Terminology - certificate or key ?

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Fri Sep 30 16:22:39 CEST 2016

On Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:46, rjh at sixdemonbag.org said:

> https://www.gpg4win.org/doc/en/gpg4win-compendium_12.html

We had a long discussion many years ago on how to name the beast.  The
compendium somewhat prioritizes S/MIME and thus we tried to unify the
terms by using "certificate" also for OpenPGP.  I think that experiment
failed because it mixes two entirely different concepts.

The root of the problem might be the concept of "public key" and
"private key".  You need to educate users that these are very different
things but still belong together.  Many users only notice "key",
associate that with password, and notice the passphrase they use to
unprotect the private key.

So for example "lock" and "private key" may be better.  But we can't
change that anymore, as the train left the station a long time ago.



Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.
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