Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crypto Advances

Seems I have been out of touch a little bit with the world of cryptography. Looks like there is a contest to devise a new hash algorithm which will become SHA-3. The good news is I think that the algorithms will be held up to some intense scrutiny and therefore we may actually get some decent code out of it. Code that runs fast, might have decent data structures associated with it, does what it is supposed to do, and hopefully nothing more than that. I think that's really the problem I have - creaping featurism, just keep piling on features to keep the "new version" revenue stream going, meanwhile never bother fixing the old stuff that didn't work. Much like a colleague of mine Bruce Leverett once wrote in a book he published: But in our enthusiasm, we could not resist a radical overhaul of the system, in which all of its major weaknesses have been exposed, analyzed, and replaced with new weaknesses. Yes - albeit not quite to the extent of Dr. Leverett - I was a compiler jock of sorts back when I worked with Bruce at the software translation company. One interesting tidbit was we worked in LISP - a language that had a lot of interesting variable names. One of the more interesting was Bliss32$Bruce - named after one Bruce Leverett - this variable contained various portions, up to and including the entire Bliss source file that was being processed and transformed into GIF (not the picture GIF - Generic Internal Form) for later processing. BTW - While creating this post - I realized that blogspot no longer provides an easy method for having your post title have a link associated with it. Yes indeed - that's what I'd call an advance. Why would you do away with functionality that existed in the past. Now overall I like blogger and blogspot - especially the new publish feature, that doesn't require needless generation time, but some things were better before.

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