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Re: Pre-RFC: support https out-of-the-box

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Oodler 577 via perl5-porters
June 15, 2022 02:53
Re: Pre-RFC: support https out-of-the-box
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* Neil Bowers <> [2022-06-13 22:11:11 +0100]:

> I've tried to re-read all the different threads related to this,
> but Spark mail gets confused, and reading this all via
> ain't user friendly either.
> The motives are, at least, the following:
>  - almost all APIs are https these days
>  - and increasingly all websites
>  - it will enable to do https on a fresh install
>  (it has other options for https, but those might not be available)
> options:
>  1. bundle modules, look for openssl (and poss other libs)
>  2. bundle an SSL lib and modules such as Mbed TLS, WolfSSL
>  3. Go with Curl, as it can work with a range of SSL libraries
>  4. work with various SSL programs (wget, curl, etc)
>  5. anything else?

As a user, concur that #1 seems to be the most reasonable, with the caveat
that IO::Socket::SSL provided by MAJOR packages be factored in somehow. I suspect
distros like Debian/Ubuntu would necessarily want to strip this out somehow
given they strip out things like perldoc into separate packages. But, knowing
that my opinion means nothing, I'd place much more emphasis on opinions pkg folks
from Debian, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and pkgsrc (NetBSD), etc (I just can't name them
all out of ignorance other wise I would have). So my only request is to please
approach them somehow and get their opinions. I am thankful for the many and robust
distribution channels perl has, and I just think their opinions matter more
than (e.g.,) mine. And I think a lot of these problems are well understood,
if not solved outright.


> I suspect that the path of least resistance right now is to take
> the first option:
>  - dual-life Net::SSLeay, IO::Socket::SSL, and Mozilla::CA
>  - Configure would look for OpenSSL or LibreSSL
>  - presumably it would have to make sure it's a recent enough version
>  - possibly refuse to proceed with certain versions that are now
>  known to have serious security issues
>  - cope with a later version of OpenSSL that's incompatible
> We'd have to approach the current maintainers of those modules to
> see if they're happy for them to be bundle, explaining the implications.
> Net-SSLeay's Makefile.PL has stuff to to look for OpenSSL and work
> out compatibility. One possible path is that someone familiar with
> that stuff works with someone familiar with metaconfig, so that
> when installed with Perl, Configure is doing the heavy lifting,
> but it can still be installed from CPAN with Makefile.PL doing its thing.
> This doesn't preclude people starting parallel efforts to experiment
> with other approaches, but my sense is that more effort has been put
> into Net::SSLeay + OpenSSL, so we should start off on those shoulders.
> There are a number of pieces to this pie, so I'm guessing this will
> probably need a small group of people to work on it.
> I wonder if a good first step would be a proof-of-concept:
> a. hack together a metaconfig unit based on Net::SSLeay's Makefile.PL
> b. if Net::SSLeay builds and tests successfully, then install
>     Net::SSLeay, IO::Socket::SSL, and Mozilla::CA
> c. Contact the maintainers of those modules to sound them out on
>     openness to dual-lifing.
> d. See if this can be made to work on Linux, *BSD, MacOS, and Windows.
> Going with Curl is appealing, but unless we've got someone prepared
> to take that on, it feels more complex and less well-known than the
> approach outlined above.
> Neil

SDF-EU Public Access UNIX System - #openmp #pdl #native

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