The S/MIME Freeware Library (SFL) is a reference implementation of the IETF
S/MIME v3 CMS and ESS I-Ds. All source code for the SFL will be provided at
no cost and with no limitations regarding its use and distribution.
Organizations will be able to use the SFL without paying any royalties or
licensing fees. J.G. Van Dyke and Associates, Inc, (VDA) is developing the
SFL under contract to the US Government.
Draft versions of the SFL Fact Sheet, Software Design Description (SDD) and
Application Programming Interface (API) documents (including SFL header
files) are now available. The Internet Mail Consortium (IMC) has
established an SFL web page at http://www.imc.org/imc-sfl/ which includes
links to the SFL documents stored on the VDA web site
(http://www.jgvandyke.com/services/infosec/sfl.html). The IMC has also
established an SFL mail list which will be used to: distribute information
regarding SFL releases; discuss SFL-related issues; and provide a means for
SFL users to provide feedback, comments, bug reports, etc. Please note that
all SFL-related discussion should occur on the imc-sfl mail list and not the
ietf-smime mail list. Subscription information for the imc-sfl mailing list
is at the IMC Web site listed above.
An incomplete, "interim release" of the SFL software will be available by 31
Mar 98. Further releases will be provided as significant capabilities are
added. The target for completion of the SFL is June 1998. The stability of
the S/MIME v3 set of specifications is a prerequisite for meeting this
The SFL is composed of a high-level library that performs generic CMS and
ESS processing independent of the crypto algorithms used to protect a
specific object. The SFL high-level library makes calls to an
algorithm-independent Crypto Token Interface API. The underlying, external
crypto token libraries will not be distributed as part of the SFL source
code. The application developer will independently obtain these libraries
and then link them with the SFL. This strategy will allow the SFL source
code to be freely distributed to the entire Internet community because it
does not contain software that directly implements any crypto algorithms
that are copyrighted or export controlled.
IMC plans to add Web links pointing to freeware and commercial crypto
libraries that are compatible with SFL as they become available.
John Pawling, jsp(_at_)jgvandyke(_dot_)com
J.G. Van Dyke & Associates, Inc.