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It's not outdated; it remains fundamentally true. But I'm uncomfortable with people calling it a "legendary rant" because it was dashed off and I never promoted it as any kind of last word on the subject. There are better arguments against browser cryptography than mine.

In particular: you'd hope that WebCrypto would have changed things a bit, but, of course, it doesn't: it leaves all the cryptographic joinery up to content-controlled code. You're probably somewhat less likely to have side-channel flaws if you use it, but in reality timing side-channels are more talked about than seen. Who would bother, when they can just deliver a script that exfiltrates secrets directly?




You have said a bunch of useful stuff in HN comments that people end up pointing to, but in those comment rants you also have a tendency to leave things hanging or allude to things without further explanation (I think for fear of being boring), or to assume people understand the context of a long-running debate.

I think you should consider hoisting more of this stuff out into standalone blog posts that you can flesh out and also update as circumstances warrant. I don't think I'm the only one who has learned a lot from reading you, but often felt myself wishing it had been dumbed down a shade for beginners.

Maybe the best argument for it is that blog posts remain mutable and you can add and expand as necessary, unlike these HN posts that are frozen in amber.


This place has basically ruined me for writing. I used to sort of know how to do it! The idea of writing a top-to-bottom "browser Javascript is evil" post is intimidating to me now. It was intimidating when I wrote the post referred to above! And that one wasn't even good!

I'll work on it.


One idea is to get a volunteer or hired goon to simply collate your HN posts and post them somewhere editable. Then when you read them over, you'll be horrified and the editing instinct will kick in.


I don't think it's you who made it legendary. I think it's the HN commenters who keep linking to it who did that (myself included, since yesterday).

And, well, you may disagree but to me it definitely reads like a proper rant :-)

Please note that I chose the words "legendary rant" with all the love imaginable and I had hoped you'd interpret it as nothing other than a compliment. I much appreciate your contributions to HN and the internet as a whole.


>There are better arguments against browser cryptography than mine.

mind pointing to or sharing them?




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