in reply to Difference between encoding and encryption?

dvergin pretty much summed it up, however, I thought take a shot at a practical example--because I think the difference is somewhat more important that "mostly pointless." (Not trying to pick a fight, gryng, just seeing things from a different point of view.)

Encoding (perhaps inappropriately) can be thought of as a communition protocol. It tells clients or transfer agents how to interprete a datastream. When you email me a spreadsheet, for example, my email client uses the encoding to know how to interprete the attached bits into a coherent pattern, a file to be opened later.

As faerloche and arhuman reminded me recently, encoding can be used by any agent receiving that datastream. Thus, if someone intercepts that email message, they can easily open the attached spreadsheet on their own desktops.

Encyption, however, is a privacy device. Only the person with the right key can unlock the encrypted data into a viewable form. Think of it as a wrapper around your data. Encrypted data will be send as an encoded datastream, however, only the person with the right key will be able to makes sense of it.

This is an oversimplification, of course. But I think it illustrates the difference as I understand it.

Also, if you're interested in that book jorg mentioned and want to buy it online, you can give the Monastery a small kickback by clicking here. (I noticed that FatBrain lists it under a different ISBN number.)


Update: I originally answered Desdinova's question by updating this node. After further thought (and reflection on a comment chipmunk made recently), I decided that it was better to reply in a separate post, since that's really a different topic than what I was originally trying to address. To-MAY-to, To-MAH-to. :)

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Re: Re: Difference between encoding and encryption?
by gryng (Hermit) on Mar 22, 2001 at 21:46 UTC
    No worries -- I was just giving the definition several crypto-books will say; they claim both words as methods of hiding messages. Colliquially (or perhaps, outside of that community at least), encoding means translating, whereas encrypting means obscuring. The former for ease of communication, the latter to secure communication.


Re: Re: Difference between encoding and encryption?
by Desdinova (Friar) on Mar 22, 2001 at 20:43 UTC
    How do you make the links so perlmonks gets the kickback? I mention books in some of my posts and would love to link to it like that

      For the lurkers: If you like the Monastery and are recommending a book in your node, you may wish to provide a FatBrain link so that Vroom gets a small kickback if someone buys a book through that link. To do this:

      1. Locate the book's ISBN number, according to FatBrain. (Use their Search feature to find the most recent edition, as appropriate.)
      2. In your node type [ isbn:// ### | Link title ], where ### is the ISBN number.
      3. Test your link while Previewing your node. (I usually open it in a new window.)
      4. Submit. :)

      This also works in the Chatterbox.

        See the Posting FAQ on my home node for the complete list of link types.

        How do I form a URL if I'm refering to a book from some place other than a PM node, and want to support PM?