Prompting for passwords on the desktop?

Is there a standard way or goal for the UI and behavior of password
prompts on the desktop? Besides having as few as possible, that is.

There are several outstanding bugs against the behavior of gnome-keyring
and seahorse about password prompting. It's not difficult to code a
solution, but deciding the behavior is tough.

It also seems that lots of people have really strong opinions about this

Some people want it to act like gksudo. That is, make a password prompt
desktop modal, no other windows are accessible, everything grayed out.

Use case/complaint: "I was giving a presentation in front of thousands
of people. I did X that caused a password prompt came up but
gnome-keyring didn't grab the focus properly, and I typed my password in
clear view. Now I'm screwed."

Other people hate stuff that grabs the focus. This is the exact opposite
of the above request.

Use case/complaint goes something like:  "I was shelling into a remote
computer from a terminal and a password prompt came up. Nothing should
EVER grab the focus on my desktop. My groove has been broken."

The confusion is compounded by window manager. Some versions of compiz
for example handles/ignores certain keyboard grabs in different subtle
ways. Maybe that's good and the chosen window manager can dictate this
behavior somehow, through some standard or window flag I'm not aware of.

Soooooo ... Is there a standard model or prevailing UI/HIG advice for
password prompts?


Stef Walter

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