Roger Ineichen wrote:
> Hi principals

*shrug* I'm a user :).

>>Since "principal" doesn't seem to be a common term in IT speak either,
>>translators repeatedly have their problems with it. In German, for
>>example, we came up with "Nutzungsberechtigter" which is just an
>>arbitrary choice and doesn't even fit all aspects of "principal". It's
>>still a good choice for now because if we had chosen to literally
>>translate it as "Prinzipal", noone would even be close to 
>>what we meant. Sebastien Douche seemed to have the same problem
>>regarding the French translation, as he told us on IRC today. 
>>There just
>>aren't good native words that translate "principal" well enough, let
>>alone a good literal translation.
> I don't agree
> Principal is a common term in IT security. Since we use a principal
> based security system, (perhaps there are other ones) we have to use 
> the right name for this "principal". 

The reason you give ("we use the principal concept, so we have to call
it 'principal'") is the most obvious one and at the same time the most
unsatisfying because it doesn't justify the word itself. Maybe there are
other terms for the concept?

> Perhaps it is helpful to describe what a principal really are.
> """
> A principal object represents the security context of the user on whose 
> behalf the code is running, including the user's identity, groups and 
> roles to which they belong.
> """

That's a good definition, thank you. Which source are you quoting from?

>>So, I would like to give "principal" a better name. How about
>>"participant"? After all, a principal _participates_ in an interaction
>>through a participation (e.g. an HTTP request). Participant 
>>should also
>>be pretty easy to translate: it's a common word, especially outside IT
>>vocubulary, which means chances are good to find appropriate native
>>translations for it.
> No, no, a participant is not a principal. See the wfmc workflow 
> implementation. Participants are used for participate on a process
> task. Participants don't even know how to login. Participants are more 
> like a role in some use cases.

I did not realize that WFMC also has the understanding of a
"participant". That's obviously a strong point against that word. As
I've said before, I'm not locked into "participant"; all I wanted is my
criticism to be constructive...

> I think there is no way to rename principal to participant since they are
> totaly different components.

I never wanted to mix up security and WFMC concepts. I wasn't even aware
of the latter. You're comparing apples and oranges here.

>>(Note that the point of finding translations for technical 
>>terms is not
>>only for the sake of a translated Zope 3 UI. It's more about 
>>how people
>>understand technical terms. I think most Zope 3 developers 
>>aren't native
>>English speakers and they do not necessarily think in 
>>English. So, good
>>words that have good native translations help the 
>>understanding process
>>on their end. That is not only important for _learning_ a concept, but
>>also for _explaining_ it. As a book author, I know what I'm talking
>>about... :))
> I think you are right here. It's not easy to explain a security concept.
> Perhaps we have to collect some good documentation from other principal 
> based security concept and see how they describe this part.

I agree. I very much like the definition you quoted above. Apart from
that, I wish we could find a good pattern for translating "principal".
Quoting the English term should be our last option. I wonder, for
example, which term French speakers use when they *talk* to each other
about principals... French is known to be very conservative when it
comes to introducing English words to itself.

Zope3-dev mailing list

Reply via email to