Jump to content


Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Former featured articleROT13 is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 21, 2004.
Article milestones
October 24, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
September 20, 2007Featured article reviewKept
August 14, 2018Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

Is ROT13 symmetric key?


Is ROT13 'symmetric key' ? I mean there is no 'key' as such, but the procdure is same ai'nt it? --MuthuKutty 07:08, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, but I'm afraid I don't really see much benefit in having such a discussion in the article; the whole distinction of assymetric vs symmetric key cryptography is not really relevant as far as ROT13 is concerned, because it's not used for encryption. (I moved the following sentence here from the article: So ROT13 is called as a Symmetric Key algorithm, only that the key is non-existent.) — Matt 10:22, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
rot13 is essentially the more general ceaser cypher with the key fixed at 13 rot in general is symetric because the decode key can be trivially derived from the encode key and vice versa

if we encode in rot(x) then decodeing is the same process as encoding in rot(26-x) hence to decode rot13 is the same as encoding in rot13 Plugwash 03:32, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Should we be linking to Bubble sort because it is another 'bad algorithm'? Sure, BS is a bad algorithm but ROT13 is pretty good at acheiving its aim of obfuscating text and not 'bad' at all. EddEdmondson 22:01, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Well, bubble sort achieves its aim as well: it sorts data. It's only qualified as "bad" because it's slow compared to its competitors. I don't think ROT13 should even be qualified as a "bad" algorithm - what's bad about it? If it were billed as a secure encryption algorithm, then it would be bad. But it doesn't pretend to be secure encryption, only a sort of encoding scheme, like hexadecimal notation or Base64. So I don't think we should link to bubble sort at all. Decrypt3 00:09, Jul 3, 2004 (UTC)
Of course we shouldn't link to Bubble Sort, it has absolutely no relevance here. Plus, bubble sort does have its uses and can actually be faster than other sorting algorithms, if you know that the data to be sorted is in small quantity or if it's known to be almost sorted, for example. Rbarreira 09:16, 14 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Rot13 and bubble sort


Bubble sort is a fine algorithm and one that I am proud to have implemented many times. For short lists, it is ideal because it is simple, straightforward, and not prone to implementation error due to its simplicity. It is also fairly effective for lists that are already mostly sorted, such as those that have one or a few new elements added. Compared to qsort, it is faster on an already-sorted list and about the same on an almost-sorted list. ROT13, in the same way, is a fine algorithm, although I cannot say that I've ever written it into any commercial software. ROT13 serves its purpose -- which is obfuscation, not encryption -- and is simple, straightforward, and not prone to implementation error due to its simplicity. This is the similarity, not that either algorithm is necessarily "bad."

UninvitedCompany 03:54, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

ROT13 is "bad" only when it is mistaken for actual encryption -- which nobody but the greenest of newbies would do. This is why "DES is as good as ROT13" is funny (to crypto buffs) -- it means not just "DES is bad" but "DES looks like good encryption, but only an idiot would use it." (This is a derogatory comment; that is rather the point.)
Bubble sort, in contrast, is considered the classic example of a naïve sorting algorithm. While it does have its strengths (as you describe), it performs poorly in the general case: unless you know you'll have mostly-sorted lists, you are better off with another algorithm. Bubble sort is frequently taught first in algorithms classes because it is simple to explain and write, and is a good contrast for other (faster, in the worst and average cases) algorithms such as Hoare's quick sort and tree sorts. --FOo 06:01, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)
For small, mostly sorted lists, insertion sort is faster and simpler still. There's really very little excuse for anyone to use bubble sort, other than to show people you remember the canonical naive sorting algorithm. Comparing it to quicksort for sorted lists is a red herring; quicksort is known to have worst-case behaviour precisely in such cases, which is one possible reason to prefer mergesort. Anyway, this is all off-topic, of course...

Skylarov arrest in re after or for


Matt, The DMCA prohibits the act of investigating as well as talking publicly about. Kind of like burglar tool possession, no matter what you intend, is illegal in certain places. In this case, after is temporally correct (that was when he was arrested), but so is for (as the reason he was arrested was what he did). ww 16:32, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

reversion reasons


Matt, In the first instance you reverted, the intent was to note what DMCA regards as an offence (in the context of the point the note was attempting to make), something which was not quite evident in my judgement. In the seond instance, it was to correct the grammar. As it was orginally, and is now, the grammar (verb tense) was incorrect. I'd suggest both be restored. ww 15:14, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Here is the version after your change:

The DMCA introduced a broad ban on the , circumvention (defined to include study and discussion thereof) of copy protection systems, which have too often employ insecure methods of cryptography.

