Quiet, But Still Kicking

Sometimes when a project goes quiet, it’s a sign to be concerned. Not in this case. In fact, many of the times in my life that my online presence has waned it’s because Real Life is in high gear. Even so, apologies all around.

Session security has been the name of the game since the beginning of December. Efforts focused on reworking the internals of the Oganesson messaging library. Previously the encryption it used — tentatively called OgSEC — was tightly integrated with the messages themselves. They are now separate, which means that TLS or OgSEC can be used for session security. What’s this mean? Well, if you don’t really care about the technical stuff, you can skip the next couple paragraphs. 😁

Security and Rust

OgSEC is an alternative to the standard encryption used with websites, Transport Layer Security (TLS), and OgSEC exists because TLS has some problems. For example, sometimes a developer cares only about the encryption and not the identity assurance that TLS gives. For example, if two PCs need to send a message and the messaging software uses another way to ensure that both computers are who they say they are, then a security certificate is unnecessary. The code used to ensure a security certificate is valid is also some of the most dangerous code in the world, and developers often get this wrong. If identity is needed, then DNSSEC is used to confirm this.

I spent the last couple of weeks learning Rust. I wish I’d done this in the beginning instead of starting with Go. Why? Compatibility. Because C bindings are easy for Rust libraries, anything I write can be utilized by other languages instead of having to write and maintain a port. The first library, which handles base85 encoding, is just about ready to publish.

Other Stuff Too

Times haven’t been all technical, either. I applied for some funding to work on Mensago full-time through a program which funds high-risk product research. Mensago wasn’t chosen because it wasn’t risky enough. I call that a compliment! I also began a online business course which is designed to reduce the risk of a startup failing. It’s been really educational. For those who might be getting concerned that this is going to go commercial and proprietary and all, don’t worry. Any business that I start will be for the purpose of helping people, not selling out. It’s why I started doing this in the first place. I spent considerable looking at other office software, too, so that Mensago Connect will be better than them all. Until next time, friends, be safe.