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Old 01-17-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
ryran
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Question new gpg encryption/signing frontend -- looking for name suggestions


For the last couple weeks I've been working on GUI for doing encrypting, decrypting, signing, and verifying with gpg/gpg2. It can load files & do binary output, but since there are already good options for that (nautilus + seahorse-plugins), the main focus is on text input/output. Also, unlike every other gui I've seen so far, it can do symmetric encryption.

I'm on the doorstep of v1.0 and was hoping to get some ideas for a better name. Currently it's called a8crypt.
Anyone have any ideas?

------
EDIT:
Settled on Pyrite as a name.
A few screenshots are attached; all screenshots and download now at: http://github.com/ryran/pyrite
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Last edited by ryran; 02-08-2012 at 09:00 AM.
 
Old 01-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
hydraMax
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Looks pretty cool! I think I'll give that a try.

My opinion: You REALLY need to have the word "gnupg" or at least "gpg" somewhere in the name, to get your program the recognition is deserves. Since your GUI is all about gpg, people should quickly associate the two when they hear the name. Furthermore, people will be Googling or searching for things like "gpg GUI", and that will get you more attention and faster adoption.

It is not especially creative, but even something like "gnupg-gtk" would be helpful and descriptive. (Apparently, "py-gnupg" is already taken...)

I'm not sure what "a8" means to you, but it doesn't communicate anything to me, or likely to anyone else.

Edit:

Of course, maybe you have plans to include other encryption schemes as well (e.g. bcrypt) in which case my suggestion is not such a good one...

Last edited by hydraMax; 01-17-2012 at 07:59 PM.
 
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
hydraMax
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err, first support question (not being especially familiar with python): When your installation doc says "depends on GTK2", does that use pygtk? Or is Python supposed to provide some kind of gtk standard lib? When I run it I get:

Code:
$ python2.7 a8crypt.py 
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "a8crypt.py", line 27, in <module>
    import gtk
ImportError: No module named gtk
$ cat /proc/version 
Linux version 3.0.6-gentoo (root@enigma) (gcc version 4.5.3 (Gentoo 4.5.3-r1 p1.0, pie-0.4.5) ) #1 SMP Thu Nov 3 10:50:23 AKDT 2011
Just trying to figure out what else I need to install. (gtk+ is installed).

Edit:

BTW, what is it like living in Abu Dhabi?

Last edited by hydraMax; 01-17-2012 at 08:17 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
ryran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydraMax View Post
Just trying to figure out what else I need to install. (gtk+ is installed).
I'm not exactly sure what the package would be called--and I don't know how software repositories work in Gentoo--but, according to the pygtk page, it's included in Gentoo, so... use whatever software management/installation app you have to search for pygtk? That should pull in any necessary dependencies. Let me know!

Just woke up for a few minutes to check email. Will respond more later. Going back to sleep.
 
Old 01-18-2012, 02:33 AM   #5
hydraMax
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Got this working. Pygtk was installed, but not for that particular version of Python.

Pretty neat program... Convenient, quick, sleek, and with lots of options. Was looking for a convenient program like this that I could paste the input text into.

The only part that doesn't quite make sense to me (maybe I'm doing something wrong): it seems as though I am not able to open files into the text buffer, but rather the program forces me to save to external file. Ideally I should be able to load external files directly into the text buffer. (E.g., maybe the input file I want to sign is on disk, but I don't want to save the output signature itself to disk.)

Anyway, apologies if I distracted your thread too much.
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
ryran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydraMax View Post
My opinion: You REALLY need to have the word "gnupg" or at least "gpg" somewhere in the name ... I'm not sure what "a8" means to you, but it doesn't communicate anything to me, or likely to anyone else.
Thanks so much for the feedback. You're absolutely right about a8. The first gpg frontend I created was a bash script called a3crypt, and I called it that because: (1) I wanted a name that wasn't already taken; (2) I wanted it to be super-quick to type, i.e., in a terminal, all I have to type is a3<Tab><Enter>. I just kinda kept with that format as I continued with a4crypt, a7crypt, and then a8crypt -- even though a7crypt & a8crypt are GUIs and the prerequisite of having an easy to type command-name is likely no longer as important (heh.. if it ever was).

Of course, I'm all about GnuPG ... but I haven't come up with a smooth way to work it into a catchy title. And I also have always kinda toyed with the idea that HOPEFULLY many of the future users of an app like this wouldn't even need to have heard of GPG, initially anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hydraMax View Post
BTW, what is it like living in Abu Dhabi?
I don't really like it. But then .. not having a job for a year can kinda ruin any place for you. For westerners there's lots of pros to moving here. For everybody, including westerners there's also lots of cons. Usually the first thing people wonder about is freedom and the whole living-in-an-Islamic-state thing, but that's not really an issue. But anywhoooo....


Quote:
Originally Posted by hydraMax View Post
Got this working. Pygtk was installed, but not for that particular version of Python.

