wipe issues

David Shaw dshaw@jabberwocky.com
Wed Jul 10 19:41:02 2002

On Wed, Jul 10, 2002 at 10:19:14AM -0700, Bob Holtzman wrote:
> > Another question (I'm sure this has been asked
> > before). In the TODO
> > file of GnuPG 1.0.7, the wipe option is something that
> > will NOT be
> > included in the future versions of gpg. I just want to
> > know why? 
> Me too.

There are two big reasons:

1) GnuPG is portable code that can run on many different platforms.
Wipe programs, by necessity, are generally very unportable.  This
would mean writing and maintaining a different wiper for each
platform.  Since there are already wipers for pretty much all
platforms, why implement the same thing again?

2) GnuPG follows the "do one task, and do that one task well" design
(sometimes called the "Unix ideal").  Time spent working on wipers is
time spent not working on the main task.

This should really be in the FAQ.  It gets asked a lot.


   David Shaw  |  dshaw@jabberwocky.com  |  WWW http://www.jabberwocky.com/
   "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