it could limit the creativity of what the "permission
>       server" vendors.

That's good, but let's just be clear on what  even the `abstract'
definition of these terms are just so we're all on the same page.

>    b. Should the abilty to assign permission entities to a content
>       object be standards defined, or application defined?  I think
>       we probably need a combination of (i) basic permissions which
>       would exist in every DAV-compliant application and
>       (ii) the ability for applications to form their own rules 
>       based on permission entities they could provide.

I like the combination approach.

>       What about
>       permissions on an object that are more granular than overall
>       access to the URI (such as a piece of a particular page?)

The same approach *should* be doable with a finer level of granularity
for sub-pages, although consistent means of ID'ing the sub parts of
pages is necessary [i.e. being able to parse with the ability to be
sure everyone is parsing the same docs the same way].

>    c. Does this track make sense at all? ;)



(This text composed by voice)
Received on Thursday, 1 May 1997 18:11:08 UTC

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