Mozilla, License (again), PPG, GPGME

Werner Koch wk at
Sat Mar 9 16:52:01 CET 2002

On Sat, 09 Mar 2002 15:54:32 +0100, Ben Bucksch said:

> include Microsoft Outlook [Express], now that the future of the
> commercial PGP is unclear. (Outlook has such a large market share that

You mean the proprietary PGP.  Wether a software is commcercial or not
has nothing to do with Free Software versus proprietary software.  The
furture of PGP is not that unlcear: There is and will be no more
development for it.  They have laid off all engineers working on PGP.

> OpenPGP needs to have a nice UI for it, if it ever wants to be a
> widely used standard. I know the security concerns, but I think they

Yes, definitely.  Noone as volunteered to make GPA or any of the other
frontends a workable solution, so I fear that without a proper funding
there will be no good GUI in the near future.  I know that this is
very important.  I have a list of things in mind which should be
undertaken by further GPA (or whatever) development.

> My questions:

>     * What's the state of PGG? I guess it's unusable by now?


>     * (What's wrong with OO? - no answer required :). )

It needs to be done right and frankly OO is far older than what Brooch
claims to have invented.  The IEEE Software had a good article on the
disadvantage of several OO approaches (look for something like "Why OO
does not sync with our thinking" about 2 years old)

>     * Why GPL for GPGME? Werner, you say you want to use the lib for
>       Mozilla, but you are surely aware of the license problems. What
>       was your plan, or did you just "default" to GPL :), planning to
>       think about the problem later?

Now that Mozilla is dual licensed there is no more problem to use it.
If you want to use in addtion a proprietary plugin, you may not be
able to do so.  In theory I can still change the GPGME license but I
don't see a reason to endorse the use of proprietary software by doing
that.  Mozilla is free and if someone wants a Flash plugin, he should
write a compatible plugin or even better use a standard vector format.

>     * Mozilla has now partial S/MIME support, and Netscape claims that
>       the underlying stuff is general enough for OpenPGP. As usual, they
>       have no docs whatsoover. I haven't looked at it myself.

What's wrong with enigmail?  If you worry about performance problems
due to the fork/exec approach, this will be solved soon by a gpg
server mode.

>     * NAI worked on a Mozilla plugin last year, but the code was
>       rejected. IMHO, it looked better than the Netscape S/MIME stuff.

Although I am much in favor of OpenPGP, I can tell you that GPGME does
support S/MIME (well, the CMS part).


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