Re: Last minute language nit on clear signing

David Shaw <dshaw@jabberwocky.com> Fri, 05 May 2006 04:40 UTC

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Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 00:21:34 -0400
From: David Shaw <dshaw@jabberwocky.com>
To: Jon Callas <jon@callas.org>
Cc: ietf-openpgp@imc.org
Subject: Re: Last minute language nit on clear signing
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On Thu, May 04, 2006 at 04:52:43PM -0700, Jon Callas wrote:
> 
> 
> On 3 May 2006, at 3:30 PM, David Shaw wrote:
> 
> >
> >Squeaking in under the wire.
> >
> >Section 7, Cleartext signature framework says:
> >
> >    It is desirable to sign a textual octet stream without ASCII
> >    armoring the stream itself, so the signed text is still readable
> >    without special software.
> >
> >Suggest "It is sometimes desirable to sign ..."
> >
> >(i.e. add a "sometimes".  It's not always desirable to clearsign).
> >
> 
> That really is a nit, and one that I disagree with. I will also admit  
> to crotchetiness today.
> 
> Saying "X is desirable" does not imply "~X is undesirable." There is  
> a middle ground between, "It's desirable to be able to park at the  
> airport" and "Taxis should be banned." Saying, I like ice cream does  
> not imply that I hate flan. I read that 'graph as saying  
> "Clearsigning, good." That's it.

The text struck me as implying "Clearsigning, you should" (as in it is
desirable to clearsign in preference to the other type of signing).
Total nit, of course, and I doubt anyone actually thinks that, but
there was a small "huh?" pause when I read past that section.

> Here's a counterproposal: "It is desirable to be able to sign..."  
> thus explicitly saying that it's an option. How's that? Better, worse  
> than yours? Or should we just leave it as is?

I like your solution better.

David