Re: [openpgp] Overhauling User IDs / Standardizing User Attributes

Leo Gaspard <> Sat, 30 June 2018 12:43 UTC

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From: Leo Gaspard <>
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Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2018 21:43:40 +0900
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Subject: Re: [openpgp] Overhauling User IDs / Standardizing User Attributes
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On 06/30/2018 02:02 AM, Derek Atkins wrote:
> Leo Gaspard <> writes:
>> Well, User IDs are not easier to work with than User Attributes. The
>> only difference is that User IDs have been defined to be free-form
>> UTF-8, while the only User Attribute that has been defined (up to now)
>> is the picture type. And thus the only User Attribute that's easy to
>> work with is the picture User Attribute… which sounds logical.
>> OTOH, supposing my idea was introduced, then the additionally-defined
>> User Attributes would become mandatorily supported in v5 keys (among
>> other reasons because there would no longer be any User ID), and there
>> would be a free-form tag=value type (with both tag and value being UTF-8).
> May I point you to the (expired) document,
> draft-atkins-openpgp-device-certificates which started down the road of
> adding additional Attribute packets.
> Would something like that help?

Indeed, I hadn't seen this!

This is adding a User Attribute subpacket type for a reason completely
different from the reason I have, and even going a bit in opposition to
the movement I was trying to set (which would have led to the definition
of a “Device ID” attribute subpacket type that wouldn't “by convention,
[include] a mail name-addr”, because that possibly makes no sense, and
if it does it can be replicated with “Device ID” + “email” attribute

But the idea of adding User Attributes that are actually readable by
humans is the same, so that they can be easily understood by humans even
when using implementations that can't fully handle them (only the bare
minimum of displaying UTF-8) :)