Subject: Re: PAM
To: David Maxwell <>
From: Jim Wise <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/28/2002 13:14:52
Hash: SHA1

On Wed, 28 Aug 2002, David Maxwell wrote:

>On Wed, Aug 28, 2002 at 12:46:58PM -0400, Jim Wise wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 Aug 2002, David Maxwell wrote:
>> >On Tue, Aug 27, 2002 at 04:50:52PM -0700, wrote:
>> >> > > - PAM is standard.
>> >> >
>> >> > "Standard"?  I don't think so.  It's common, but it's far from being a
>> >> > real standard.  I wonder if the GNU/Linux implementation can even load
>> >> > and use a binary Solaris plugin (assuming it's for the same target CPU).
>> >>
>> >> PAM is a standard.
>> >
>> >>From a standards body which I don't believe the NetBSD project has taken
>> >a complience stance on.
>> >
>> >SECAM and PAL are official standards too. That doesn't mean it would be
>> >appropriate (or sensible) for me to buy such equipment, rather than
>> >NTSC, since I'm in North America.
>> With due respect, the reason (and the only reason, I warrant) that you
>> would choose NTSC rather than SECAM and PAL hardware is to interact with
>> what others are doing -- a very good PAL system would still be next to
>> useless to you, as you wouldn't be receiving anything to use it with.
>Your comments are true, but they avoid the issue of standards
>compliance, and instead push for the adoption of a defacto standard. PAM
>may be becoming a defacto standard, but that has nothing to do with the
>claim above that "PAM is a standard" - which I would refute, based on it
>not coming from (a) a standards body I recognize and (b) a standards
>body without enough sense to avoid the obvious namespace conflict over
>RFC (Duh!)

Heh, while we could argue over the OSF's credentials if we want, we have
_hardly_ made standards-body sign-off a pre-requisite for adopting
things we like from other systems.  AFAICT, all of the alternatives to
PAM which have been suggested aren't even as close to `standard' as PAM
is, after all...

>> Well, guess what?  The same goes for PAM -- there are a _lot_ of
>> projects out there working to integrate PAM with assorted databases,
>> network authentication systems (RADIUS, LDAP, NTLM, netinfo, you name
>> it) and so forth.  If we adopt PAM, we benefit from all of this.
>Network effect is a fine thing to take advantage of, but then why aren't
>you running Windows? ;-)

A better example would be NFS.  There are certainly known problems with
NFS as a file-sharing protocol, but you know what?  We adopted it and
use it, rather than implementing something `better'.  And the reason we
did so is the same as the reasons being advanced for adopting PAM...

- -- 
				Jim Wise
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