Pretty neat program... Convenient, quick, sleek, and with lots of options. Was looking for a convenient program like this that I could paste the input text into.

The only part that doesn't quite make sense to me (maybe I'm doing something wrong): it seems as though I am not able to open files into the text buffer, but rather the program forces me to save to external file. Ideally I should be able to load external files directly into the text buffer. (E.g., maybe the input file I want to sign is on disk, but I don't want to save the output signature itself to disk.)

Anyway, apologies if I distracted your thread too much.
Glad you got it working! I just started learning Python in the last month, so all this is new to me--I'm not really sure how many things I have used in my code that are actually recent Python or pygtk innovations. I also haven't done any testing in anything other than Fedora, which is pretty much using the latest of everything.

I read your post on your website about encryption. I feel the same way -- it's a darn shame that we've had the technology to get encryption to the masses for so many years and SO FEW PEOPLE know about it. So I'm glad that you're impressed. As for the opening part: no, you're not doing anything wrong. Look at the tooltips (i.e., the tooltip for "Open file" in the File menu). I could add the feature you're talking about pretty easily, but first, let me share my logic and then you tell me what you think. ...

Obviously, the primary focus of a8crypt is text i/o. If people want to encrypt/decrypt some text that's in a file, I figure the first instinct would be to copy and paste it into the window's buffer. Coming from Fedora, my filemanager has Encrypt & Decrypt in its right-click context menu for files, so... there's that, as well. All that said, I felt thoroughness demanded at least the ability to encrypt/decrypt & sign/verify binary files, hence.. the way I implemented it. I agree that it feels kinda hackish. I dunno. I'm DEFINITELY open to ideas (I can't believe you tried to apologize for "distracting" the thread!) for how to do all this better.
 
Old 01-19-2012, 12:50 AM   #7
hydraMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryran View Post
I read your post on your website about encryption. I feel the same way -- it's a darn shame that we've had the technology to get encryption to the masses for so many years and SO FEW PEOPLE know about it. So I'm glad that you're impressed. As for the opening part: no, you're not doing anything wrong. Look at the tooltips (i.e., the tooltip for "Open file" in the File menu). I could add the feature you're talking about pretty easily, but first, let me share my logic and then you tell me what you think. ...

Obviously, the primary focus of a8crypt is text i/o. If people want to encrypt/decrypt some text that's in a file, I figure the first instinct would be to copy and paste it into the window's buffer. Coming from Fedora, my filemanager has Encrypt & Decrypt in its right-click context menu for files, so... there's that, as well. All that said, I felt thoroughness demanded at least the ability to encrypt/decrypt & sign/verify binary files, hence.. the way I implemented it. I agree that it feels kinda hackish. I dunno. I'm DEFINITELY open to ideas (I can't believe you tried to apologize for "distracting" the thread!) for how to do all this better.
If it isn't too difficult, I would think the ideal situation would be to provide both functionalities. Maybe a separate menu option for each? Say, 1) "Load file to text buffer", and 2) "Encrypt/Sign external file".

As a personal testimony: once I first got the software running, one of the first things I instinctly wanted to do was to "play around" and see what things would look like in the window after they were signed or encrypted. But I didn't want to take the time to write something, or to put in a few unrealistic words. So I quickly clicked on File >> Open File and selected a file, but then was rather confused when it subsequently asked me where I wanted to save the file to. Now, if I had taken the time to read the tool tip I wouldn't have done that; but I think that most people expect an "Open File" menu option in a GUI to open the file in the GUI, and so other people will make the same mistake. Anyway, that's all I'll say on that minor point.

You know, as I consider the name issue more (now that I've used the program) it seems like focusing on the GPG aspect might not be the best course. Who knows what other encryption/signing capabilities you might add later? (digital certs, e.g.) I think the ideal name should somehow combine the focus of the text window part of your program and the cipher (encryption/signing) part. It is really this combination that makes your program unique. What about... "Ciphter" (pronounced sift-er)
 
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
chrism01
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Re "Ciphter" (pronounced sift-er); unfortunately, having a name pronounced radically different from its spelling can cause issues in day to day usage/discussions; how about 'Crypter', following on the same theme?
 
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
ryran
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Well, I like Ciphter, but I think I'm gonna keep looking.
In other news:

I implemented a progress spinner for when gpg is actually doing the work--kinda important to have SOME feedback for those big jobs. That will hold for now until I can get a real progress dialog with cancel button.

I've also changed things up a bit. Added toolbar. In the process of adding an undo stack (blech). Implementing opening files in a better way. Halfway there. Screenshot attached.
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Last edited by ryran; 01-21-2012 at 11:29 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #10
lucmove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryran View Post
The first gpg frontend I created was a bash script called a3crypt, and I called it that because: (2) I wanted it to be super-quick to type, i.e., in a terminal, all I have to type is a3<Tab><Enter>. I just kinda kept with that format as I continued with a4crypt, a7crypt, and then a8crypt
The a-3-tab combination doesn't seem really that convenient, and the a-8-tab combination is definitely worse. It's two quite long jumps across the keyboard.