Here is the version previous to your change (and after the revert):

The DMCA introduced a broad ban on the circumvention of copy protection systems, which often employ insecure methods of cryptography.

To my eye (and I'm not an English language expert), the grammar was better before your change ("copy protection systems often employ insecure methods"); the phrasing could be improved, I guess. Regarding what the DMCA regards as an offence, I think this is something we should be careful about describing, since we aren't (I suspect) lawyers. The DMCA does not ban the study of circumvention methods per se; it may well ban the public dissemination of products which circumvent copyright protection, and so forth. However, the only reason we mention the DMCA here is to explain why people use signatures like "Encoded with ROT26 — circumvention will be prosecuted"; I think the current sentence is quite sufficient for this purpose. Any more is unnecessary, and (as we aren't lawyers) we are quite likely to get it wrong. — Matt 00:28, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Matt, Oops. Should have been 'employed' after my change. Wtih that modification, I still prefer, on English grounds, my version.
As for the DMCA, I'm not a lawyer either. But,... Richard Smith, of PharLap fame, has publicly said that he expects object code debuggers to be banned under the DMCA, if any prosecutor notices. It is in fact, absurdly drafted, banning even investigation into (w or w/o public disemination of the information, regardless of reduction to practice or embodiment into a product whether sold or not). Felten at Princeton was threatened for proposing to publish the results of an analysis (invited as part of a test project) of an (RIAA?) security scheme. Ferguson has declined to discuss the flaws he found in Intel's scheme, even though Intel has said they have no objection. It's worse than you would have WP suggest here; we should not err in the other direction, either. This was the background for my parenthetical addition here. In comparison to RIP, DMCA is even dumber. RIP implements boneheaded public policy and is based, at least in part, on a mistaken impression as to the operation of some crypto systems. DMCA is the moral equivalent of the Indiana legislature's (almost) enactment that pi=4. And it implements equally brain dead public policy. ww 14:44, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)



This article contains some material originally from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing and is used under the GFDL.

