Authorization example is misleading. #826

vinodc opened this Issue Feb 19, 2013 · 4 comments


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vinodc commented Feb 19, 2013

The example at shows that a boolean value (False) returned on *_detail methods is sufficient to indicate the user is not authorized to access the resource. However, the boolean value is ignored in practice and the code must raise an Unauthorized exception to prevent access to the detail view (in read_detail, for example).

orion commented Feb 19, 2013

Agreed. What is the boolean value for if not to indicate whether access is allowed or denied?


I ran into this as well. In rewriting my Authorization classes after upgrading to v0.9.12, I at first wrote my functions something like:

def read_detail(self, object_list, bundle):
    return user_is_authorized(bundle.request.user, bundle.obj)

But then I noticed that one part of the docs mentioned that read_detail should raise Unauthorized(), even though the example suggests otherwise. I quick look at the code confirmed that the value returned by *_detail is in fact ignored, meaning that these methods must raise Unauthorized() in order to prevent the action. I then rewrote my functions so something like:

def read_detail(self, object_list, bundle):
    if user_is_authorized(bundle.request.user, bundle.obj):
        return True
    raise Unauthorized()

Am I understanding the issue correctly?


You all are correct, the docs are incorrect ( An earlier version of Authorization that I was working on used booleans, but it caused a lot of duplicate & painful code, so I moved purely to exceptions or returning True. The docs will need to be updated to match.

Returning True isn't required, but makes writing unittests easier (explicit success rather than a potential silent failure), hence that recommendation in the docs.


I believe this is now fixed in 0.9.13, see 2dff249.

Both returning False or throwing an Unauthorized() exception from *_detail methods should block the request as unauthorized.

@gingerlime gingerlime closed this Mar 19, 2013
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