Improving the command line UI of gpg

Rainer Perske rainer.perske at
Wed Jul 25 23:51:53 CEST 2018


> I have been foolish enough in the past to spend time implementing
> ideas that seemed good and useful to me, and the result has been
> that nobody has supported them, nobody has helped to implement them,
> instead people have called them "single-man projects", so not worth
> of being taken seriously or being trusted. I don't want it to happen again.

@Dashamir: I do understand your frustration; I have made similar
experiences earlier. Perhaps I may give you a piece of advice? :-)

> [...] It can only be useful if it is meant to be used by lots of users.


Improving usability is always a good idea, you are very welcome if you 
want to contribute. But your current idea is thought far too short: 
Only IT experts still use the command line, and experts have no problem 
with the current interface, so they do not need the improvement you are 
thinking of. Hence you are getting the negative reactions you are 
experiencing now; you simply have no chance to address lots of users
by enhancing the command line interface.

So, if you want to improve usability for non-experts, it would be 
wasting time to enhance the command line interface. Better invest your 
time in one of the interfaces used by non-expert users: Apps for 
smartphone and tablet users, graphical interfaces for desktop and 
laptop users, perhaps better integration into e-mail software etc.

In this wide field you can certainly find a project that brings you 
much more fun.

(The "wrapper" I wrote in the last decade is the complete integration 
of OpenPGP and S/MIME into the webmailer of the university where I am 
working, not a simple shell script. That webmailer is used by thousands 
of people daily.)

Best wishes
Rainer Perske
System operations dept. and director of the certification authority (WWUCA)
Center for Information Processing (university computer center)

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität
Zentrum für Informationsverarbeitung
Rainer Perske
Röntgenstraße 7-13
48149 Münster

phone: +49 251 83-31582
fax: +49 251 83-31555
e-mail: rainer.perske at
office: room 006, Röntgenstraße 11
site map:

Certification Authority of the University of Münster (WWUCA):
phone: +49 251 83-31590
fax: +49 251 83-31555
e-mail: ca at

Center for Information Processing:
phone: +49 251 83-31600 (Mon-Fri 7:30-17:30)
fax: +49 251 83-31555
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