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AW: Simplified Syntax (The Crux of the Matter!)

From: Peter Lipp <Peter.Lipp@iaik.at>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 09:25:48 +0100
To: "John Boyer" <jboyer@uwi.com>, "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, "DSig Group" <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>
> Actually, we likely want to sign a document containing ABDE but
> ensure that future persons can only make modifications of the form given
by "C if
> between B and D".
Yes, I think I understand that. I am not convinced that such should be part
of the core signature. It's more of the form of a
Manifest of the document and some assertions about that document that allow
you to do what you want to do.

> As for whether document closure overcomplicates things, we are
> talking about the same group of people that intellectually grasp the fact

No, I have not been reffering to myself :-)
I am talking about all those who are not. And in the light of digital
signature laws, I am always having in mind the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Sign
principle as well, and that users should be able to understand what they
sign. And such a feature doesn't fit in. These ideas, while intellectually
interesting, seem to be a little contradictory to WYSIWYS in the general
case. I understand, that signing (ABCDE - C) might even be "explainable" to
the user, but given that functionality, I have no doubt that something like:
"I sign ABDE, but between B and D there could be a C, or an F - but only if
there is also a G between D and E" or something even more complicated is
possible. This results in equality to "fine print in contract illegible by
the consumer without magnifying class".

I do understand that we easily can limit signatures to a simple form for
anything related to electronic signature laws. And there even might be
applications that want to make use of that. But why not avoiding this
alltogether and move it up one floor?  Seems cleaner to me.


Received on Tuesday, 7 December 1999 03:25:21 UTC

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