Series of minor questions about OpenPGP 1

Peter Thomas p4.thomas at
Mon Jan 26 15:02:19 CET 2009

Hi folks.

I'm currently reading RFC4880 and I think I have many minor questions... is
the gnupg-users list the right place to ask? Or is there any better place?
Anyway,... I think I start right now and ask my first question,.. (think
it's easier to handle if I ask only one or two questions per mail-thread).

Hopefully you can help me and hopefully I'm not to annoying ;-)

1) In chapter on page 13 it says that the octet can have values "255
or 254". Is there any difference between the two?

2) I've digged a little bit into the bit layout of gpg created keys (with hd
and pgpdump), and it seems that gpg creates packets with old packed format
(bit 6 in the packet header cleard) whenever possible.
What's the reason for this? I mean the RFC recommends to use the new packet
format. Can I change that default behaviour? And if I have a key, that's
already used and signed by others, could I convert it to using the new

Thanks in advance,
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