FAC Nomination, successful


Interesting, well written. Image? -- Fredrik | talk 16:49, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • 'Support - Interesting. Well written. JOHN COLLISON [ Ludraman] 18:09, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. Excellent. , just needs a picture. Zerbey 18:22, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • Has an excellent diagram now. JOHN COLLISON [ Ludraman] 12:27, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
      • That'll work :) Zerbey 15:01, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • Why? It doesn't really seem like a picture sort of article. Pcb21| Pete 08:35, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. 1) There are no references. 2) The article is a bit short. I can't think of a lot to add, but a better description of the cryptanalysis is needed. There is nothing said about frequency analysis which is needed to break the encoding. 3) As for the image: I don't think one is required here, but adding one would be good. Jeronimo 11:33, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • As I said above, now has a diagram. JOHN COLLISON [ Ludraman] 12:27, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • 1) There are inline references, and some of the external links also serve; I've now added a reference to the Jargon file definition. Do you think there's an obvious need for more? 2) I've added a paragraph to show how ROT13 could be easily broken if used as encryption using frequency analysis or pattern words. Does this suffice? — Matt 13:19, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
      • Good work, Matt! Fredrik | talk 14:34, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Good work indeed - support. Jeronimo 19:35, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. Looks like a good article — there's a lot more about the topic there than I even realized existed. A picture would be nice, but not crucial, in my opinion. Factitious 07:19, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
  • Support'. A picture is not needed here, imnsho. Anárion 08:58, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. Good article, I find it very interesting but it needs references for my support. [[User:Norm|Norm]] 09:11, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC) Support. [[User:Norm|Norm]] 15:32, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Support once a couple more good references are added cleaned up. The new diagram is great to represent the topic and explain it. Maybe it should even be moved up though. The references need to be one consistent style. - Taxman 14:56, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
    • I don't suppose that you could you suggest the type of references that are needed — citing specific sources for certain facts, or general references? — Matt 15:04, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
      • Someone add a "reference" to a joke paper about how ROT13 was especially good if applied twice, and at least one user changed their decision to support after this reference (along with a jargon file one) was added. Sometimes it seems like people don't care what the content of an article is, so long as it "ticks all the boxes" like "has an image", "has references", "has a certain length first paragraph". Pcb21| Pete 15:53, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
        • I added these references. The reference to a joke paper was fine because it was referred to from the text in a section about the use of ROT26 as a joke — literally a reference, as opposed to further reading; it's a useful example of a certain social aspect of the topic. It's true, of course, that the line between "References", "External links", "Sources" and "Further reading" gets pretty blurred sometimes on WP. The Jargon file reference is more of a "Sources", I guess. — Matt 16:06, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
      • Well I didn't qualify it because it could use any references that would verify the facts in the article. Specifically a reference that detailed the frequency analysis info would be helpful. Also the references, external links and citation in general needs to be cleaned up. There are 3 in article external links that appear to be intended as footnotes that get the standard external link numbering [1], etc. Then there is a single superscripted footnote with inconsistent numbering to the external links. The inline external link citations are not listed in the references or external links sections. Were all of the external links in the external links section used as references or are they just there for additional information for the reader? One syle should be chosen for citation, for ex. either inline, consistently numbered external links (also listed in the references/external links section), or more like MLA style with (author, year) inline and the full citation at the end. I can work on some of that, but those familiar with the subject will need to provide the additional quality references. - Taxman 17:02, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
        • For frequency analysis, I've added a couple of books to the frequency analysis article; I think they'd be a little too off-topic in this article. — Matt 13:45, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. Mpolo 16:59, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
  • No vote yet. This is a good article, I'd just like a little bit of an explanation on the Unix command. Is there a way for laymen to understand its syntax? The article has improved with the new picture and the formatting of the tables. I'd be happy to support as soon as I can get some information verified. Support[[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 20:13, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
  • V nz pbaprearq gung srnghevat guvf rapelcgvba flfgrz pbhyq pbafgvghgr n oernpu bs angvbany naq vagreangvbany frphevgl. Jrer gur EBG13 frphevgl cebgbpny gb snyy vagb gur jebat unaqf, rnpu naq rirel fvatyr wbxr ba gur Hfrarg jbhyq fhqqrayl orpbzr genafcnerag gb bhe rarzvrf... naq gura jurer jbhyq jr or? Arireguryrff, V ibgr Fhccbeg. shap(gnyx) 19:48, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • Thank you, func, for you support. Now, if anyone else thinks it would be funny to write their comment in ROT13, I swear, things will get very nasty. :) JOHN COLLISON [ Ludraman] 22:00, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Another Fhccbeg, err, 'Support here. *Kicks himself for not thinking of that joke first* Kiand 20:23, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, I really like the table and the reversals. --Alex Krupp 04:36, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. Still can't understand the memfrob bit, but everything else dealt with. jguk 22:15, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC) Object It's difficult for me as a layman unfamiliar with computing technology to understand bits of this. But it's nearly there. If I have time I get round to it, I'll amend the article myself to deal with my objection. Main points of confusion/suggested improvements are:
    1. Move the explanation that ROT-13 stands for 'rotate by 13 places' to the lead section. The 'description' section would then need a slight tweak to avoid duplication;
    2. Needs a brief explanation of what 'eBook copy protection systems' are;
    3. I can't believe many (non-computing bods) are familiar with what 'ASCII' is. A brief (one sentence, say) explanation would be helpful';
    4. I have absolutely no idea what the 'memfrob()' section is about. It should either be removed or reworded so a layman can understand it;
    5. It would be helpful if the lookup table included 'Description' could also be included in the Trivia section.
    6. The word 'newbies' in the Trivia section is slang. Whilst I believe a not too formal style is appropriate for many articles, I don't think articles should use slang either.
jguk 17:39, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • I've tried to address some of these. 1) Done. 2) I've added "Ebooks (books available in digital or electronic format) sometimes include technical measures to enforce copyright." 3) I've added "Instead of using the sequence A-Z as the alphabet, ROT47 uses a larger alphabet, derived from a common character encoding known as ASCII." 4) I've reworded this slightly. I think that a layperson would probably have to follow the links to GNU C library byte, XOR, binary to understand this fully, but he or she should (hopefully!) get the gist. I think memfrob() is worth mentioning, but it's not sufficiently notable to warrant more than a terse paragraph. I've also moved the "Variants" section to the end, so this technical paragraph will be the last thing a reader gets to in the article. 5) Done. 6) Replaced "newbies" with "newcomers". — Matt 13:45, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)



