Author Topic: New Character Set selection interface  (Read 933855 times)

Offline Miquel 'Fire' Burns

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2006, 04:29:27 PM »
One thing that I can't really see as being backwards compatible with this request is if you have a characterset with double letters.

Maybe I used the A-Za-z0-9 but the numbers are doubled so that it looks like this: 00112233445566778899 or 01234567890123456789.

And remember, the order they appear in the characterset IS important with the current system.

And that password template thing, I'm not sure how we can do that with the current system. Maybe Eric will think of a way.
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Offline tanstaafl

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2006, 04:38:38 PM »
Quote from: miquelfire
One thing that I can't really see as being backwards compatible with this request is if you have a character set with double letters. Maybe I used the A-Za-z0-9 but the numbers are doubled so that it looks like this: 00112233445566778899 or 01234567890123456789.

And remember, the order they appear in the characterset IS important with the current system.
I don't see that as a problem. PWM should automatically, when it is upgraded with this functionality, capture and store the CURRENT character set for each Account as a 'Custom' character set, thereby ensuring that everyone's current passwords will continue to work. Then, if the user WANTS to change to the new characters set capabilities, they will have to manually change each Account - and I am working on a FR called 'Password Management' that will make this much easier.

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And that password template thing, I'm not sure how we can do that with the current system. Maybe Eric will think of a way.
Well, programatically, I cannot say, but as far as 'compatability' goes, I don't see a problem.

Regardless, though it would be nice, I don't see the template functionality as that important. Nice, yeah, but not important. I would see that as a separate request, too - especially if it is going to be difficult to implement.

Offline Miquel 'Fire' Burns

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2006, 04:41:01 PM »
The template this has to be separate. It's not going to be easy to implement.
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Offline forbin

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2006, 05:09:56 PM »
Quote from: miquelfire
The template this has to be separate. It's not going to be easy to implement.

My only thought on the template is that some sites .. ibm is famous for this, passwords must begin and end with a alpha and have at least one numeric. Not sure of the reasons people use the prefix and suffix of PWM, but I would think it would be to fulfill this requirment

Offline tanstaafl

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2006, 05:38:09 PM »
Quote from: forbin
My only thought on the template is that some sites .. ibm is famous for this, passwords must begin and end with a alpha and have at least one numeric. Not sure of the reasons people use the prefix and suffix of PWM, but I would think it would be to fulfill this requirment
Understood - and I think we are in agreement that this would be a good thing to have - but the question is how diificult it will be to achieve programatically... and I'm afraid I don't have a clue when it comes to programming... Eric?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2006, 05:00:26 PM by tanstaafl »

Offline tanstaafl

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2006, 02:32:26 PM »
I modified the Title of this topic to properly reflect its content - hope you don't mind, rex...

Also, rex, I added a vote for you for this one... any other votes I can record for you? You get a total of 5, so you have 4 more...

Offline tanstaafl

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New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2006, 01:17:39 PM »
Updated the Feature Request List - added the Password Template Filter FR, with a vote from forbin.

Also added a vote from forbin for the New Character Set Selection Interface, moved the Edit List of pre-defined Character Sets to the 'done' pile (since it is replaced by the this one) and migrated Tyrantmizar and morguns vote the new FR (forgot to do this when I created the request).
« Last Edit: July 14, 2007, 05:02:58 AM by tanstaafl »

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2007, 12:16:08 AM »
Please, please, do implement the "New Character Set Selection Interface".  The current options are insufficient for the inconsistancy of characters tollerated by sites.

Offline Eric H. Jung

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2007, 11:40:40 PM »
I'm going to start working on this. Here's my current thinking:

New Top-Level Tab
There should be a new, top-level tab called "Character Sets". By top-level, I mean in the main dialog box next to, say, Global Settings. It will contain a list of custom character sets with 3 columns--name, description (optional), and characters. Double-clicking on an item in the list open a new dialog where you can edit the existing name, description, and characters for that character set. The tab will also have a drop-down list of command just like the "Upload/Download" and "Accounts" tab. From this drop-down list, you can select "New set" (to create a new character set), copy, delete, and edit (edit does the same as double-clicking an item in the list). We can include some predefined character sets (along with a random feature) to model what PasswordMaker 1.7 already has. Note: you won't be able to delete any character set currently in use by an existing account.

