Reconciling algorithm

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Reconciling algorithm

Jesus Cea-2
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Hi, everybody.

I am interested in knowing the *exact* algorithm/protocol SKS uses for
reconciliation. I have read the two papers in the main SKS webpage, but
it is not enough to "clone" the wire protocol and implement another
independent keyserver.

I can not read ocaml sourcecode :-(.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Reconciling algorithm

Yaron Minsky
On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 7:54 PM, Jesus Cea <[hidden email]> wrote:

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>
> Hi, everybody.
>
> I am interested in knowing the *exact* algorithm/protocol SKS uses for
> reconciliation. I have read the two papers in the main SKS webpage, but
> it is not enough to "clone" the wire protocol and implement another
> independent keyserver.
>
> I can not read ocaml sourcecode :-(.

Sorry.  I'm afraid the source is the only available documentation for
the protocol.

y


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Re: Reconciling algorithm

Jesus Cea-2
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On 21/04/10 02:17, Yaron Minsky wrote:
>> I am interested in knowing the *exact* algorithm/protocol SKS uses for
>> reconciliation. I have read the two papers in the main SKS webpage, but
>> it is not enough to "clone" the wire protocol and implement another
>> independent keyserver.
>>
>> I can not read ocaml sourcecode :-(.
>
> Sorry.  I'm afraid the source is the only available documentation for
> the protocol.

This is not good. An undocumented *key* feature, written in a obscure
programming language :).

I know it is not very appropiate to post this in this mailing list but...

I was wondering if there is any kind of demand of an alternative OpenPGP
keyserver, with a different but documented syncronization technology,
like Merkle trees. Implemented in Python.

I apology for the off-topic and the attack to sks :(.

- --
Jesus Cea Avion                         _/_/      _/_/_/        _/_/_/
[hidden email] - http://www.jcea.es/     _/_/    _/_/  _/_/    _/_/  _/_/
jabber / xmpp:[hidden email]         _/_/    _/_/          _/_/_/_/_/
.                              _/_/  _/_/    _/_/          _/_/  _/_/
"Things are not so easy"      _/_/  _/_/    _/_/  _/_/    _/_/  _/_/
"My name is Dump, Core Dump"   _/_/_/        _/_/_/      _/_/  _/_/
"El amor es poner tu felicidad en la felicidad de otro" - Leibniz
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Re: Reconciling algorithm

Daniel Kahn Gillmor-7
On 04/28/2010 06:29 PM, Jesus Cea wrote:
> This is not good. An undocumented *key* feature, written in a obscure
> programming language :).
>
> I know it is not very appropiate to post this in this mailing list but...
>
> I was wondering if there is any kind of demand of an alternative OpenPGP
> keyserver, with a different but documented syncronization technology,
> like Merkle trees. Implemented in Python.

There are already several alternative OpenPGP keyservers with different
(but documented) synchronization tech.  In particular, all the systems
that sync'ed via e-mail (onak, pks, openpksd, etc.  i'm sure someone
else has a better list than me).

They have been superseded by SKS, mainly because of the more effective
synchronization.

The algorithm *is* documented, but it's academic/mathematical
documentation, not bits-on-the-wire documentation.  See the two papers
linked from the site here:

 http://minskyprimus.net/sks/

I don't think a new synchronization technique is what we need; i *do*
think that an alternate implementation that interoperates with sks would
be a great thing, and i imagine would be a good way to really nail down
what's happening practically in the actual set reconciliation.

> I apology for the off-topic and the attack to sks :(.

I don't think it's an attack, or certainly not an off-base attack --
it's an acknowledgment of a real weakness, and SKS would itself be
better if it was resolved.  Thanks for bringing it up.

        --dkg

PS i don't read/write ocaml either, and i don't have the available
cycles to write such an alternate implementation myself.  I'm just
saying that i think it's a good idea.


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Re: Reconciling algorithm

Yaron Minsky
In reply to this post by Jesus Cea-2
On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 6:29 PM, Jesus Cea <[hidden email]> wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On 21/04/10 02:17, Yaron Minsky wrote:
>>> I am interested in knowing the *exact* algorithm/protocol SKS uses for
>>> reconciliation. I have read the two papers in the main SKS webpage, but
>>> it is not enough to "clone" the wire protocol and implement another
>>> independent keyserver.
>>>
>>> I can not read ocaml sourcecode :-(.
>>
>> Sorry.  I'm afraid the source is the only available documentation for
>> the protocol.
>
> This is not good. An undocumented *key* feature, written in a obscure
> programming language :).
>
> I know it is not very appropiate to post this in this mailing list but...
>
> I was wondering if there is any kind of demand of an alternative OpenPGP
> keyserver, with a different but documented syncronization technology,
> like Merkle trees. Implemented in Python.
>
> I apology for the off-topic and the attack to sks :(.

No apologies necessary!  That said, I humbly suggest you consider just
hacking on SKS.  OCaml is a surprisingly pleasant language, once you
get the hang of it.  And it's really not as hard to learn as you might
think.  SKS could benefit from more developers...

y


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