Hi all,

For a while now, people have had to contend with two ways of doing 
certain things, depending on whether the code they are working with is 
in "Zope 2 land" or "Zope 3 land". We're getting closer to a world where 
people don't need to be so intimately aware of the differences, 
especially since the __parent__ pointer work was merged, and some of the 
unification of page templates. However, we still have to do a lot of 
explaining in the realm of permissions.

Five installs a Zope 3 security checker that checks against Zope 2 
security. It does so by treating the title of a Zope 3 style IPermission 
utility as a Zope 2 permission string. This works well, and has allowed 
us to create valid Zope 3 permissions for the core Zope 2 and CMF 
permissions (e.g. zope2.View, cmf.ModifyPortalContent) for use in views 
and the like. However, it's not clear to new users where to use the Zope 
3 style dotted name and where to use the Zope 2 permission string. As a 
rule of thumb, the rules are something like:

  - In ZCML (or a grok.require() directive) use the Zope 3 name
  - In code, e.g. when doing a checkPermission() call, use the Zope 2 name
  - With GenericSetup's rolemap.xml, use the Zope 2 name

The waters are muddied further by components that require a permission 
to be listed or provided explicitly. Some use the Zope 2 name, some use 
the Zope 3 name.

The other problem is that a <permission /> ZCML directive does not 
actually register a Zope 2 style permission, it merely maps an existing 
permission to a new name. Since Zope 2 permissions spring into existence 
in difficult-to-explain ways, that causes a lot of confusion.

Finally, there is not total parity between Zope 2 security and Zope 3 
security. Zope 2 cannot protect 'property set', for example. To this 
end, Five throws exceptions if you use a ZCML <class /> directive with 
set_attributes or or set_schema. Whilst this makes sense, it makes it 
harder to re-use existing packages that do have that kind of protection 
in place. Since the concept does not exist in Zope 2, I think it makes 
sense to ignore this with a warning, rather than error.

So, here is what I'd like to propose, ideally for Zope 2.12:

  1) Use an event handler to ensure that any <permission /> declared in 
ZCML actually creates a valid, Zope 2 permission. I have working code 
for this here which we could put in Products.Five with ease.


Benefits: Creating new permissions becomes more predictable.

Risks: None obvious. The event handler will not override permissions 
that already exist.

  2) Emit a warning instead of an error in Five's handler for the <class 
/> directive when set_attributes or set_schema are used.

Benefits: Easier to re-use existing packages

Risks: The attributes won't actually be protected. However, since Zope 2 
doesn't have the concept of protecting 'set' (or security proxies) then 
I'm not sure there's a problem of expectation.

  3) Change the Permission class in AccessControl so that it tries to 
look up an IPermission utility and use the title of that utility as the 
permission name, falling back on the current behaviour of using the 
passed permission name directly.

Benefits: Should transparently allow any invocation of the Zope 2 API to 
use Zope 3 permission names, allowing us to document that the dotted 
permission name is the canonical name everywhere.

Risks: Performance overhead of doing utility lookups. May result in name 
clashes, but since the permission name is a dotted name and the Zope 2 
permission name isn't, I think it's extremely unlikely that this would 
actually happen in practice.



Author of `Professional Plone Development`, a book for developers who
want to work with Plone. See http://martinaspeli.net/plone-book

Zope-Dev maillist  -  Zope-Dev@zope.org
**  No cross posts or HTML encoding!  **
(Related lists - 
 http://mail.zope.org/mailman/listinfo/zope )

Reply via email to