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Mac Crypto Conf - Debrief

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Mime-Version: 1.0
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 17:57:05 -0700
To: [email protected]
From: Vinnie Moscaritolo <[email protected]>
Subject: Mac Crypto Conf - Debrief

Yow! - We did it....

On Sept 5th & 6th, here on the Cupertino R&D Campus, Robert Hettinga from
Shipwright and I ran "The First-Ever-Last-Minute-Under-the-Radar-
Ask-Forgiveness-but-Not-Permission Macintosh Cryptography and Internet
Commerce Software Development Workshop"

This workshop was driven by the copious feedback that I have recieved from
developers from both DTS and personal emails, WWDC and MacHack and the
Mac-Crypto mailing list.

Since the  ability to perform Internet Commerce depends heavly on both
networking and cryptographic technologies. I started the Mac-Crypto mailing
list last March to discuss the implementation of cryptography on the MacOS.

We had three major goals for this event:

1) We wanted to provide a vehicle to educate Apple developers and employees
who are responsible for Apple's future on the internet about what is going
on in the Internet commerce world. We also felt the need to get Internet
commerce on Apple's radar. It was clearly on Microsoft's agenda. Developer
feedback made it  loud and clear that we are losing and have lost
developers to other platforms because of it. We are going to fix that.

2) To assist in bridging any disconnect between what the developers have
been asking us for and what we are giving them in the internet commerce

3) To provide a forum where developers can work together to create internet
commerce products for the Macintosh platform. In a manner similar to
Quinn's Internet Config, we belived that a lot of this infrastructure can
be built by the developers themselves.


I posted an invite webpage at
http://webstuff.apple.com/~opentpt/crypto.html and advertised on several
mailing lists, within 10 days I had 84 registrations, about 70 of which
showed. Some attendees actually traveled from as far as Scotland.

The sessions (in no particular order):

* Phil Zimmerman / PGP Inc     - Keynote.
* Bill Frantz / Periwinkle     - Introduction to Cryptography
* Maxine Curry / Apple         - Crypto Software and the Commerce Dept.
* Jon Callas / Apple           - Random Numbers on the Mac
* Pablo Calamera / Apple       - Feedback: Mac Crypto API?:
* Sari Harrison / Apple        - Feedback: Internet API?
* Vinnie Moscaritolo / Apple   - Building Fast Network Server Software on MacOS
* Quinn / Apple                - Internet Config as a Development Model
* Vinnie Moscaritolo / Apple   - Proposal for bringing back the Mac Keychain
* Jay Van Vark / Pacific Coast - How to use electronic commerce
* Michel Ranger / Entrust      - Certificate and  Trust Management
* Marc Briceno/Digicash        - Digital Cash and Digital Bearer Certificates
* Robert Hettinga / Shipwright - A look over the edge
* Dave Del Torto               - Cypherpunks, MCIP and Mac-Crypto:
  Marshall Clow                   a history of crypto activism and the Mac
  Greg Broiles

The sessions were a real sucess. There was a lot of enthusiasm from the
developers. The speakers were great. I received comments that the
developers found the workshop was very accessible; there was a lot of
interaction between the audience and speakers. We allocated plenty of time
for Q&A and discussions. They wished that WWDC was more like this.

Some of the highlights were:

- Phil Zimmerman of PGP fame talked about his plans to build a commercial
version of PGP,PGPPhone and CryptDisk on the Mac. And a Mac PGP library
that developers can use in their products.

- Jon Callas's session generated much excitement. Developers appreciated
that his work will be available in source code.

- Quinn's session described the hurdles he encountered in shipping Internet
Config, one of the most successful pieces of mac software. I would consider
this talk a must-watch for any evangelist or product mgr, there is a lot
Apple can learn from him.

- Sari and Pablo seemed to restored some faith to developers that Apple
does listen to their concerns. I got a lot of positive feedback about their
willingness to listen to developers.

- I gave a talk about what is involved in designing fast network servers
with OpenTransport. I wanted to remove any misconception that MacOS is not
a good server platform. I outlined the workarounds to some of the problems
that existing products have encounted. Thanks to the feedback I received I
plan to give this talk again to Apple engineers.

- Marc from DigiCash was very knowledgeable about uses for digital cash.
One that I was surprised by was to drastically lower bookkeeping costs from
internal corporate budget management.  Here is an place where Apple could

- Robert Hettinga gave a great lecture on the future of commerce and money
on the net. It's impossible to talk to him for 10 minutes and not learn
something. He is a "natural born evangelist"  and would be a great asset to

- Sidhu voluteered to lead an effort to resurect a developers accessable
keychain that can be used  as a single log-in point to secure services.

- There were even a few impromptu sessions from the developers. I wished
that more Apple folks could have been there to absorb some of the developer

Luckily Bob and I also worked the video room in between giving our sessions
and introductions  and were able to tape most of the  sessions.  I am
working on making them available. I will also try to make the slides
available on a more permanent webpage in a few days. (I'll post on Mac


I want very much to thank the individuals that made this workshop possible.

* Robert Hettinga from Shipwright - For his personal time and cost to fly
out from Boston, mustering up the developers on the net, assembling the
talks, giving the talks, educating us all,  doing video booth duty, and
everything else. Imagine what we could do with an army of folks like you.
(scares me)

* Jose Carreon - For understanding the importance and internet commerce to
Apple's future and arranging what was needed to make this event happen.

* Beth Reed /  Yolanda Saldana / Robin Wagner / Richard Ford -  For all the
help organizing coordinating and firefighting behind the scenes (and
holding the bail money).  We wouldn't have been able to do it without you.

* Cynthia Zwerling - for the fantastic artwork, web design, T-Shirts, and
for dealing with all our last minute notices.

* And a personal thanks to all the speakers, for taking the time off their
busy schedules to give great presentations.

* And most of all, a big thank you to the developers for believing in Apple.


Vinnie Moscaritolo
Apple Developer Tech Support
Fingerprint: 4FA3298150E404F2782501876EA2146A

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Robert Hettinga ([email protected])
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"'Bart Bucks' are not legal tender."
                -- Punishment, 100 times on a chalkboard,
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The e$ Home Page: http://www.vmeng.com/rah/