pinentry-curses should be able to avoid showing *s when user enters passphrase
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Description

(see also https://bugs.debian.org/721828)

One convention i've seen in a few places is that if the first key pressed is a backspace, passphrase entry stops echoingn masking characters (perhaps replaced with a [no echo] field instead of *.

that way, users who don't like having ******* reveal that their password is only 7 characters long can just hit backspace first.

dkg created this task.Sep 26 2017, 8:59 PM
werner triaged this task as Normal priority.Sep 27 2017, 10:22 AM
werner added a subscriber: werner.

Good idea.

The feature has been implemented for the -qt, -tqt, -gtk, and -curses pinentries.

As for the remaining pinentries:

  • For pinentry-efl, pinentry-gnome3, and pinentry-w32, the underlying toolkits (the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries, the Gcr library from GNOME, and the Win32 API) don’t seem to provide the support needed to implement the feature. It might still be possible to do it, but I don’t believe the feature is worthy enough to go to great lengths circumventing the toolkits’ limitations. And besides, if the toolkits don’t support such a feature, users of the corresponding graphical environments (Enlightenment, GNOME, Windows) probably don’t expect it, so we probably shouldn’t even try to do it.
  • For pinentry-emacs, I am too unfamiliar with Emacs to have any idea about how it can be done (heretic Vim user here, sorry), but I suspect it would have to be done on Emacs’ side anyway (pinentry.el) rather than in Pinentry itself.

Therefore I am inclined to close this request as Resolved; @dkg, feel free to intervene if you disagree and would like to make the point that the feature should exist in all pinentries.