Assigning Character Sets to Accounts
When creating/editing a PasswordMaker account (custom or default), the "Extended" tab--to be renamed Password Characteristics--will look similar to how it does now except the Characters field won't be editable. It will be a drop-down list of characters sets you've defined in the "Character Sets" tab. It might be annoying that there won't be a way to manage character sets from the Account-Specific Settings dialog box. I'm not sure how to deal with this. If I place a button there linking back to the new "Character Sets" tab, then the Account-Specific Settings dialog will have to be converted from modal to non-modal with some awkward way for the Character Sets tab to alert an open Account-Specific Settings dialog that character sets have been changed/added/deleted. If you've done GUI programming, you'll know what I'm getting at about inter-dialog messaging... it's not pretty. How bad will it be if there's no way to manage character sets from the Account-Specific Settings dialog? If it's really bad, then the "Character Sets" tab can be moved or duplicated in the Account-Specific Settings dialog (next to the "Extended" tab).

Tips
The tips button will be moved to the new Character Sets tab.

Templates
Password templates won't be included in the first release of this feature, but can be added later to the new, dedicated "Character Sets" tab.

Backward Compatibility
During the upgrade process to the new PasswordMaker release with this feature, all existing accounts' character sets will be analyzed. Any character set that isn't equal to a predefined character set will automatically appear as a new, editable character set in the "Character Sets" tab.

Note to self: this thread has useful stuff from Miquel.

Questions -- I'm looking for YOUR feedback on this stuff specifically
  • When editing an existing character set, what happens to the accounts which use that character set? Do they automatically start making use of the changes or do they have their own "copy" of the character set that doesn't get modified?
  • Should the list of character sets be organized into "folders" like we have for items in all other tabs? If so, why?
  • Should you be allowed to delete pre-defined character sets if they're not in use by any account?
  • Should you be allowed to edit the name and description of pre-defined character sets?
  • Should the tab display "Used By Accounts" information for each character set; i.e., display the names of every account that uses a character set (can this be a feature added later or must it be in the initial release?)

Any comments... please post ASAP before I start on this!

Offline Miquel 'Fire' Burns

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2007, 01:50:35 AM »
Sounds like what you are trying to do may actually break other editions that uses the RDF in some way.

Anyway, because of how PasswordMaker works, each account should have a copy of the character set. I feel that having a area like the Upload/Download section is a VERY bad idea. Sure moving the character set to it's own tab in the account is okay (if the template thing ends up being worked out anyway, it will go there as well), but we don't want to confuse users anymore than needed.

If you do have the character set tab next to the global options, if an account uses it, don't allow it to be edited if more than one account uses it, ever!
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Offline Eric H. Jung

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2007, 10:33:20 PM »
Anyway, because of how PasswordMaker works, each account should have a copy of the character set.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. I was going to change the way PasswordMaker FF Edition works to accommodate this style.

I feel that having a area like the Upload/Download section is a VERY bad idea. Sure moving the character set to it's own tab in the account is okay (if the template thing ends up being worked out anyway, it will go there as well), but we don't want to confuse users anymore than needed.
OK, then I'll take your advice and keep the new tab in the account-specific settings.

If you do have the character set tab next to the global options, if an account uses it, don't allow it to be edited if more than one account uses it, ever!
This question still applies if the tab is in the account-specific settings dialog. Should editing of the set be allowed (name & description editing will always be allowed)? If so, what's the behavior when two or more account use the same character set?

Offline Eric H. Jung

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2007, 10:40:29 PM »
Anyway, I realize I should work on encrypt passwordmaker.rdf FIRST since it's top of the list... so I'll be working on that instead of this one. Therefore, we have time to discuss the details of this feature.

Offline Miquel 'Fire' Burns

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2007, 12:20:29 AM »
If the tab is only on the account specific settings dialog, then it shouldn't matter if two or more accounts uses the same settings as they should be working on their own copies of the character set anyway.
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Offline Eric H. Jung

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2007, 12:30:54 AM »
OK, then it doesn't make sense to have "name" and "description" fields for character sets since each character set is only ever used once. I need Tanstaafl to make his opinion known since he's the one who requested a "name" field for custom character sets.

Offline tanstaafl

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2007, 12:01:20 PM »
Sorry Eric - I was incommunicado this weekend... but good to see we have time to discuss this, because it will be an important - and potentially invasive - change - a GOOD one, mind you, but has the potential to cause confusion and even breakage (if there is a bug)...

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New Top-Level Tab
There should be a new, top-level tab called "Character Sets". By top-level, I mean in the main dialog box next to, say, Global Settings.

If/when the new Simplified'Defaults'/'Advanced' GUI changes are done, it should actually be a primary Tab on the 'Advanced Settings' window, but yes, it will definitely need its own Tab.

