[Grok-dev] Grok, sessions and authentication

Jan-Jaap Driessen jdriessen at thehealthagency.com
Wed Jun 9 11:50:18 EDT 2010

On 9 June 2010 17:38, Jan-Wijbrand Kolman <janwijbrand at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/9/10 17:04 PM, Souheil CHELFOUH wrote:
>> Hello grokkers,
>> I'm currently working on an users/groups system inside Dolmen and i'm
>> fighting with the authentication and publishing process, to be able to
>> allow certain URL to bypass the authentication.
>> This is, obviously, for public resources retrieving.
>> Digging into the zope-dev mail logs, I also found reports of problems
>> i'm experiencing in Dolmen, involving read-write errors while
>> accessing ZODB blobs.
>> I get logs like :
>> 2010-06-09 13:39:27,209 WARNING [ZopePublication] Competing
>> writes/reads at SOMEURL: database conflict error (oid 0xfa, class
>> dolmen.storage.container.OOBTreeStorage, serial this txn started with
>> 0x0386b65fab734455 2010-06-09 10:39:40.183655, serial currently
>> committed 0x0386b69b740d2a88 2010-06-09 11:39:27.199554)
>> It seems it's linked to sessions. So, i'm launching a general buoy for
>> the guys out there that have experience with zope3 and auth (Martijn,
>> J-W ?). Can you give me some tips in these matters ?
> It is linked to sessions indeed. I'm not too experienced with ZODB blobs
> to exactly know how these might interact in this case.
> Zope will try to get to the credentials stored in the session for each
> and every request - including resources. Since there will be a lot of
> requests close to eachother, read (and sometimes read/write) do occur in
> our applications.
> These errors do not necessarily point out problems, it is merely the
> ZODB conflict resolution at work there. If they occur very often though,
> you will want to optimize the parts of your app that cause the conflict.
> We (at THA) intende to replace the session based storing of auth
> credentials with a secure cookie-method. This would make - is the idea -
> the hit on the sessions much less.
> Another strategy would be to not store the sessions anymore in the main
> ZODB itself, but in a RAM based ZODB storage for example.
> This is quick response, there's much more to say on this topic... I hope
> it is of any help though.
> regards, jw

Another drawback of zope.pluggableauth's SessionCredentialsPlugin is
that the password is stored in the ZODB in plain text. A secure cookie
implementation such as found in beaker would solve this:


Jan-Jaap Driessen

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