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Re: jgss constant values

From: Casey Marshall
Subject: Re: jgss constant values
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 22:02:19 -0700

On Sep 6, 2005, at 10:29 AM, Stuart Ballard wrote:

I was browsing around the japi results today and I noticed errors for
a number of constants in the org.ietf.jgss.GSSException class. Aha, I
thought, low-hanging fruit, maybe I should make a patch. But when I
looked at the source I saw this comment:

// These values do not jive with the "Constant Field Values" in the J2SE
  // 1.4.1, but do follow RFC 2853. I trust the IETF, but not Sun.

I wanted to at least raise the question as to whether this is the
right approach here. It seems clear that Sun made a mistake in
assigning these values in the JDK, but I'm not sure how helpful it is
for Classpath to "correct" this mistake unilaterally.

I wrote these, and made the decision to follow the RFC, and not Sun's implementation. I don't really have a strong opinion about this, though I think I'd prefer to be correct than to be popular. Since it does detract from a nice psychological image (closer to 100% API compatibility), then I don't really mind if it is changed to conform to Sun's implementation.

Also, considering that this is a really obscure and not widely used API, incompatibility with either specification is unlikely to cause people problems. In fact, going against Sun's version is the only way that guarantees problems (implementors using the API -- Sun's or the RFC -- would use symbolic names, but compiled bytecode will break), so I don't see any reason -- other than making a statement -- for following the RFC.

It is kind of moot, anyway, since I know of no free, concrete implementation of this API [1], or of anyone that uses it.


1. GNU does have a C version: <> but I know of no free Java version, or ANY Java version outside of Sun's, which wraps their Kerberos system.

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