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Re: Fwd: Cryptokit port to Numerix

On Tue, Dec 16, 2003 at 02:42:33PM -0800, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> On Tuesday 16 December 2003 01:09 am, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Mon, Dec 15, 2003 at 01:30:01PM -0800, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> > > Sven -
> > >
> > > Fabio suggested that I contact you for help with packaging the Numerix
> > > and Cryptokit OCaml libraries.  (He and Peter are packaging the SKS
> > > OpenPGP
> >
> > Cool.
> >
> > Please notice that there is also the debian-ocaml-maint mailing lists,
> > where all the debian/ocaml maintainers and some other interested in
> > packaging ocaml stuff in debian gather. You should consider joining
> > there.
> Joined now, thanks.
> > > keyserver, which uses these libraries, and I wound up packaging the
> > > libraries in the course of getting an SKS instance up.)  I have attached
> > > the e-mail I sent to Xavier Leroy (the Cryptokit upstream) offering him
> > > my changes to
> >
> > And the ocaml upstream too.
> >
> > > Cryptokit to replace its use of the non-free Nat bignum library with
> > > Numerix.
> >
> > Mmm, Xavier did already reimplement bignum in the CVS version. I am
> > considering packaging it in experimental for now. Can you make use of
> > that ? Also the copyright is actually in HP hands, and i asked Bdale to
> > look into it. Sadly, he has not time, and the actual stuff seems to be
> > lost in huge piles of paperwork inherited from Dec and then Compaq.
> The port to Numerix was easy enough, and gained 10-30% performance on RSA 
> operations on my test system; may be better on memory management scores as 

Well, Xavier claims a 50% speed improvement of the new bignum library
over the old one for athlon 64, pentium 4 and powerpc.

> well, since I use in-place operations wherever feasible.  I like the Numerix 
> API much better than the original Nat, and it has a good implementation of 
> a^b mod c (missing from Nat).  I look forward to hearing from Xavier what he 
> thinks of my work.


> > > Preliminary numerix and cryptokit source packages are on http://
> > > www-static.sane.net/.  I originally cribbed debian/rules, etc. from
> > > extlib, but am now rewriting them based on your pcre-ocaml source
> > > package.  (It seems
> >
> > Well, it is more Stefano's package, but it is true that we currently
> > co-maintain it. Also, there is the ocaml-pkg or whatever alioth project,
> > which include the SVN repository where we are migrating our
> > co-maintained packages to.
> Would that be an appropriate repository for cryptokit and numerix as well?

Yeah sure. You don't even need to be a DD, just become a member of the
alioth project.

> > > best to use ocaml-findlibs, and hopefully the weirdness I am having with
> >
> > I personnally don't like findlibs, but indeed it is a good tool to use.
> I am open to other tools as well; I am new to OCaml and guessed that findlib 
> was the most common way of setting up shared libraries, etc.  Please correct 
> me if that's incorrect.

Well, i personnally prefer the good old manual way, but others disagree.

> > > bytecode compilation of the ported cryptokit will go away.)  Up until a
> > > couple of days ago I had never used OCaml, so I could definitely use
> > > packaging pointers.
> >
> > Did you read the ocaml-packaging-policy ? It is in the SVN repository,
> > but also in /usr/lib/ocaml/3.07.
> I did read over it once, and will continue to consult it as I refine these 
> packages.  Review by an experienced OCaml packager would also be appreciated.


> > > IANADD, so I will also need an upload sponsor if these packages are to go
> > > into the archive.  Peter and Fabio have both expressed willingness, but
> > > Fabio thought it would be good to have a sponsor who uses OCaml.  I would
> >
> > Yep. Altough they still can sponsor the actual uploads, and we can give
> > you counsel on packaging and everything.
> That sounds like a good way of dividing it up.


> > > appreciate it very much if you would consider sponsoring.  (My changes to
> > > Cryptokit will obviously need some review before they are uploaded; the
> > > upstream cryptokit can't go into main because it depends on non-free
> > > parts that have been removed from ocaml, and it would be nice if
> > > cryptokit and sks made it into sarge main.)
> >
> > You should have asked before. I believe that the API-identic
> > reimplementation that is currently in the ocaml CVS should have been
> > enough to not need your work, altough i don't really understand the
> > issues involved here. I will do a ocaml-cvs package, and you can then
> > try it out, and tell me more about it.
> The comparison will be interesting.  It was a good OCaml learning exercise in 
> any case, and didn't take me long.


> > BTW, is cryptokit packaged, and if so, in which package does it belong ?
> IMO it should wind up in libcryptokit-ocaml and libcryptokit-ocaml-dev.  The 
> upstream build doesn't seem to make shared libraries (which will be needed 
> for libcryptokit-ocaml AIUI), so I will need to do some rework.  (I'm working 

Well, the shared libraries are only really needed if there is a dll.so,
built from C stubs. I don't remember well if this is the case for
cryptokit or if it is a native ocaml library.

> on the Numerix packages now, which will include libnumerix and libnumerix-dev 
> (C interface) as well as libnumerix-ocaml and libnumerix-ocaml-dev.

Ok, cool.


Sven Luther

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