Encryption and Privacy Guide Input

Karsten 'quaid' Wade kwade at redhat.com
Fri Feb 8 14:12:09 UTC 2008

Adding a couple of people to the discussion I'd like to supply an
opinion to the discussion, but who may not be on the list.

On Mon, 2008-02-04 at 22:10 -0500, Eric Christensen wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> A week ago I made some changes to the Encryption and Privacy Guide [1]
> (EPG) that was going to spread out and categorize all the information
> that you could possibly put into such a document.  Quaid gave me a
> moment of pause when he said that we need to focus on Fedora-specific
> information.
> I agree and disagree at the same time.  I don't think we need to
> reproduce a bunch of information that is already out there but I've also
> been taught to not keep telling people to go somewhere else for information.
> Here is what I propose...
> In order to provide a comprehensive guide that covers privacy and
> encryption that is available to Fedora I think we should cover in depth
> the Fedora-specific information while providing a summary and alternate
> paths for getting information for items that are more Linux-specific.

I don't see a problem with this idea.  You understand what the catch is
and avoid it with the summary approach.  We don't want to be maintaining
miles and miles of content that is going to change from outside of
Fedora on a regular basis, but we don't need to write it so that it is
subject to regular change.  All of those topics can have a small section
summary of the technology.

One way we could help the users is to identify the background they may
want to skip and make it easy for them to learn how to skip it.  Such as
using a regular naming scheme and organization, what-is followed by

 What is GPG
 How to use GPG
SSH keys
 What are sshkeys
 How to create and use sshkeys
File system encryption
 What is FS encryption
 How to encrypt a file system

There could be more common section types, such as "Best practices",
"Recipes", etc. depending on what the topic is.  Following a consistent
pattern helps the reader navigate to what they want.

With each topic added (FS encrypt + gpg + ssh + ...) there is a
non-linear increase in work load to maintain future versions.  Once
written it is less work to maintain it, but each section contains what
and how information that has to be re-checked every six to twelve

This does make for more modular technical editing, where someone can
check all the what-is content purely from their own knowledge without
having to check any implementation (how-to) details.

> There is already non-Fedora-specific information in our Docs (like a
> guide for using GPG [2}) that could be rolled into the EPG as a summary.
> ~ This would allow a guide that would be encompassing while not rewriting
> the book on everything security.

One thing that is different there is that the GPG guide is specific to
contributors.  We would have to look at making it generic, then
maintaining a separate page in the Get Involved Guide that told
specifics about using GPG with the Fedora Project as a contributor.
That seems like a sane approach.

- Karsten
Karsten Wade, Developer Community Mgr.
Dev Fu : http://developer.redhatmagazine.com
Fedora : http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
gpg key : AD0E0C41
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