Re: Proposal: Addition of a random number generator to GLib

On Tue, 23 Mar 1999, Jeff Garzik wrote:

> Haven't seen any replies...  What exactly is Glib's focus?
> For the checksum API, I figured it would be ok since we have the primes
> module already, which appears to be used in one only project in GNOME
> CVS, your xdelta :)
> FWIW, I use checksumming in one form or another very frequently, mostly
> in applications totally unrelated to encryption and encoding.  I think
> having MD5 and CRC (at least) in Glib would be very useful.

The problem is the tendancy to creep: if you have one CRC, then somebody
will probably want a different CRC, and if you have MD5, somebody will
want a better cryptographic hash -- MD5 is already partially obsolete in
any case, and will undoubtedly be completely obsolete some time in the
future. Presumably the maintainer of the crypto library understands these
needs and has undertaken the maintenance burden. In that respect,
duplication of effort is not helpful.

Then again, crypto libraries can be painful to use for political reasons,
and there are some fairly common CRC algorithms that will be useful to
lots of folks. There are even techniques available for using arbitrary CRC
polynomials, which might very well belong in GLib if no other library
currently has those facilities. 

But I'm of the opinion that adding cryptographic hashes to GLib would be
more trouble then they are worth at this point -- and I _do_ appreciate
their worth. 

Kenneth Albanowski (, CIS: 70705,126)

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