I've created a new pull request (
https://github.com/ietf-wg-acme/acme/pull/395) to partially address the
lack of serialization format specification. This pull request requires use
of the Content-Type HTTP header to indicate the serialization format of the
outermost JWS. The pull request also includes restrictions on the
serializations (no detached payload, no unencoded payload, no unprotected
header, etc.). In addition, the pull request bans multiple signatures,
regardless of the serialization used. The use of the Content-Type header,
and the list of currently possible serializations, is mentioned in its own
subsection of "Message Transport".

The pull request does not contain advice on how to convert different
serialization formats before and/or after use with a pre-existing JWS
library. I have started on a separate conversion guide (
https://github.com/uhhhh2/jwe-jws-serialization-conversion-guide) for that

The pull request does not specify how a "nested" JWS should be serialized.
However, I have included an outline of one possible approach to this
in the pull
request's description.

Please let me know what you think about the pull request  (
https://github.com/ietf-wg-acme/acme/pull/395), and the separate conversion
guide (https://github.com/uhhhh2/jwe-jws-serialization-conversion-guide)


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 6:08 PM, Logan Widick <logan.wid...@gmail.com>

> Last night, I briefly surveyed the listings of JWT implementations on
> jwt.io. I could find only a small handful that appeared to support all
> serializations, and even fewer that appeared to give programmers control
> over what serialization was produced. Thus, assuming jwt.io is a
> sufficiently accurate and comprehensive listing of implementations of all
> and/or part of the JOSE specs, the developers of many ACME client and
> server implementations may find themselves needing to convert between
> serializations before and/or after using JOSE libraries. Such conversion
> processes, if needed, should be well-documented somewhere.
> I've started on a very rough draft of a possible JWS and JWE serialization
> conversion guide at https://github.com/uhhhh2/jwe-jws-serialization-
> conversion-guide. I made the conversion guide draft by copying a few
> items from the ACME GitHub repository (the Markdown file, the makefile, and
> the .gitignore), replacing the text from the Markdown file, and renaming
> the Markdown file. I designed the conversion guide draft to be non-ACME
> specific, so I've tried to include things like unencoded JWS payloads,
> JWEs, multiple signatures, detached payloads, etc. If you have any changes
> or suggestions, please let me know.
> Logan
> On Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 7:11 PM, Jörn Heissler <
> acme-sp...@joern.heissler.de> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 04, 2018 at 08:03:55 -0600, Logan Widick wrote:
>> > What do you think of the following:
>> > Content type application/jose+json: MUST be supported. If used, the JWS
>> > will need to be in the Flattened or General serialization. Flattened
>> > be supported; General MAY be supported.
>> > Content type application/jose: MAY be supported. If used, the JWS MUST
>> use
>> > the Compact serialization. Or should this content type not be allowed?
>> Agreed. I wouldn't disallow "compact". And it could be clarified:
>> The server SHOULD use the "Content-Type" HTTP header as an indication
>> for the request format.
>> > JWS Unprotected Header: Not currently used in ACME. Should this be
>> banned
>> > in ACME?
>> I don't see much sense in those. But some client implementations might
>> automatically add an unprotected header like e.g. "cty".
>> Maybe with a "SHOULD NOT"?
>> > Multiple signatures: MAY be supported.
>> > Should messages signed by both MAC keys and private keys be allowed?
>> This is already forbidden.
>> > What about Key IDs not issued by the CA?
>> > Or are multiple signatures more trouble than they're worth to the point
>> of
>> > banning them entirely?
>> >
>> > Multiple signatures on messages that need to be signed by account key:
>> At
>> > least one signature MUST be from the account key
>> >
>> > Multiple signatures on revokeCert: Should this be allowed?
>> >
>> > Multiple signatures on externalAccountBinding field of newAccount:
>> Should
>> > it be possible to bind to multiple pre-existing accounts? Or should this
>> > not be allowed?
>> >
>> > Multiple signatures on newAccount: Not allowed?
>> >
>> > Multiple signatures on keyChange: Not allowed for outer or inner JWS?
>> I see no use case. All the authentication is based on accounts and those
>> have exactly one keypair. Having multiple signatures would equal using
>> multiple accounts at the same time. That makes no sense to me.
>> Client libs would probably not generate multiple signatures
>> automatically.
>> Multiple signatures should be banned in my opinion.
>> > JWS Unencoded Payload Option (RFC 7797): Not allowed?
>> Yep, they would make things very complicated.
>> > Conversion guide between the different JWS serialization formats: Is it
>> > completely safe to assume that any and all programmers given the JWS
>> RFC,
>> > pre-existing JWS implementations with sufficient documentation, and
>> > pre-existing JSON libraries with sufficient documentation could figure
>> out
>> > how to convert the serialization formats as needed?
>> Why, yes! Of course every programmer can do that! ;-)
>> > Or is the conversion
>> > guide necessary? If the guide is necessary, then include a reference to
>> a
>> > separate new or pre-existing conversion guide. If the guide is
>> necessary,
>> > and there is no pre-existing conversion guide, how should the new
>> > conversion guide be published? Should the new conversion guide be
>> > ACME-specific, or more general (possibly with coverage of JWE as well as
>> > JWS features not utilized in ACME)?
>> It's not necessary, *most* programmers can figure it out. But it would
>> doubtlessly be helpful. E.g. I didn't consider the possibility to do
>> this conversion in an ACME implementation before/after using a preexisting
>> JOSE lib.
>> If such a guide were to be published, it should not be ACME-specific.
>> Cheers
>> Jörn
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