We have GOT TO make things simpler

Roland Siemons siemons at cleanfuels.nl
Mon Sep 30 15:43:15 CEST 2019

Dear GNUPG developers,

We have GOT TO make things simpler.

1/ I do have some years of experience with GnuPG. Especially with 
convincing people to use it. It is not easy. But I do it because it is 
in my interest to be able to communicate privately.
2/ My latest experience is with a person who sent me his entire keypair 
per email. I had asked him to send me his public key only. I had 
instructed him how to prepare that file ("export public key, do NOT 
export the secret half of the keypair. Ensure this by ticking the right 
boxes. If you use GPA do it like this, if you use Kleopatra, follow 
those menu trails, if you use GPG Tools I do not know."). The person who 
made the horror of sending his secret key over email is properly educated.
3/ Please do appreciate that the persons who we are convincing and 
instructing are not particularly interested in privacy. They need simple 

4/ Here is my proposal:
4.1/ Stimulate that people use a GUI like GPA or Kleopatra. Not 
Enigmail, although it offers the same, but it offers too much for 
beginners. Email integration comes after people have a basic 
understanding. Please do appreciate if people only want to be able to 
prepare encrypted documents for sending them as attachments.
4.2/ Ensure that, when generating a keypair, GnuPG creates one directory 
"Secretkeys", and one directory "Publickeys". Make GnuPG to store the 
public part and the secret part separately in those directories. If 
GnuPG needs also keypairs in a single file, store that under Secretkeys.
4.3/ Get rid of the confusing menu/Exportkeys/ vs menu/Exportsecretkey. etc.
4.5/ Get rid of the options to NOT publish keys on keyservers. Just work 
the opt-in alternative: If you want to publish to keyservers, make that 
a separate action that requires some effort.

Best regards,


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