[tor-dev] [GSoC] CONIKS implementation for Tor Messenger

Marcela Melara melara at CS.Princeton.EDU
Sat Mar 12 21:45:31 UTC 2016

Hi Huy,

Great to meet you and thank you very much for your interest in this project!

> - A standard for data formats & protocol: I know the standard is
> essential for the project, so can I define a standard when developing
> (with your review) or I have to wait for your work in future?

It's reasonable to assume that the client may one day talk to other CONIKS servers and clients. So clearly specifying the data format that the Tor Messenger client (and also the server) uses is an important part of the project. Ultimately, the data format specification should follow the data formats given in the paper. So you should provide a clear specification for Tor Messenger but you shouldn't worry too much about making it compatible with other services. The main reason being that we don’t know of other communication services that have already implemented and deployed CONIKS.

I'm not currently working on a standard specification. That's something that I think communication/identity providers should come together to do once there are a few tested deployments of CONIKS. This is what I've heard from other communication service providers I've talked to, and I think it makes sense.

To get a rough sense of what a data format might look like, you may look at the CONIKS reference implementation (github.com/coniks-sys/ref-implementation). It uses Protobufs to specify the data exchange format, so you could use a similar format. 

> Another question about GSoC:
> - What should be deliverable by mid-term of GSoC?

As part of your application, we’d like for you to provide us with your planned timeline according to the functionality we’d like to have. Here’s the functionality that would be great to have by the end of the summer: key registrations, lookups and monitoring. The nice thing about splitting up the functionality like this is that it allows for the key server and the client to be built incrementally. So given how you want to tackle these tasks, you should set up your plan accordingly.

> Btw, I also created a pull-request for ctypes-otr project on Github.

Thank you for your pull request. I understand you’ve already been in touch with Arlo about this, that’s great.

Please let Arlo or myself know if you have any other questions.

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