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Some proposals to consider
Greetings fellow cypherpunks:
A lot has happened since I got on here last Friday. My previous
message contains my public key, Pse use it if you want to send me
I bet the NSA boys are tearing the hair out of their heads by
now, but it's about time we do something to preserve our privacy.
It is my plan to help "organize" the Mac implementation of PGP,
by putting together a Mac Implementation team of programmers to
beef up MacPGP, by added better GUI, such as cutting and pasting
of keys DIRECTLY into key rings without having to go through a
file (makes for added security).
My plans also call for tight coordination with the other platform
I've been getting good support for my ideas on implementing machine
independent modules or "Libraries" of PGP routines that don't include
I/O portions, but after looking at the code, I see this is going to
take a lot of work, both in organizing the effort, and in implementing
the code. Just how this is going to be done, I'm not sure, but this
is what cypherpunks is all about. To hash these things over, flame on
each other's ideas, etc.
So far, the Mac inplementaion team consists of the following individuals,
and are (or soon will be) working closly with Eric Hughs, Phil Zimmerman,
and the other PGP folks
Mac PGP team:
Richard Outerbridge [71755.204]
Jim Clausing internet: [email protected]
Zbigniew Fiedorowicz internet: [email protected]
INTERNET:[email protected] INTERNET:[email protected]
Doug McNaught internet: [email protected]
Philip Zimmermann internet: [email protected]
I talked with another individual last evening who also wants to be added
to the team, but the others haven't yet been introduced to him yet.
It is my plan to propose this idea to the PGP meeting at Sygnus this
upcoming Saturday at noon. Then, I'll report to those that couldn't
make it, due to their location.
The progress on the Rander box is as follows: I am currently evaluating
several proposed designs, and have sent out queries for data sheets on
devices I plan on checking out for use, prices, etc.
I have been studying the PGP code, and can see it's going to take a
lot of work to get it into a form where true machine portability can
be realized. As a Mac purist, a abhore the idea if translating Mac
GUI actions into ascii text and sending it to the current PGP "engine".
Although it would take a lot of work, I propose that we develop PGP
to have the following form.
a) Encryption engine library - Main set of routines currently in the
PGP program dealing with encryption of data. These would be
a set of "support" routines that would permit encryption of
data in files, as well as data in memory. These would be
totally machine independent, and only ONE set of sources should
exist and contain compiler options for platform specific code.
These functions would then return error codes instead of console
output. Needed "key phrases" can be passed in as "char *",
and sucessful operations would return NULL or if error, an
appropriate code be returned. Other routines would be necessary,
such as telling it where the random ring buffer is located, and
how long it is. These routines would maintain their own
pointers into this buffer. This library would call routines
in the Random number manager and pass information such as where
the buffer is located. See below:
b) Key management library - Main set of routines that know how to
manage the keyring files, it would have functions designed to
extract keys, add and remove them, and work on the keyring
files directly. Again, these would be machine independent
routines. This would also call routines in the Random number
c) Random number management - Main set of routines to manage a
"circular buffer" of random numbers used to generate keys. This
would work with both software and hardware random number generators,
and would provide externally machine independent functions, but
internally they would be machine specific.
d) GUI's for the various PGP application programs. Mail management,
file management, network applications, etc, all calling the
routines in a,b, and c. Also includes Hypercard Xcmds, etc.
Items a and b should have only ONE set of source code, and be
maintained and managed by existing people. Items c would also
be same source code, but have conditional compiler statements
to "switch in" the machine dependent portions as apppropriate.
I think it's possible to design the code in a and b to have very few
machine dependent conditional compiler #ifdef statements, by forming
the main PGP guts portion to operate on textual input in the form
of "char *" instead of console input, and let the calling code
pass "char *" to PGP library routines.
Machine dependent stuff is in (d) and might include existing UNIX
PGP "main()", Mac PGP main application, and lower level "utilities"
such as Hypercar XCMD's etc. In fact, it is even possible to
build these libraries to use NO global variables, and use structures
instead. But me, being Mac biased, will probably get a lot of
resistance to this proposal, but it is just that, a PROPOSAL.
At any rate, I think that portability issues would be better solved
if we were to adopt C code portability and to assume that not ALL
platforms work well with console type input, and that Console
I/O should be "factored out" of the machine independent portions of the
existing PGP code.
So, what way folks, has anyone got a better idea or proposal?