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Re: the docs, and newbies.

From: "Ross J(dot) Reedstrom" <reedstrm(at)rice(dot)edu>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>, John McKown <joarmc(at)swbell(dot)net>, Postgresql Docs ML <pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: the docs, and newbies.
Date: 2001-01-22 17:24:59
Message-ID: 20010122112459.C18089@rice.edu (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-docs
On Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 11:59:41AM -0500, Tom Lane wrote:
> 
> "Admin" might work.  Thinking about this some more, I realize that there
> are three distinct concepts that we are fuzzing together.  It might help
> if we adopted different terms for:
> 
> * The actual *person* responsible for the database.  Use in contexts
> like "The DBA must make sure that ...".  In some places we avoid this
> by using the pronoun "you", but people often find that too informal.

Right, the administrator, who uses the admin account.

> 
> * The Unix account ID under which the postmaster runs.  The existing
> docs mostly refer to this as "the postgres account", which is a problem
> because one keeps wanting to add an asterisk to it ("* or whatever
> account you are running the postmaster under").

This could be 'server account' or 'backend account', or 'daemon account',
although that last is even more poorly understood by the general public
that 'superuser' (it's a bird, it's a plane: no it's SuperUser!)

> 
> * The one or more Postgres usernames that are marked "usesuper" in
> pg_shadow.  If we keep the term "superuser" it should be reserved
> for this meaning.
> 

Hmm, that reminds me: the pg superuser <-> unix superuser parallel is
flawed here as well: in traditional Unix practice, one doesn't grant
superuser privileges to any account other than root. Or if you do,
you do it via group membership, and call it the 'wheel' group.

It's true that trying to talk about this group of accounts while
disambiguating the person from the database account is the problem.

How about 'privileged account'? A little vague, I admit.

Actually, out biggest documentation headache is using 'account' for
both 'operating system user account' and 'database user account', and
making it clear which one is meant. This happens not only for the 
superuser account, but the regular user acccounts as well.

Ross

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