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single incompatibility



Hi,

So I have been talking with Vipin of Sun/X/open XSSO (and the original
PAM-RFC) fame and it appears that there is a single point of fundamental
incompatibility between the Linux and XSSO versions of PAM.  It is a subtle
point related to the behavior of the conversation functions and, if we are
going to become completely compatible, one of us is going to have to blink. 
The issue is one of how many responses each conversation call will return.

The documented and implemented Linux-PAM convention is to return as many
responses as there were _prompts_.  And the undocumented (but apparently
implemented) XSSO convention returns as many responses as there were
messages (ie. as many responses as there are texts+errors+prompts).  On
their side, it is conceptually simpler to program.  On our side, it makes
for less need to worry about cleaning up the responses when only text is
displayed in the conversation call.

Make no mistake this is something that, should we change, will create a
significant backward compatibility problem.  Similarly, X/open feel it is
too late for them to change to our convention.

What to do.  (How) do we change?  I'd like to stimulate some discussion on
this as I feel there are a lot of people that may be put out by this either
way.

Comments?

Andrew
-- 
               Linux-PAM, libpwdb, Orange-Linux and Linux-GSS
                  http://parc.power.net/morgan/index.html



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