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Re: [grouper-dev] findByName

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  • From: Tom Barton <>
  • To: Shilen Patel <>
  • Cc: Chris Hyzer <>, Tom Zeller <>, Grouper Dev <>
  • Subject: Re: [grouper-dev] findByName
  • Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 13:00:13 -0500

How would you check to see if the value was in fact a previous name?

I'm still confused about the problem we claim to be solving. Is it to preserve old references to a group or stem to minimize disruption when moving things, or is it to provide a general aliasing capability whose default behavior preserves the last old reference, but can be used otherwise?

I'm ok if we decide it's the latter, but recognize that it can't be used for both aliasing and preserving an old reference at the same time. So we might find sites still wanting a solution to the former, even after we've delivered the latter.

If it's the former and if there's a way to determine the previous name, then group.addPreviousName() really becomes group.restorePreviousName() and I'd say that the group's Admin can do that.

If it's the latter, then something rather complicated like Shilen proposed is necessary. The Subject assigning an alias must have the privilege to create names with the stem used in the alias, or in the root stem if there's no stem in the alias.

Unless of course it's to be a "true" alias capability, ie, not restricted to assigning names based on grouper's naming stems. That would amount to having a new flat namespace added to grouper, something I've carefully avoided from inception of the project. Should we revisit that ancient assumption?


Shilen Patel wrote:
Then do we actually check to see if the previous name being added was actually a previous name for the group? If not, then what type of privilege checking should we do? In addition to having ADMIN on the group, perhaps the person should have CREATE access to the stem that contained the previous name. And if that stem doesn't exist, we just walk up the hierarchy until we find a stem that does exist and then verify the CREATE privilege.

Would that work?


-- Shilen

On Mar 19, 2009, at 10:48 AM, Chris Hyzer wrote:

Cant we just have a group.addPreviousName(name) [which currently replaces the current one] and group.deletePreviousName(name)? if someone tries to use a previous name which is removed, then they just add it back. If it is a question as to whether they know what the name is, cant they look in the logs to see where the error is occurring? And yes, I think we can assume people will use auditing, and if they don't want to, we don't need to code around it.

These methods can be callable by GSH, and I can expose them via WS and client fairly easily with the save group service (in the detail portion)


-----Original Message-----
From: Shilen Patel
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:56 AM
To: Tom Zeller
Cc: Grouper Dev
Subject: Re: [grouper-dev] findByName

Based on what I was hearing in previous discussions, this didn't seem
to be very important. Even though people might stop using the
previous name, having it remain in the system might not do any harm.
However, we can add the option to remove it if you think it would be
useful. But there may be more to consider.

So say if somebody removes a previous name then realizes that it's
still being used and so the user wants to add the previous name back.
How does that get handled?

One way might be to always populate the previous_name column but also
have another column (previous_name_searchable) that determines if the
group can actually be found using the previous name. The new column
can be turned on and off by admins of the group. But if our future
method of doing multi-valued attributes won't be able to handle this,
then we might need a separate table for this data after all.

Another way might be to let admins of a group add back previous names
based on audit data if that information is easy to query. But
everyone might not be using audit.

Perhaps we just give the user a warning saying that once you remove
the previous name, you cannot add it back (unless you go directly into
the database of course).



-- Shilen

On Mar 18, 2009, at 4:14 PM, Tom Zeller wrote:

Are we also providing a method to remove previous name(s) ?


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