Quote
It will contain a list of custom character sets with 3 columns--name, description (optional), and characters. Double-clicking on an item in the list open a new dialog where you can edit the existing name, description, and characters for that character set. The tab will also have a drop-down list of command just like the "Upload/Download" and "Accounts" tab. From this drop-down list, you can select "New set" (to create a new character set), copy, delete, and edit (edit does the same as double-clicking an item in the list). We can include some predefined character sets (along with a random feature) to model what PasswordMaker 1.7 already has. Note: you won't be able to delete any character set currently in use by an existing account.

All sounds good...

But, I'd go so far as to say you shouldn't be able to delete *any* of the Global character sets, only edit them. This is to avoid even the possibility of breakage. Editing them - and possibly (not really necessary though) the ability to enter a description should be enough.

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Assigning Character Sets to Accounts
When creating/editing a PasswordMaker account (custom or default), the "Extended" tab--to be renamed Password Characteristics--will look similar to how it does now except the Characters field won't be editable. It will be a drop-down list of characters sets you've defined in the "Character Sets" tab. It might be annoying that there won't be a way to manage character sets from the Account-Specific Settings dialog box. I'm not sure how to deal with this.

I'll take this opportunity to renew my request (though never formalized as a separate FR) for a 'negative diff' feature - call it 'Excluded Characters' or something similar - that I think would solve this problem nicely...

Just create an Account Specific field that the user can enter any characters into. Any characters in this field will be SUBTRACTED from the chosen character set.

This will make it very easy to know exactly what characters are - and more importantly, are NOT - being used on any given Account.

Currently, if I modify the primary character set for any given account by simply deleting one or two illegal/problematic characters - it is *very* difficult to ever be sure exactly what characters are or are not being used - the only way to be sure is to copy-n-paste the original and the account version into two separate text files and closely examine them.

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If I place a button there linking back to the new "Character Sets" tab, then the Account-Specific Settings dialog will have to be converted from modal to non-modal with some awkward way for the Character Sets tab to alert an open Account-Specific Settings dialog that character sets have been changed/added/deleted.

With the 'Excluded Characters' field, this is not a problem. If there is nothing in that field, then the Global character set is used as is. If there IS something in it, those characters are subtracted from the Global character set. You COULD show it in a different color, to make it very clear that it is a MODIFIED character set - this way, if the user accidentally entered a space (should spaces even be allowed?) into this field, the character set would display in red, warning them that something wasn't right.

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Backward Compatibility
During the upgrade process to the new PasswordMaker release with this feature, all existing accounts' character sets will be analyzed. Any character set that isn't equal to a predefined character set will automatically appear as a new, editable character set in the "Character Sets" tab.

and

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When editing an existing character set, what happens to the accounts which use that character set? Do they automatically start making use of the changes or do they have their own "copy" of the character set that doesn't get modified?

Currently, the 'Global' character sets (in the 'Defaults' account settings) are not shared, they are simply used as 'Defaults' for when a new Account is created. So, editing these does NOT affect current accounts in any way.

It sounds like you are proposing to change this so that the Global character sets are 'Shared'? If so, then I'd say a simpler idea would be the opposite - instead of saving potentially a LOT of copies of the pre-edited version for each Account that is linked to it, simply disallow the editing of a Global character set that has any Accounts linked to it, and only allow the creation of a NEW one. If there are no Accounts linked to it, then yes, PLEASE allow it to be edited.

This way, there is always only one copy of a Character Set, with the ability to modify them at the Account level through the use of the 'Excluded Characters' field - and later, the template/filters.

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Should the list of character sets be organized into "folders" like we have for items in all other tabs? If so, why?

Hmmm... not sure what you mean by 'folders' here... ? If you mean managing them from a listbox, like the 'URL Patterns', then yes, I think so, simply because it would make working with them easier - but that would only be my personal preference, not extremely important.

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Should you be allowed to delete pre-defined character sets if they're not in use by any account?

No, absolutely not - for stability reasons more than anything else - but that said, I definitely want the ability to edit them - this is one thing I do for security purposes. I always edit the main character set(s) in such a way that it is easy for me to reproduce from a clean/new RDF, but not easily recognizable.

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Should you be allowed to edit the name and description of pre-defined character sets?

Not necessary...

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Should the tab display "Used By Accounts" information for each character set; i.e., display the names of every account that uses a character set (can this be a feature added later or must it be in the initial release?)

I'd say this would be important for managing them, but I don't see a need for this just for the initial release, as long as it was planned on being added reasonably soon thereafter.

Thanks Eric!!!

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Re: New Character Set selection interface
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2007, 12:01:20 PM »

 

anything