Writing PAM documentation

So, as I promised to Tavis, I started working on writing some documentation for Gentoo developers on how to handle PAM in the ebuilds; I don’t have a final draft yet; just trying to write down what I think should be written in that guide took me the best part of two days, and now actually doing the documentation part is driving me so crazy that when I’m done I’ll probably need a good shrink.

You have no idea how convolute is to actually declare what needs to be done with respect to PAM support and PAM dependencies, how many special cases has to be documented, as although the PAM API is quite standard, just some modules are, the rest are specific of the implementation (that for Gentoo Linux is always Linux-PAM, while for Gentoo/FreeBSD it’s OpenPAM).

On the other hand, documenting this stuff is probably going to help on the long term, maybe someone will find time and will to work with me on maintaining the PAM packages, so that I won’t be the single point of failure for the default authentication system in Gentoo.

I also want to write some extensive documentation on the use of PAM on the user/admin side, and some guides on setting up extra modules (for instance I’d really like to take a look into adding some of the modules that are currently bitrotting on Bugzilla, but I just don’t have time right now); unfortunately this will require quite a lot of time, and I might just not have it at hand in the short term, so the priority of this is quite low. Bribes to change that priority, as usual, are welcome 😉

On a different note it’s interesting to know that the GNU projects are switching, one by one, to GPL-3 since the day after the release. I read it, I hope I understood it, I seem to like it. This is good because libcdio will probably switch to GPL-3 in the next future, which means that both unieject and xine will have to switch if they want to continue using newer versions of it (well, having a GPL-2+ license in Portage would be quite good already to at least pass a human test, but that’s another story).

Okay, now to decide whether I want to continue losing my life on PAM documentation (after all, I spent the whole Saturday night working on PAM documentation), or if I want to take a break for today…