Re: p≡p foundation and Enigmail

Damiano Boppart damiano at pep-security.net
Fri Nov 24 14:08:50 UTC 2017


[re-post from my mail earlier this week, which is saw is still pending
moderator approval, as I sent it from my address not subscribed to the
list...]

Hi,

I'm from the team at pEp Foundation who develops the pEp part of
Enigmail+pEp. Let me assure you that pEp is still under active
development. We haven't talked much publically about Enigmail+pEp
recently, since there has been no new beta release [1] since the Oslo
Freedom Forum 2017. We will announce a further beta, when it's ready for
more platforms than just macOS. Releases for Windows 10, Debian, Fedora,
OpenSUSE and Ubuntu are on the way. We are focusing on ironing out the
bugs in pEp+Enigmail, and want to release a next Beta when we are
ourselves satisfied with the quality.

pEp has recently hired more people, and we now have roughly 3 times the
man power compared to before September. Also, we will have our internal
testing team support the Enigmail+pEp development -- up until now all
testing was done by the developers themselves. So, development speed is
picking up.

Some more technical background info:

* Windows builds are mostly complete, we implement our windows builds
using native build tools (Visual Studio), so that any Windows
application developer interested in looking at the code can do so in
his/her familiar environment environment. This was a lot of work, since
obviously we couldn't reuse our GNU Make based build system we have on
macOS/Linux.

* As Enigmail will support operation modes with "vanilla" GnuPG as well
as "pEp" mode, we need to make very sure that pEp is stable enough such
that Enigmail never switches modes inadvertently, and confuses the user.

* Together with the platform-independent Enigmail plugin written in JS,
a working pEp install will consist of:
  * the pEp JSON server adapter, implemented in C++11, offering a JSON
REST API Enigmail communicates with,
  * the pEp Engine, implemented in C99, a library the JSON server
adapter links to, and
  * GnuPG and GPGME, as the crypto "backend" of the pEp Engine

As Enigmail currently does this with its GPG dependency already, it will
download the binary dependencies (the above list) for the user when
Enigmail is first run. For the platforms where this is feasible, we will
make this process happen in the background, to not bother the user with
technical questions and install wizards.

I'm sorry for stretching your patience, and I'll make sure pEp will have
been worth the wait once it's released.

If you have any technical or non-technical questions, feel free to
contact me directly or on this mailing list. I can also be reached in
#maildev on irc.mozilla.org , my nick is "damiano".

Yours,

Damiano Boppart

[1] The source code for our software, under GPL v3, can always be found
here, though: https://cacert.pep.foundation/dev


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