[LON-CAPA-dev] Environment variables

Christian Knieling knieling at kit.edu
Thu Jan 30 09:55:18 EST 2014

Hello Stuart,

I appreciate your changes to those files and I can confirm that they
fulfill my needs of accessing those variables.

I would like to support you by contributing a patch to the development
plan of yours concerning the mapping of the Shibboleth data to the
LON-CAPA data fields.
Somehow I have doubts that it'll be of great success if I try. If you
want me too, I'd give it a shot. Whatever you'll say I'll probably try
this on my own here to get into understanding and developing LON-CAPA
(in such a manner as the actual code is written) someday...

As always I've to thank you for everything.


> Christian,
> Thanks for following up on the earlier thread in the lon-capa-admin list
> (e.g.,
> http://mail.lon-capa.org/pipermail/lon-capa-admin/2014-January/002786.html) 
> with a post to the lon-capa-dev list.
> The lon-capa-dev list is a more appropriate venue for this discussion.
>>    Will those variables placed into the environment only in
>>    particular circumstances?
> Shibboleth environment variables in %ENV are available in mod_perl at
> the PerlHandler phase (i.e., createaccount.pm), but not in the earlier
> TransHandler (lontrans.pm) AccesHandler (publiccheck.pm), AuthenHandler
> (lonshibauth.pm) and AuthzHandler (lonshibacc.pm, lonacc.pm) phases.
>> So, right now I believe that I won't get those variables in any handler
>> because it has to be a directly called cgi script.
> That is not correct. However, some changes were needed to lonacc.pm and
> createaccount.pm (see below) to make the Shibboleth environment
> variables accessible in createaccount.pm
>>   Would it be a suitable respectively recommended approach to
>>   catch those variables by a direct call of such a cgi script,
>>   save/populate those variables in the environment manually and
>>   redirect/go on with the standard LON-CAPA processing?
> No, that would not be a desirable approach.
>> Many questions, hopefully anyone has some answers and the time for
>> telling me them.
> As it turns out, I am currently doing some work on createaccount.pm (for
> bug 6646), so I will be able to fold the minor changes needed to support
> retrieval of Shibboleth environment variables containing user
> information (and their use when creating a new LON-CAPA account for an
> institutionally authenticated user -- Shibboleth SSO), into my current
> work.
> I will be including an additional domain configuration to allow domains
> to specify which Shibboleth-supplied variables in %ENV map to which
> LON-CAPA user data fields.  These changes are of sufficiently limited
> scope that I can also roll them into the forthcoming 2.11.0
> So far I have committed createaccount.pm rev 1.57, and lonacc.pm 1.153
> (see:
> http://mail.lon-capa.org/pipermail/lon-capa-cvs/Week-of-Mon-20140127/025691.html
> ) to provide access to the Shibboleth environment variables when
> creating a new LON-CAPA user account.
> Stuart Raeburn
> LON-CAPA Academic Consortium

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