Replacing rexec

Tim Peters tim at zope.com
Wed Jul 16 22:11:08 CEST 2003


[Tim Gerla]
> We are looking to use plpython in PostgreSQL, but it's being
> downgraded to "untrusted" and/or being completely removed because
> Python's rexec went away. Why did rexec go away, specifically? I know
> it had security issues,

Bingo.

> but couldn't these have been fixed?

Nobody knows for sure, because nobody volunteered the time to dig into it,
and Guido's employer didn't want to fund work on it (nor, apparently, did
anyone else's).

> Did the module just have too many integral flaws in the design to be
> worth saving?

I don't think so.

> Is anyone working on a replacement?

Not that I've heard of.

> If not, why not?

Well, for that we'd have to ask everyone who didn't volunteer -- which is
everyone <wink>.

> Even if plpython isn't very widely used, I think it's still important
> for advocacy. I'd much rather write Python than PL.
>
> Anyway, I'm looking for a summary of specific reasons why rexec went
> away without a replacement. I understand completely that it had flaws
> and was insecure; I'm only confused as to why these flaws were
> insurmountable.

I don't know that they are, but the lack of any volunteer time to work on
it, coupled with the lack of any paid time to work on it, added up to no
work on it.

> Given a bit more assurance that a replacement would be useful and
> possible, we potentially have the resources to do so. Having a working
> and trusted plpython is valuable to both my own organization and,
> IMHO, the Python world itself.

I don't disagree, and was a little surprised that the Python Business Forum
didn't jump on this one.  If it's a void you want to fill, please do!






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