Email Focus

David Shaw
Mon Dec 10 22:15:01 2001

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Mon, Dec 10, 2001 at 03:54:18PM -0500, Frank Tobin wrote:
> David Shaw, at 15:26 -0500 on 2001-12-10, wrote:
> > GnuPG encrypts files.  It could be argued that it would be nice to
> > encrypt directories, but in the Unix-ish way of thinking, that is not
> > GnuPG's job.  After all, why build in a miniature directory lister, if
> > the user can just use ls, which is presumably perfect?
> One word: emacs :)

Indeed.  What's the old joke?  Something like "Emacs is a great
operating system, but Unix has a better editor."

> > All that said, I think a --recursive flag in GnuPG is not unreasonable.
> > It does raise the question: what does it mean to encrypt a directory?
> > Do you want to end up with one big file that contains the contents of
> > the directory, or a directory full of encrypted files?  (I'd say the
> > second - the first is what "tar" is for).
> I should note that on FreeBSD, grep, chown, chgrp, chmod, and probably
> several others each has a -R option for recurision.

Don't forget 'ls' :)

Those examples are one of the reasons I think that a recursive option
in GnuPG is reasonable.  Without it, GnuPG violates the principle of
least surprise.

It's a tougher question with GnuPG, since it is security-related
software.  Recursion may make things harder to debug/prove correct.


   David Shaw  |  |  WWW
   "There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
      We don't believe this to be a coincidence." - Jeremy S. Anderson

Content-Type: application/pgp-signature
Content-Disposition: inline

Version: GnuPG v1.0.6c-cvs (GNU/Linux)