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Re: Fwd: Cryptokit port to Numerix

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, 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?

> > 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.

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

> Friendly,
> Sven Luther

- Michael

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