Re: Question on use of base64 vs base64url in modern specifications

for the exceedingly rare cases where someone is reading string
characters... why not make an encoding called
"exceedinlyRareStringEncoding" and require it to come with built in error
correction / checksum, and only use it for cases where you 100% know it
will only be read by humans... that's not how base58 is being used today...

make a new encoding, name it "human readable string encoding 2020" "HuRSE
2020", use the base58 bitcoin alphabet with error correction codes and a
checksum... and don't use it for anything but cases where a human will 100%
be required as the "reader"...

I'm all for a special purpose encoding that is built for human
readability!... just don't tell me that the best way to achieve it is a
special bitcoin alphabet... its vicegrips when what is needed is a socket
wrench... sure you can use vicegrips on everything... but should you?


On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 1:22 PM Dmitri Zagidulin <>

> IMO, saying it's "multicodec / multibase" is about a billion times better
>> than saying "its base64 / base58".
> Absolutely agree there. Multicodec and multibase are, I think, a must, in
> terms of clarity, future-proofing, and so on.
> I do want to say something about the merits of base58 for all key
> representations and anything DID-related. Also, I agree with your 3 layer
> approach. Except that to me, 3rd layer is not optional.
> > Layer 3 represents why i dislike base58... who cares if "I" and "l" look
> similar...
> We care. We *all* care, eventually. Because despite all of our best
> actions to prevent humans from ever dealing with raw key material or DIDs
> (and we *should* do our best to prevent that, it should always be mediated
> by convenient software)... there WILL come a point where you're typing in
> your key or DID or whatever, from backup. You WILL be reading that
> gobbledygook string to your uncle over the phone. Yes, those cases will be
> exceedingly rare. But when they do happen, you will be intensely glad that
> you can tell a lowercase L from an uppercase i.

Chief Technical Officer


Received on Sunday, 26 April 2020 18:48:45 UTC