Comments on PGP5.0 OCR (was Re: fyi, pgp source now available , internationally)

nospam-seesignature at nospam-seesignature at
Mon Aug 11 12:32:35 PDT 1997

On Mon, 11 Aug 1997, Ryan Anderson wrote:

> On Mon, 11 Aug 1997, Adam Back wrote:
> > How about a book full of 2D barcodes?  
> > 
> > As a plus perhaps the book would be more compact, as you could gzip it
> > first -- the full source tree looks to be over a foot of doublesided
> > paper!

It is about that girth, although I only have the first 5 volumes.  They
should have hand-huffman-coded the source :).

> Well, remember the reason we did this:  to get the code out of the US in a
> way that the government couldn't screw with at all.  Readable text is
> clearly a publication, and thus unrestrictable.  There is a chance,
> however small, that gzip (and tarring I'd assume) the tree and then
> putting it in as text (or bar-coding it) would cloud the issue some.
> (Isn't part of this to do with human-readable as opposed to machien
> readable?)

Not quite.  If you read closely, the EAR says something about reserving
judgment on OCR publications.  You didn't use a specific OCR font, but you
did put all kinds of other OCR helps in, which should by itself cloud the
issue.  It would be nice if it was resolved.

Or if PGP came out with the "PGP crypto source quarterly", now that I have
munge and unmunge :).

> Besides, this way it's easier to spot the errors simply by comparing, with
> bar-codes and such you'd never ever be able to look at the errors yourself
> and find them.

You would normally bury a lot of ECC within the bar codes, so that unless
the dog would eat the page, it would be able to reconstruct the whole, or
even take the "munge" images and barcode those lines.

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