Slightly off topic perhaps but potentially intersting to many here, I hope!

I'm considering, partly out of curiosity and partly out of hopes that I may get
some customers one day who could use it, how I would go about implementing a
server administration tool (a la Webmin for example) within a Zope
infrastructure. It seems to me that a lot of use could be made of the Zope
user/role/privilege facilities to provide a fine grained delegation capability
in a relatively secure way; the benefits are obvious (at least to me). Likewise
DTML and the SQL facilities couls allow very easy integration with a customer
tracking/billing database and products would let me plug-in new capababilities
in a neat way. Sounds nice to me!

The question I have still to find a good resolution to is how to deal with the
backend functionality - updating files, running scripts etc which probably
need, at least in part, to be run as root (or as a member of wheel at least).
I can see several possibilities -- build an interface to linuxconf for example
(but that's non portable), create a slew of suid scripts executable from zope
external methods (but how risky is this?), put zope in 'wheel' (no, I don't
think I woudl want to do that) and so on .....

I suspect someone may have done something similar already or at least have an
opinion on the best way forwards ... any suggestions would be welcome.

Of course I suppose I could actually use webmin but that would mean the other P
language which I have forgotten ho-to for the moment).

Nigel Head
Houbits Hi-Tech Servers

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