[Portland] xdg-su -u option

Jeremy White jwhite at codeweavers.com
Sat Apr 22 16:47:11 EEST 2006

> Clearly they would ship a helper app that runs as root and using IPC and
> auth to let the main app ask for the helper to carry out the heavy
> lifting. They could use D-BUS, PAM, whatever for these tasks but they
> wouldn't have to; they could use their own software. When PolicyKit is
> fully baked (1.0) and included in all the distros they could use that
> too. I don't really care.
> My point is just that we shouldn't include silly and dangerous software
> such as su helpers just because some ISV's are lazy. Do you disagree?

Ah, clearly.

I have a minor feature I want to implement, that is trivial to
accomplish in Windows or Mac OS X.

But for Linux, to satisfy your moral imperatives, I have to
install a root daemon process and find an IPC to talk to it.
(Let's see, how do I install the root helper process?  Hmm.  Probably
need root privs to install that.  Gee, how do I get that
on all Linux distros reliably? )

>>But we have had too much purity and high mindedness,
>>in my not particularly humble opinion.
> Tell me, is the Portland project about 
>  1. Providing sub-optimal interfaces a'la "yes, it's bad but we know it
>     works" to ISV's; or 
>  2. Is it about providing stable and powerful interfaces that we will
>     support for many many years? 

You've just asked the equivalent of
"When did you stop beating your wife?".

To me, xdg-utils is about providing a simple interface to the
functions that already exist in the Linux desktop so ISVs
can have a simple way to accomplish things.

The Portland Project was started, I thought, to ease the
pain of a third party ISV trying to write software for
Linux.  It's not some grand unifying vision, it's not trying
to provide the be all and end all, it's just trying to make life
easier for ISVs.  (Okay, in my opinion, admittedly; I'm sure it's many
things to many people, but I was in the room, and that's what
I recall).

Further, we already have a mechanism for xdg-su to fail and provide
a 'feature not provided'.  So, if what you hope for comes
to pass, then xdg-su will increasingly return
'feature not provided', and it will fall into disuse.
So there is already a mechanism for the change you crave.



More information about the Portland mailing list