I really dont think the memfrob operation is a variant of ROT13 and isnt related. MEMFROB is based on XOR with a magic number (which is always reciprocal for any number and is a very common way to obscure data) and ROT13 is based on pretty much modulo arithmetic. Completely different operations... at best memfrob should be just a *see also* link 19:58, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

memfrob() is similar to ROT-13 in purpose, a sort-of generalised ROT-13 for binary data. It wouldn't really be worth putting it in its own article. You can also consider them to be similar in form, too, from a more abstract point of view. They both take sequences of elements of a group G and add a fixed public constant to each:
In both cases, the addition of has the property that doing it twice recovers the original:
For ROT13, the group is the integers modulo 26 under addition, k=13; for memfrob(), it's bytes under XOR with k=42. — Matt 20:36, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I changed the external link to point to the official GNU documentation page as opposed to the popup-spamming page which was previously used.-- 05:25, 8 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

A source?

the coding method had been in use for decades before being applied to computers,

I don't suppose anyone knows of a source for this statement? — Matt 21:34, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As I said in reply to David (q.v.), who beat your question to me by 11 seconds, I should have said "centuries", and I could have said "millennia", not "decades". Robin Patterson 23:56, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

*chuckle*, yes, but I at least have the claim to have put a question on your "User:" page before David's comment! Anyway, I've had a stab at rewording it. — Matt 01:48, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)



I removed the Pan screenshot. Am I the only one who thinks this is picturitis, and the screenshot adds nothing to the article? All it basically says is that newsreaders often have support for it, which is mentioned in the article; showing a menu with the option in it is overdoing it. JRM 12:51, 2004 Nov 23 (UTC)

Hmm, no — you're probably right. (I added it after wracking my brains for ideas after someone nominated it on WP:FAC and there was a request for illustration.) — Matt 13:53, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I suspected as much ("hey, if it's a FAC, it must have A Picture (tm)! Why doesn't it have A Picture (tm)? It definitely needs A Picture (tm)!" :-) Some day, there'll be a FAC that has no images and to which no images can be added to improve it, and that'll make for some heated tangential discussion... JRM 14:14, 2004 Nov 23 (UTC)
No, the proceduralists would win the "debate" with a thumping majority, and there is no way that that hypothetical FAC would be become a FA. Pcb21| Pete 14:25, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There is a dispute which online converter should be linked:

1. http://netzreport.googlepages.com/online_converter_for_rot_5_13_18_47.html:

  • (+) supports not only ROT13, but also the less known subsets ROT5, ROT18 (is ROT5 plus ROT13) and ROT47 (redirects to the ROT13 article)
  • (+) the JavaScript code of the converter is published under GPL
  • (-) Google AdSense ads are shown

2. http://rot13page.googlepages.com/:

  • (+) no ads
  • (-) supports only ROT13
  • (-) supports only encoding
  • (-) JavaScript code is not free (and hasn't any explaining comments)
  • (-) converter is always added as "ROT13 Page Google" (this creates the wrong impression that a reader will find an official Google page behind this link)

3. http://tech.pookey.co.uk/non-wp/encoder-decoder.php:

  • (+) no ads (only a text link to amazon recommending a book)
  • (+) supports ROT13, ROT1-26, and ROT47
  • (+) supports many other tools
  • (+) Links back to this main article
  • (-) link suggestion submitted to talk page by site author

My opinion: I would opt for the first converter (seems better in every regard). Ads are displayed, but not in an obtrusive way. For me, the ads are not a big problem because the author of the page/converter has released the converter under the GPL free to use for everyone. This reveals his/her "goodwill". --Shaka Kaan 19:36, 17 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Comment: the second also supports decoding, as ROT13 is self reciprocal. — Matt Crypto 20:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the hint. I've overseen that. --Shaka Kaan 23:38, 17 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps we should just include both (but no others). — Matt Crypto 07:06, 24 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I've added another options, I hope this isn't seen as self promotion. I see that this site (pookey.co.uk) is linked from wikipedia.pl so thought it might be of use here. I have just de-designed it to be mobile friendly and give my commitment that no adverts will be added. Pookey gb (talk) 14:17, 20 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]

ROT13 usage example


Just in case, Dosshell actually used ROT13 to "encrypt" passwords for customized (and password-protected) user entries (like in the menu that appears in the [screenshot | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:MS-DOS_Shell.png]). Not sure if it's worth noting in the article (either: Dosshell or ROT13), though. RNSanchez 01:14, 21 June 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia main page encoded with ROT13


Why do we need that image? WP has nothing to do with the subject matter. We already have examples, incidentally showing both cleartext and cyphertext. So while it may have been an interesting exercise for whoever made that picture, I see it as utterly irrelevant and ostentatious. (talk) 07:04, 21 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Usage Geocaching hints


I noticed that the article does not list recent usage of ROT13 such as geocaching for use on cache pages encoded hints.

