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Subject: Re: [xacml] Making progress?

Hi Rich, and all,

It was noted during the discussion that it may be the case that one 
writes a number of rules with conditions, such that if those conditions 
trigger, there should be an obligation. Currently this means that 
policies have to be refactored so that all such rules are isolated in 
their own policy since rules cannot contain obligations directly. This 
is a bit of nuisance to do.

There was some discussion that there is really no fundamental reason to 
allow obligations at the rule level. I have thought the same thing 
previously, and I think it would be a good idea to allow obligations in 
rules as well. At first I was opposed to the change since we have a 
feature freeze and we should focus on closing issues rather than opening 
new ones. But I think this is a minor change which could be made.

TC: what is the general opinion on this? Should we change the schema so 
rules can contain obligations as well? It would be good if I could get a 
general indication of what we want to decide, and I could prepare a 
draft for review this week already, so we could close this issue on the 
next call already. Otherwise we will make the decision on the next call, 
and I edit the daft after that and the final closing of the issue is 
pushed past the holidays, delaying everything by a month or so.

Also, could I get some kind of indication on what we want to do 
regarding policy combination? After the discussions Rich and I have had, 
I propose the following, which I think Rich and I at least would agree on:

- The regular XACML combining algorithms will not be biased.

- We make use of the "extended indeterminate" to have better error 
handling capability at the policy combining level. This also makes the 
rule and policy combining algorithms symmetric.

- We do not specify biased variants of the combining algorithms?

TC: Could I get a rough indication on what people feel on this issue? If 
so I could finish a working draft this week which can be reviewed for CD 
status on the next meeting.

Best regards,

Rich.Levinson wrote:
> Hi Erik,
> Unfortunately I missed the meeting this morning, however, Hal filled 
> me in on some details. In particular, Hal mentioned that in the Boeing 
> presentation that there was indicated a requirement for having 
> Obligations available at the Rule level, while they are currently 
> available only at the Policy level. This was also mentioned in today's 
> minutes, but it is not clear from the minutes or a quick read of the 
> presentation referred to in the minutes what the exact requirements are:
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/xacml/200812/msg00008.html
> In any event, based on the partial information, I will take a stab at 
> a possible means to address this issue.
> One aspect of the discussion on issue 66 is that we agreed there is 
> essentially an "extra layer" in the PolicySet/Policy/Rule hierarchy, 
> which can effectively be removed using the uniform extended combining 
> algorithms we discussed in earlier emails:
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/xacml/200811/msg00040.html
> As a result of this uniformity, there is no longer any compelling 
> reason to have more than one Rule in a Policy. i.e. if you have n 
> Rules in a Policy and decide you want "1-rule" Policies, then you can 
> simply change the parent Policy to a PolicySet and replace each Rule 
> with a Policy containing only that Rule. This will enable one to 
> effectively apply Obligations at the Rule level since all you need to 
> do is apply the Obligations to the Policy containing the single Rule.
> I am not sure if that addresses the requirements as stated at today's 
> meeting, but would be interested to know if it does, or if there are 
> additional requirements that this would not cover.
>    Thanks,
>    Rich
> Erik Rissanen wrote:
>> All,
>> Could we get some more discussion on the open issues on the list so I 
>> could write up a tentative working draft in good time before the next 
>> meeting?
>> Having long technical discussions on the calls only is very 
>> inefficient. During the call today we spent 50 minutes discussing a 
>> single issue, and we had an almost as long discussion on the same 
>> issue last time. It would be much better if we could have more 
>> discussion on the list so we can make more decisions on the TC calls. 
>> Going like this means that we have many more months before we have a 
>> committee draft.
>> If I can get a rough direction on the following issues, I can edit 
>> the specs for review before the next meeting so we can hopefully 
>> approve them on the next call. Otherwise the whole thing is going to 
>> slip into the holidays and get delayed even more.
>> - Issue #66: policy combining. Should we fix the combining algorithm 
>> bias and should we extend the indeterminate?
>> - The small issues in the SAML profile. Can I get feedback on them? 
>> Hal has promised to fix the wording of the returned request in the 
>> SAML XACML Authz response.
>> - I also propose that we extend the schema so a Rule can contain 
>> obligations in the same way as Policies/PolicySets. This means that 
>> we avoid the need of rewriting rules into policies in some cases.
>> Best regards,
>> Erik
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