On the other hand, I never launch GUI programs from the command line.

Sticking strictly to that aspect, I suggest qrypttool. There are only 3 applications that start with 'qr' on the Ubuntu repository, and none of them seems popular. I have none of them installed.

I also thought of ryptC, which looks like a scrambled word (see what I did there? wink wink), and there is only one application that starts with 'ry' on the Ubuntu repository: rygel. Also looks like something that few people would have installed. But 'ry' isn't really that much better than 'a8'.

Congratulations on the idea and initiative.

Last edited by lucmove; 01-22-2012 at 01:03 AM.
 
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:56 PM   #11
ryran
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@HydraMax: I finally took some time to implement what you suggested. I'd love to hear what you think. Updated screenshots and code at http://github.com/ryran/a8crypt.

Attached is one ss.

@lucmove: Thanks for taking the time to give me some ideas. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:35 AM   #12
hydraMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryran View Post
@HydraMax: I finally took some time to implement what you suggested. I'd love to hear what you think. Updated screenshots and code at http://github.com/ryran/a8crypt.

Attached is one ss.

@lucmove: Thanks for taking the time to give me some ideas. I appreciate it.
I gave 0.9.9.5 a try. I'm just going to dump the thoughts that came to mind in the post. It was only about 30mins of testing, so take it all with a grain of salt:

* Menu changes: I think what you've done now is better than what you had before. But not quite perfect. Your file load box at the top right is a good idea I believe; however, I think that either the default text "(None)" should be changed, or a label added on the side, to indicate immediate what the purpose of the file load box is. (Such as, "external file operation:" or something else descriptive.)

* Single-stroke keyboard shortcuts are a must. (CTRL-s for save, CTRL-o for open, et cetera.)

* I'm not a fan of pop-up messages that aren't absolutely necessary. Many of the things I click on, or operations I perform, pop up a separate alert style window that I have to close. Pop-up windows slow things down (for the power user) and can be a real pain for people like me who use tiling window managers (we like to have the whole app contained in a single window). Since you already have a nifty inline message window at the bottom (which tells you what to do next), the pop-up messages (which tell you what to do next) often aren't necessary.

NOW, that isn't to say that you can't have them, but it would be nice if there was a menu option somewhere that allowed the unnecessary pop-ups to be disabled.

* I ran into a minor issue when trying out a detached signing of an external (binary) file. The program assumed that I wanted the output signature file placed in the same directory as the subject file. Normally this is the case; but it just so happened that in my case I decided to open a system binary file located in a read-only directory, so a8crypt simply threw me an error message about not being able to write to the directory (rather than asking me where I really wanted to put the file).

* This issue didn't pop up in my testing, but I was thinking that some people use different signing keys at different times (some for messages, some for code signing, and so forth). Not sure whether or not a8crypt has support for multiple private keys.

Things I really like about a8crypt so far:

* I like the Task Status window on the right (unobtrusive but provides all the interesting technical info for the powerusers.

* Status/Message bar on the bottom was a great idea

* Really quick and easy to switch between signature types (embedded, clearsign, etc.), hash protocols, and cipher protocols. Easy selection of Symmetric or Asymmetric encryption, or a mixture of the two, with or without signing.

* I like the way you did the layout of the main window. Sleek and sensible.
 
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #13
ryran
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Thumbs up Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydraMax View Post
I gave 0.9.9.5 a try. I'm just going to dump the thoughts that came to mind in the post. It was only about 30mins of testing, so take it all with a grain of salt
I wasn't expecting you to stress-test anything (I do that), but I very much appreciate you for the time you took. Your feedback greatly influenced the differences between 0.9.9.5 and 0.9.9.10 -- changes:
  • label for file-load box
  • keyboard shortcuts for clear, open, save
  • virtually all popups replaced with calls to InfoBox
  • added ability to choose output filenames when signing external files
  • added ability to choose secret key for signing
  • added text-zooming capability
  • re-organized toolbar buttons for clarity; added icons to encrypt/decrypt (need to get better ones someday tho)
  • added icons to entry boxes, both for identification and for clearing of text

Updated code and screenshots at and in original post.
I'm not asking you to test, I swear. All is well. Just showing you how much you influenced things, and thanking you. :-D

I still need to make a decision on a name. Heh.

Last edited by ryran; 01-25-2012 at 07:31 AM.
 
Old 01-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #14
ryran
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Well... I made a decision.
I'll let my friend who came up with it explain:
Quote:
Pyrite. 'Cause people think they are getting your gold (data), but really it's gibberish to them. Fool's gold.

Quite a few updates as well, since I originally released it. All dialogs replaced with less-intrusive infobars and added basic symmetric openssl support as an alternative to gpg. New url: http://github.com/ryran/pyrite .. updated screenshots in OP and of course at the repo page. Thanks to all those that took the time to give ideas!!
 
  


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