Rot13 was picked because of the ease of decoding in the field with a pen and paper.--JBadger169 (talk) 12:39, 11 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • I agree. Geocaching hints are coded in ROT13 format. The link provided above is the largest geocaching site in the world. Geocaching is gaining in popularity and ROT13 geocaching hints are a real world application of this cypher. It should be in the usage section. PilotHiker205 (talk) 13:58, 5 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Windows XP uses ROT13... so does Vista


I was doing searches on Vista's registry and happened to found ROT13 encrypted strings, but as I don't have any other reference, I decided not to put that info on article. But if someone does find a good reference, or if it is not needed, please add that to article. Vazde (talk) 19:45, 24 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]



Doesn't notepad have a menu option for encoding ROT13, or am I thinking of some other program? Perhaps it had this feature in the past but it has been removed in more recent versions? 2fort5r (talk) 20:23, 16 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Outlook Express has it, since ROT13 is often used to hide spoilers on Usenet. (talk) 22:17, 21 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

cleanup or remove Usage section


It's well known to programmers that rot13 is in widespread use, it's reach is so far that it is pointless listing these individual uses of rot13 in specific software. I suggest that this section be removed and a statement summarising the usage be incorporated in a more general sense. (talk) 11:00, 23 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

A list of every Usenet newsreading program with a ROT13 option would be long and boring, but on the other hand, there's nothing wrong with listing selected unexpected and surprising uses of ROT13... AnonMoos (talk) 15:15, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

How is the name pronounced?


Is it "Are-Oh-Tee-thirteen?" "Rote-thirteen?" "Rot-thirteen?" --Shay Guy (talk) 09:24, 23 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

It originated as a purely visual abbreviation, but I always assumed "Rote-thirteen" (the first sounds of the word "rotate"). AnonMoos (talk) 16:57, 23 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]



You wrote:

"...I always assumed 'Rote-thirteen' (the first sounds of the word 'rotate')."

By that reasoning, the name of the mumified egyptian boy-king should be pronounced, "King Toot!"

So, sorry, but I think it should be (and, generally is) pronounced "rot"+"thirteen." " The Grand Rascal (talk) 23:41, 27 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

"Tut" is not a word of English with a negative meaning; if it had been, maybe the pharoah's name would be commonly abbreviated with the pronunciation "toot"... AnonMoos (talk) 20:24, 28 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Huh. "Rot," as a pejorative (and a quite mild one, BTW) seems an especially appropriate adjective for a method of obfuscation that doesn't REALLY obfuscate. 😉 The Grand Rascal (talk) 08:57, 30 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Further ROT13 pairs


I've found the following pairs using the gcide, shall we add them to the article? (abba noon) (abjurer nowhere) (becuna orphan) (creel perry) (ent rag) (erne rear) (evat ring) (frag sent) (ful shy) (guna than) (gurl they) (jub who) (jung what) (jura when) -- 07:44, 17 September 2009

Only if they're real words of English -- i.e. not proper names only, and somewhat commonly seen outside of crossword puzzles... AnonMoos (talk) 14:03, 17 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

``See also: EBG13`` redirects to the same page. Is this intentional? Galanom (talk) 20:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Someone thinks they're clever. I've removed it. --Kbh3rdtalk 22:44, 7 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Stream cipher category?


