I’m looking for the proper word to describe restrictions that “add” up in computer talk.
Let’s say that someone can set the authorization to get into a system as:
- password: User must provide correct password
- origin: Request must come from a specific domain/host
If the admin was to set both – a password and a restriction on origin – how would you describe that to user? Something like “password and origin restrictions are cumulative”- but thats not quite right. Is there a better term?
This is for some technical docs I am writing to let the developer know that if they set both methods they will be compounded and are not independent of each other. There can certainly be one (or even none) of the methods selected but it’s the option of selecting both that leaves my docs a little confusing.
What you’re looking for is a series of (software) filters.
The closest traditional dictionary definition of filter follows:
1 b: an apparatus containing a filter medium
In software terms, each restriction is a further filter that allows a smaller subset of authentication mechanisms.
From Wikipedia’s entry on filter (software):
A filter is a computer program or subroutine to process a stream, producing another stream. While a single filter can be used individually, they are frequently strung together to form a pipeline.
For instance, you could throw a handful of objects at something through a series of filters:
Filter one: Only objects smaller than X are allowed through.
Filter two: Only objects roughly spherical are allowed through.
Filter three: Only red objects are allowed through.
The end result could be either nothing passing through all three filters or a much smaller subset of objects that you started with.
If looked at in reverse, while a filter prevents anything that isn’t allowed, those things that are allowed (and which pass through the filters) could be described as meeting certain requirements.
Also, the filters (and the resulting requirements) are additive:
3 : characterized by, being, or producing effects (such as drug responses or gene products) that when the causative factors act together are the sum of their individual effects
So, applying different individual filters will produce a different set of additive requirements to the authentication.