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Ninchat Puppets

Copyright © Somia Reality Oy. All rights reserved.


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A Ninchat user account may optionally be:

  • Master of other users. A master owns its puppets in the sense that it has complete control over them.
  • Puppet of another user. A user may have only one master.

In other words, a group of users forms a tree structure, rooted at a master user.

Puppet users are intended to be used when integrating a third-party service's end user accounts with Ninchat: there should be a puppet for each end user who needs to be able to communicate via Ninchat. The primary benefit of puppets is that they don't need to have individual authentication tokens--after all, the third-party service already takes care of end user authentication.

There are no restrictions on master nor puppet users; they may be used like any normal user.

Creating Puppets

Currently the only way to create a master-puppet relationship is for the master user to create a puppet user. There are two mechanisms:

  • Calling the create_user API action. The caller will become the master of the new user.
  • Creating an action signature for create_session (the variant which creates new users), and passing it to a client which invokes the API action. The owner of the signing key will become the master of the new user.

Puppet Login

When an end user needs to be logged in for an interactive session, an action signature is created for create_session (the variant which logs in existing users), and passed to the client which invokes the API action.

Puppet Control

Most API actions support the puppet_id parameter. It allows a master to impersonate one of its puppets while invoking an action. (This is somewhat analoguous to sudo -u in Unix.)

The puppet's privileges will be applied when processing the action; if the master wishes the puppet to gain access to the master's resources, that needs to be authorized by simultaneously specifying an action signature.

Puppet Attributes

Puppet users may control themselves like any normal user, including modifying user attributes. A master may enforce separate attributes on its puppets, which the puppet users themselves cannot override.

A puppet's attributes are visible to other members of realms and channels which are owned by the puppet's master. Client implementations will see both user and puppet attributes, and are responsible for consolidating the information.