[Portland] xdg-su -u option

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Sat Apr 22 17:06:33 EEST 2006

On Saturday 22 April 2006 06:34, David Zeuthen wrote:
> 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?

As far as I can see we would only have one alternative to satisfy both the 
timeframe goal of xdg-utils and the "no su helper" goal: having a fixed set 
of root actions that can be peformed.

For example instead of doing
xdg-su -c xdg-menu --install app.desktop

we would use

xdg-root-action --install-menu app.desktop

The advantage is obviously that it can be implemented using su now and some 
IPC later when it becomes available, however the disadvantage is that we will 
have to compile a list of all necessary actions beforehand or at least the 
most important ones.

Since we are not actually flooded with feedback, I guess it will be quite 
unlikely that we will get a good list soon enough.

> 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?
> Because, to me, these goals conflict.

From my point of view (2) is the main goal of the Portland project, however 
xdg-utils is about delivering a working solution ASAP, not necessarily the 
most beautiful/powerful solution.


Kevin Krammer <kevin.krammer at gmx.at>
Qt/KDE Developer, Debian User
Moderator: www.mrunix.de (German), www.qtcentre.org
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