changing the default for --keyid-format [was: Re: getting an encrypted file to show what public key was used]

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Tue May 29 18:31:33 CEST 2012

On 5/29/12 11:51 AM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
> Perhaps GnuPG should change the default of --keyid-format from "short"
> to "long"?

Hurts interoperability.  Once someone learns the process on PGP or
BouncyCastle or [insert OpenPGP implementation here], they're going to
want to take those same skills over to GnuPG.  Those other
implementations overwhelmingly display short key IDs; if they come to
GnuPG expecting short key IDs and see long ones, we'll see a sea of
questions of "why did my key ID change when I imported it from PGP to

(Hmm.  "Interoperability" might be the wrong word, but there's not a
good term for "skill portability.")

Anyway, it's not that I think this change is _a priori_ bad, but in
order to diminish the skill portability issues (both in moving from
other implementations to GnuPG and from GnuPG to other implementations)
I think this change should not be implemented without some coordination
with the other major implementations.

Honestly, this seems like something to bring up to the IETF WG.  The RFC
already has a plethora of implementation recommendations: adding an
implementation recommendation of "use long key IDs when possible" seems
to be an entirely reasonable addition.

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