Fri, 14 Apr 2000 10:34:09 -0500 (CDT)
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Johan Lundberg, at 12:28 +0200 on Fri, 14 Apr 2000, wrote:
> Ohh.. I thougth that one nice thing with gnupg whas that you should be
> able to encrypt to and from pgp, gpg and other users without to mush
> problems. It's a fact that pgp is mush more used than gpg, so i think pgp
> should be fully compatible with pgp by default (as long as it's not a
> violation to openPGP). If gpg are to replace pgp (as I understand you wold
> like?), it would be nice to be as compatible as possible.
No, the nice thing about GnuPG is that it conforms to an
internet-recognized specification for exchanging OpenPGP messages. This
standard is available for anyone to view and create a new implementation
of. If these standards did not exist we wouldn't have working protocols
like TCP or HTTP.
Three are currently two major things which break compatibility:
encumbering patents, and PGP.
RSA and IDEA are not supported by default in GnuPG because they are not
free algorithms. These are SHOULD's in the OpenPGP specifiction. RSA
will likely be supported when the patent runs out this fall. IDEA's
patent does not run out for several years.
NAI's PGP breaks the OpenPGP specifiction with it's new packets such as
the photo-id. I can see that NAI wants to further extend the powers of
PGP, and that is fine with me; however, users should be aware that there
is an open standard with free implementations which anyone can use, and
that not abiding by this standard has a good chance of alienating those
who abide by it.
This the same reason why use of Word documents is highly discouraged over
other open, standards-based forms such as HTML; it would be silly to think
that HTML should try to replace Word, or compensate for it. Sure, MS
wants to further the complexity and power of a Word document, but that
does not in any way mean that the designers of HTML should want or try to
Oh, and by the way, when I refer to free I mean Open Source Free.
Frank Tobin http://www.uiuc.edu/~ftobin/
"To learn what is good and what is to be valued,
those truths which cannot be shaken or changed." Myst: The Book of Atrus
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