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gnu-crypto - GNU Crypto library for Java…  more info»

README

Gnu Crypto
===========

1. Mission Statement
---------------------
The gnu.crypto project aims at providing versatile, high-quality, and provably
correct implementations of cryptographic primitives and tools in the Java
programming language for use by programmers and end-users.


2. Versatilitiy
----------------
JavaSoft's JCA/JCE is a de-facto standard of a cryptographic API, but is not
the only one!  Others; eg. GSS-API, exist.  There is also no proof that the jce
_is_ an optimal minimalist API on which to build more elaborate ones.  Needing
access to cryptographic primitive implementations that do not require the heavy
JCA/JCE is a reality; eg. need to encrypt database user credentials data in an
application.  This package should be able to provide this.

This by no means implies that gnu.crypto _replaces_ or obviates the need of the
JCA/JCE.  The gnu.crypto library _is not_ another JCE implementation.  It
should be capable of being used by JCE implementations --a list of such
implementations may include JavaSoft's jdk1.4 (which is supposed to include a
JCE), cryptix (<http://www.cryptix.org>) and bouncycastle
(<http://www.bouncycastle.org/>).

Other framework should also be considered; eg. the now in gestation GSS-API in
Java (see JSR-72 <http://jcp.org/jsr/detail/72.jsp>).


3. High Quality
----------------
By this i mean fast, thread-safe, even multi-threaded, and hardware-friendly
implementations.  If this means different implementations each suited to
specific environments, so be it.  Configuration needs should not be sacrificed
for programmers' convenience.


4. Correctness
---------------
There is no point in having a fast implementation of an algorithm that is not
correct.  Defining what correct means and how to prove it would help us, and
others, learn new techniques to incorporate and follow, in implementations, to
ensure attaining such objective.


5. Tools
---------
Having access to tools that exercise cryptographic primitives to evaluate their
performance and characteristics help programmers and designers when selecting
primitives for their application.  There are always subtle differences between
algorithms --not to mention different implementations of the same algorithm.
Performance is affected by the platform on which the implementation is supposed
to run.  All these imponderables tend to blur the vision of the designer and/or
architect; as a consequence they then choose _one_ algorithm, usually the most
talked about in the magazines they read and forget about it.

Here is a list of features such tools may offer:

* measuring dispersion (white noise quality) with prng implementations,
* pattern detection in cipher output.
* compose, and why not through a GUI :-), ciphers from more basic objects:
  SBox, Feistel, LFSR (Linear Feedback Shift Register), etc...
* comparing output with published test vectors.


6. Coding Style
----------------
Source code in the repository must be written in conformance to the Coding
Style guidelines used in this project; i.e.:

JavaStyle <http://www.gnu.org/software/classpathx/crypto/guide/JavaStyle.html>,
AntStyle <http://www.gnu.org/software/classpathx/crypto/guide/AntStyle.html>.


The home page for this project is at www.gnu.org/software/classpathx/crypto.
See INSTALL for installation instructions.


7. Building
------------
See the file INSTALL in the same directory where this file resides.


8. TODO
--------
* improve the auto-* process; e.g. remove the need to enter the source files by
  hand without losing information about inner classes.
* integrate the gcj/ process into the main one.
* add support for configuring and using Kissme as a replacement for java.
* improve the documentation.
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