please prefer base 64 over base 32 (was: Re: [p2p-hackers] Bitzi (was Various identifier choices))

Justin Chapweske justin at chapweske.com
Wed Sep 19 10:03:01 UTC 2001


Are you planning on using the Freenet modification of Base64 to deal 
with some of the chars that don't go well in URLs?

-Justin

Zooko wrote:

>Having URLs which are short enough to cut and paste is important.  Encoding six
>bits per character (base 64) is that much better than encoding five bits per
>character.
>
>A mojoid in base-32 would look like this:
>
>http://localhost:4004/id/1b17864eeb6c68294c9b2db0324a2b773401f0da0537d82626c24a7850e15ef2d6c4265dcd5e85f1
>
>The same mojoid in base-64 would look like this:
>
>http://localhost:4004/id/GxeGTutsaClMmy2wMkordzQB8NoFN9gmJsJKeFDhXvLWxCZdzV6F8Q
>
>That can make a significant difference in terms of usability, due to
>line-wrapping in SMTP gateways and in GUIs, the awkwardness of layout when
>representing this mojoid e.g. in HTML, and the general user experience.  The
>bigger and uglier the URL, the less a user likes to deal with it.
>
>By the way, we might try to squeeze mojoids.  I think we can get down to 30
>bytes from 40 (by convincing ourselves that an 80-bit symmetric key has the
>same attack work factor as a 160-bit hash id), so then it would look like:
>
>http://localhost:4004/id/1b17864eeb6c68294c9b2db0324a2b773401f0da0537d82626c24a7850e1
>
>or
>
>http://localhost:4004/id/GxeGTutsaClMmy2wMkordzQB8NoFN9gmJsJKeFDh
>
>We might also have an unencrypted mojoid, which would be 20 bytes, like this:
>
>http://localhost:4004/id/1b17864eeb6c68294c9b2db0324a2b773401f0da
>
>or
>
>http://localhost:4004/id/GxeGTutsaClMmy2wMkordzQB8No
>
>Regards,
>
>Zooko
>
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