[curves] Curve25519 naming / renaming

Tony Arcieri bascule at gmail.com
Tue Aug 26 19:19:21 PDT 2014

The ambiguous naming has been a source of confusion for me. I've argued
with people, who I won't name, who told me more or less that I was confused
because I used "Curve25519" to refer to the D-H function specifically, and
not GF(2^255-19).


I'm happy to have this cleared up whatever way possible. I would recommend
keeping the name "Curve25519" for the D-H function and coming up with a new
name for GF(2^255-19). Crazy suggestion: GF25519

On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 7:14 PM, Trevor Perrin <trevp at trevp.net> wrote:

> On a different list, Dan Bernstein suggested renaming the Curve25519
> ECDH function [1] to "X25519", and taking the name "Curve25519" for
> the underlying curve.
> Since cryptographers are increasingly discussing the underlying curve
> it makes sense to have a distinct name for it.  But I don't think we
> should rename a function that's become so widely known to
> implementors.
> Cryptographers are a small tribe of smart people.  If the curve was
> given a specific name ("P-25519" or whatever), they will quickly
> adapt.
> Implementors are numerous and more easily confused.  We've gotten used
> to calling this specific function "Curve25519".
> Dealing with an "X25519" function that is the same as the old
> "Curve25519", but not necessarily compatible with uses of the new
> "Curve25519", seems unnecessarily confusing.
> So while clarifying the names here is a great idea, it seems better
> not to change the name from its most common use.
> Trevor
> [1] http://cr.yp.to/ecdh/curve25519-20060209.pdf
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Tony Arcieri
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