[curves] Curve25519 naming / renaming

Tony Arcieri bascule at gmail.com
Tue Aug 26 19:21:14 PDT 2014

I suppose I should mention that the Curve25519 paper specifically describes
"Curve25519" as being a D-H function:


On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 7:19 PM, Tony Arcieri <bascule at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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).
> https://twitter.com/bascule/status/393221414775312384
> 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

Tony Arcieri
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