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Old 08-08-2008, 08:10 PM
John Dennis
 
Default python-nss feature

Paul Fields graciously has brought to my attention some concerns
expressed here as to whether python-nss is truly a feature or just mere
packaging. The feature page was probably deficient in explaining why
this is a feature. Previously there were no python bindings for NSS. NSS
is our preferred cryptographic library for SSL/TLS and certificate
management (largely because of it's FIP 140 certification, plus a
variety of other issues). Python is widely used in Fedora. The absence
of Python bindings for NSS has been a developmental liability for many
Fedora projects. Due to the complexity of NSS and the desire to produce
a binding which was "pythonic" it was not possible to produce a binding
via automated tools (e.g. swig). Instead the binding was written by hand
with Red Hat investing many man months of engineering in the effort. If
the binding had been easy to produce one would have existed already, but
it's been missing for years. This is why it's a feature. It's not "just
packaging" because that implies the binding already existed and we just
packaged it up, something which would have been just a fraction of the
effort actually invested. To my mind a feature is something which did
not exist previously and brings significant new functionality to the
release, I believe python-nss fulfils that criteria.


I will update the features page with this information.

--
John Dennis <jdennis@redhat.com>

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Old 08-08-2008, 09:00 PM
John Poelstra
 
Default python-nss feature

John Dennis said the following on 08/08/2008 01:10 PM Pacific Time:
Paul Fields graciously has brought to my attention some concerns
expressed here as to whether python-nss is truly a feature or just mere
packaging. The feature page was probably deficient in explaining why
this is a feature. Previously there were no python bindings for NSS. NSS
is our preferred cryptographic library for SSL/TLS and certificate
management (largely because of it's FIP 140 certification, plus a
variety of other issues). Python is widely used in Fedora. The absence
of Python bindings for NSS has been a developmental liability for many
Fedora projects. Due to the complexity of NSS and the desire to produce
a binding which was "pythonic" it was not possible to produce a binding
via automated tools (e.g. swig). Instead the binding was written by hand
with Red Hat investing many man months of engineering in the effort. If
the binding had been easy to produce one would have existed already, but
it's been missing for years. This is why it's a feature. It's not "just
packaging" because that implies the binding already existed and we just
packaged it up, something which would have been just a fraction of the
effort actually invested. To my mind a feature is something which did
not exist previously and brings significant new functionality to the
release, I believe python-nss fulfils that criteria.


I will update the features page with this information.



+1

Considering that this functionality is originating in Fedora I also
think it should be considered a feature.


I think it meets at least two of the points stated here:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Policy/Definitions#Definition_of_a_Feature


I don't think it applies to the situation above, but really, what harm
is there in erring on the side of calling something a feature when maybe
some people may consider it isn't? We've got a nice list of features
firming up for Fedora 10, but surely there is room for many more on this
page: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/10/FeatureList


I'd rather we take a harder line on not calling things features when we
get to a place when we have too many features. I don't think we are
there yet


John


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