ATM git-annex heavily relies on credentials needed by special remote(s) (S3, WEBDAV) to be passed via environment variables.

  • main shortcoming: those environment variables (e.g. AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID) do not allow for different set of credentials to be provided to be used e.g. by multiple special remotes of the same type and would require multiple git-annex invocations to get through all of them
  • user experience:
    • there is no UI to prompt user to enter needed/desired secrets. That also relates to software relying on git-annex, such as datalad, as it somehow needs to know/discover that underlying call to git-annex apparently needs some credentials to be passed via env vars
    • users then (typically) need to hardcode values of those secrets verbatim in their scripts (instead of using some more secure credentials store)

Given those (and possibly other) shortcomings, I thought it would have been great if git-annex supported some "credentials" storage/prompting/querying mechanism which would address main shortcoming and improve user experience. May be git-annex could use git-credential mechanism. If not, then may be have some protocol created to allow for external git-annex-credential-* helpers?

For reference, here is a PR in DataLad to provide git-credential-datalad helper so git could query our (datalad) credentials store.