javascript, networking and browsers (Re: WKD v05: DNS problem when requesting pubkey)

Patrick Brunschwig patrick at
Sat Apr 14 10:56:36 CEST 2018

On 09.04.18 09:30, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
> Am Freitag 06 April 2018 21:49:22 schrieb Ben McGinnes:
>> On Thu, Apr 05, 2018 at 12:02:52PM +0200, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
>>> However according to my research, code running inside  a webbrowser -
>>> either from a webpage or as extension - **cannot do a DNS request** on
>>> its own.
>> Correct.
> Thanks for confirming.
>> JS is comnpletely oblivious to even the concept of what a network is
>> and any code you've see that suggests otherwise is solely reflecting
>> the mindset of the author, not the implementation of the scripting
>> language.
> To be fair: Almost all programming languages know nothing about what a network 
> is, usually it is in their standard libaries. The standard libraries for 
> server side and native javascript is just growing, just look at the 
> development of nodejs. Of of course there are many libraries that know about 
> networks.

I'm sorry for jumping in a bit late. I can only agree to Bernhard. For
example in Enigmail, I can use a DNS service class provided by the
Mozilla platform, but that class would not allow me to query specific
DNS record types. All I can do is simple name resolving.

I decided to implement WKD lookup in Enigmail and not use the function
offered by GnuPG because a) Enigmail is likely to still support GnuPG
2.0.x for many years - at least on Linux distributions like RedHad, and
b) for performance reasons. By specifying SRV record lookups mandatory,
you ensure that Enigmail will violate the specification.


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