[Sugar-devel] Activity permissions, Object Chooser (was: Re: Advice request: XO sound recording)

Sascha Silbe sascha-ml-reply-to-2010-3 at silbe.org
Mon Oct 4 13:48:14 EDT 2010

Excerpts from James Simmons's message of Mon Oct 04 16:15:32 +0200 2010:

> If we get to the point where an Activity cannot list
> out Journal entries (other than using the Object Chooser) at any time
> then I've got a beef.

I don't understand the part with the beef, but assume it's meant to
mean something like an annoyance.
Activities will always be able to request access to the data store that
will enable them to list all Journal entries. That request might however
be denied depending on what other additional permissions they requested.
So a simple "Journal browser" will always work, but you can't at the same
time access the network (and maybe other things if we have a reason to
think the combination is dangerous).

The purpose is not to annoy anyone, but to protect the user against
certain threats. The user herself will always be empowered to grant
additional permissions (this is the "no lockdown" principle [1]). We
might also consider "blessing" certain activities so they always get
elevated rights (they would obviously be subjected to stringent
requirements including extensive peer review). One example of such a
blessing is the Terminal activity in Sugar 0.82.

> I have tried the Object Chooser.  In Sugar .82 it had some serious
> bugs, could not list out only those entries you wanted to look at, and
> was slow and ugly.

Please verify whether it works well enough now. The next version of
Sugar will be based on GNOME 3 (because at least Fedora forces it on
us), which means it'll probably be practically impossible to write
activities that work with both the next version of Sugar _and_ Sugar
0.82-0.90. So there's no need to avoid something (in activities designed
for the next version) just because old versions were buggy.

Please let us know about anything re. the activities API that bugs you.


[1] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_Bitfrost#Principles
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