Re: [OAUTH-WG] Seeking Clarification: Potential Ambiguity in Specification

William Mills <wmills@yahoo-inc.com> Wed, 11 January 2012 07:58 UTC

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Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 23:57:54 -0800 (PST)
From: William Mills <wmills@yahoo-inc.com>
To: Eran Hammer <eran@hueniverse.com>, "oauth@ietf.org" <oauth@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Seeking Clarification: Potential Ambiguity in Specification
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"Null string", "empty string", or "server defined default value" all work.  Default scope doesn't do it for me.



________________________________
 From: Eran Hammer <eran@hueniverse.com>
To: William Mills <wmills@yahoo-inc.com>; "oauth@ietf.org" <oauth@ietf.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 5:24 PM
Subject: RE: [OAUTH-WG] Seeking Clarification: Potential Ambiguity in Specification
 

I don’t like ‘empty scope’ as it is undefined. I prefer ‘default scope’.
 
EHL
 
From:William Mills [mailto:wmills@yahoo-inc.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:02 PM
To: Eran Hammer; oauth@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Seeking Clarification: Potential Ambiguity in Specification
 
On your #1, I don't agree that an empty scope is useless.  There are comparable implementations that use an empty scope to be a wildcard scope.  I'd say, 
 
"The client can MAY include or omit the scope parameter. If omitted, the server must process the request using an empty scope as the default.  The server then processes the request either issuing a grant with it's default scope as defined by the server or failing the request indicating an invalid scope requested."
 
That language isn't quite right, but I think it's clear.
 

________________________________

From:Eran Hammer <eran@hueniverse.com>
To: "oauth@ietf.org" <oauth@ietf.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:15 PM
Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Seeking Clarification: Potential Ambiguity in Specification

I don't think the issue here is about the scope value, but who does the OPTIONAL designation applies to. IOW, is it optional for the server to support/require it, or is it optional for the client to include or omit it.

The intention was to make it optional for the authorization server to make all decisions about the parameter, including making it required. But the text is confusing since the text is aimed directly at the client when making the request.

We need to clarify this and the options are:

1. The client can decide if they want to include or omit the scope parameter. If omitted, the server must process the request using some documented default scope. This default scope can be an empty scope rendering the token useless for anything other than verifying user authentication.

2. The server can declare scope to be a required parameter in which case the client must include it or the request will fail. In this case, we should make the text clearer that clients to find out if the particular server requires it.

#1 is better for interoperability, #2 is more in the spirit of the parameter discussions so far.

EHL

> -----Original Message-----
> From: oauth-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:oauth-bounces@ietf.org] On Behalf
> Of Phil Hunt
> Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 11:33 AM
> To: SM
> Cc: oauth@ietf.org
> Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Seeking Clarification: Potential Ambiguity in
> Specification
> 
> The underlying issue is that there was a decision not to in any way
> standardize values for scope.
> 
> I agreed this was reasonable since the underlying resource APIs are likely to
> be very specific requiring some degree of prior knowledge by the client app
> developer. Thus the resource server OAuth infrastructure is free to decide
> what are and are not acceptable values including missing or null values for
> scope.
> 
> I think the specification is acceptable as it is.
> 
> I note that other specifications that layer on top of OAuth2 such as OpenID
> Connect may choose to strictly define acceptable values for scope. This type
> of layering works well in my opinion.
> 
> Phil
> 
> @independentid
> www.independentid.com
> phil.hunt@oracle.com
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 2012-01-10, at 10:56 AM, SM wrote:
> 
> > At 09:19 10-01-2012, William Mills wrote:
> >> That does clear it up!  If the implementation returns a proper error when
> the scope is omitted then it will be in conformance.  Sending an error result
> for the empty scope is valid.
> >
> > Yes.
> >
> > It is not possible to get a clear view of the specs if the discussion about
> "ambiguity" relies on the meaning of the word "OPTIONAL" only.  If there is a
> problem, then clarifying text could be used to fix it instead of changing the
> requirements.
> >
> > Regards,
> > -sm
> > _______________________________________________
> > OAuth mailing list
> > OAuth@ietf.org
> > https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/oauth
> 
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