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The intent of the discussion of the imaginary FOO protocol was to make clear that cleartext transmission is not necessarily in all cases, bad from a security standpoint.

The removal of that discussion has removed that point, one which the reader may find useful, without replacing it with equivalent coverage.

Perspective is always useful in so confusing (to the novice and many of the seasoned) field as crypto and security issues. I would suggest that the removed material should be reinserted or some alternative covering the same points by included. ww 22:45, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

The content of this article isn't borne out by any sources that I can find. As I said at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cleartext, out of 80 books, the only one that didn't say that cleartext and plaintext were the same thing was a book on programming Visual BASIC. And even that doesn't support what this article says. Similarly, ISO/IEC 7498-2, the only source cited here, is well known for alternative terminology for otherwise identical concepts, such as its use of "encipher" and "decipher" instead of "encrypt" and "decrypt". So: What is the source for any of this content? What source justifies this as being anything other than a redirect to plaintext? Because there are a lot of sources, saying "cleartext: see plaintext" or similar, that say that it should. Uncle G (talk) 21:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree. It does not make sense to artificially introduce a distinction between two terms that is not even present in books that treat cryptography very formally. Wikipedia should reflect how a term is commonly used. And commonly plaintext and cleartext are synonyms. (talk) 10:31, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Well we could have an encrypted cleartext transmitted in plain text (ie, human readable, if not actually intelligible) text. The phrase en clair and in clear are actually used. Plain text is also used widely in the computer world (eg, Unix/Linux) to refer to ASCII text material which may or may not be immediately understandable without close study of the relevant man page. The concepts are related in a sense, but are not identical. ww (talk) 02:44, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
      • You still have to give references supporting your claim. Ok, let's start with the definition of synonym. Two words are synonyms if they have identical or very similar meaning. The book search by Uncle G, shows that 'plaintext' and 'cleartext' are synonyms, hence the article should clearly reflect that and not try to push a distinction that is not common. If there are situations (citation needed) where the two terms can not be used interchangeably then this should be mentioned after saying they are commonly synonyms. Finally, I'd agree that 'plain text' and 'plaintext' are not the same. 'Plain text' usually refers to unformatted text and hence is not very relevant here. In particular pointing out that 'plain text' is used in situations where 'cleartext' or 'plaintext' would not be usable doesn't prove anything. (talk) 08:54, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

It's been nine months. There's been zero activity in the article and zero evidence forthcoming on this talk page to explain how cleartext and plaintext differ, and what sources justify any of the content in the article or the thesis that there's somehow a different concept here. So I've redirected to plaintext. Uncle G (talk) 17:28, 7 August 2009 (UTC)