Suggestion for OpenPGP standard update

Jeff Schmidt jsbiff at
Wed Nov 1 18:43:44 CET 2023


    I was thinking, it's time for the OpenPGP standard to be updated 
with a shorter form for the parts of inline messages that indicate a 
message is signed and/or encrypted, to make it more useful for signing 
and/or encrypting messages on services that limit the number of chars 
per message. For example, a lot of Mastodon instances of the ActivityPub 
Fediverse, limit message length to 500 chars. It's a lot to give up a 
large fraction of the message char length for the following openpgp bits:

Hash: SHA512

That's 108 characters just for OpenPGP. If that could be abbreviated, 
that would save some precious chars for people's actual messages. I 
realize that gnupg devels don't own the standard, but have to simply 
implement the standard, but I thought you all might be in a position to 
advocate such a change with whoever maintains the standard.

So, for example, maybe something like:

H: SHA512

Which reduces the total char count down to 39 chars (of course, not 
counting the actual encrypted hash) at least with SHA512 as the hash - 
of course, it would be variable length because the hash abbreviation 
might be longer or shorter for other hashes.

Sorry if this has been previously discussed on the mailing list - the 
list server does not provide a search function, and I couldn't find this 
in the gnupg FAQ, or doing a web search for "shorter pgp signature".

It does occur to me another approach would be to attach signatures to 
such posts as an .asc file or .sig file, but as that may not always be 
an available solution for everyone, it really seems like shortening the 
openpgp inline text delimiters could be helpful in a lot of cases.

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