Currently this article is listed in the Category: Stream ciphers. I don't think this category is applicable though, because ROT13 generates no keystream; however, stream ciphers are defined as generating a keystream from the key. -- intgr [talk] 15:04, 30 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Looking at that article, it certainly seems bogus. AnonMoos (talk) 16:50, 30 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]



Question, in the implementation section you list the commands needed to use rot13 in VIM. Why? In particular why is the VIM command sequence more notable than implementations in other editors like the emacs-sequence (http://www.gnu.org/s/libtool/manual/emacs/Rmail-Rot13.html) M-x rot13-other-window? Or in sed (http://en.literateprograms.org/Rot13_(Sed))

  1. /bin/sed -f

y/anbocpdqerfsgthuivjwkxlymz/naobpcqdresftguhviwjxkylzm/ y/NAOBPCQDRESFTGUHVIWJXKYLZM/ANBOCPDQERFSGTHUIVJWKXLYMZ/

To be honest I like the Tr and sed versions because with them it's obvious what is happening, but the emacs and VIM ones say nothing to me about how they work. I would edit and put the extra bits in myself, but the article has FA protection. -- (talk) 07:18, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

The vim command was included presumably because it is surprisingly brief for a general-purpose text-editor running within a traditional terminal-window interface. However, there's no real reason why it has to remain in the article. The sed command should not be included, because it duplicates the "tr" command already given (except more verbosely). AnonMoos (talk) 18:03, 26 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, where there's vim their should be Emacs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 18 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

The reference listed "Best of VIM Tips" doesn't mention g? as a command for transforming visual text. When I tried highlighting text in VIM and executing this command, it didn't work either. (talk) 19:47, 23 March 2013 (UTC)Nate[reply]

Is the "joke" persistent?


Including the additional "at NSA" to the "joke" doesn't really seem necessary nor will it persist as a timeless piece of information. I suggest removal of those two words but feel free to dispute.

-- (talk) 09:32, 22 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Of course it's necessary. If you get rid of "at NSA" what remains isn't recognisable as a joke at all. Possibly we could replace it with another joke with a punchline, but I don't see any particular reason to. Hut 8.5 09:44, 22 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the swift reply, I don't really have any suggestions I just thought that perhaps the joke is a little too geographic/time specific and maybe in a few years it won't make any sense! Obviously there's no need for it to actually make sense as a joke because it demonstrates the point succinctly enough but for an otherwise high quality article I thought it would be nice to have it at "encyclopaedia quality" if that makes sense. -- (talk) 10:20, 22 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Don't really see why that would be the case. If the NSA ceases to exist or ceases to have a reputation for being filled with geeks then the joke would become irrelevant, but I don't see any particular reason to think that would happen. The joke has been in the article since 2004. Hut 8.5 11:24, 22 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The joke works, but it is US-centric. Perhaps something with more global appeal would be better (not that it really makes any difference). Bazonka (talk) 16:51, 13 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, before the last year, not too many people even in the U.S. would have known what "NSA" was, while over the past year, many people in almost all parts of the world have come to know of it... AnonMoos (talk) 18:28, 13 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Well, up to a point, yes. But the geekiness of its employees (which is the crux of the joke) is not widely known. I'm going to boldly make a change. Bazonka (talk) 20:28, 14 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Case mismatch in examples


The case mismatches in the examples seems a bit odd. In most implementations of ROT13, I believe, the uppercase letters are rotated to uppercase, and lowercase likewise. So PNG <-> cat (an example from the article) is actually not really right: it would come out as CAT for PNG. That is, the case would be preserved. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

An IP user already made this edit before, but it was reverted by @AnonMoos: with the reason "sometimes an acronym transforms into a non-acronym. If strict capitalization had to be preserved, then better to completely remove these items". Personally I don't have an opinion. -- intgr [talk] 18:46, 8 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
PNG is an acronym, while "cat" is not in its most common meaning and usage. If capitalization is critical, then that means that an acronym cannot be ROT13 partner of a non-acronym. I really don't see how it would involve messing words up with inappropriate uppercasing (which is really not the answer to any problems). AnonMoos (talk) 00:08, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

No ROT5 redirect to this page?


There is one for ROT47.

Shouldn't there be one for ROT5 too? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 21 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

It seems to be rarely done on its own (as opposed to an occasional and infrequent accompaniment to ROT13)... AnonMoos (talk) 13:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Issues with the article


Even at a cursory glance, the article has a wealth of issues, such as:

  • Many parts of the article are unsourced e.g. most of the Variants section; start of Implementation section.
  • Many sources used are not reliable, or do not sufficiently support the claims they are cited to e.g. references #2, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 17.
  • The article lacks formal pseudocode, implementation details (e.g. function in ASCII) and cryptographic details (e.g. substitution cipher not mentioned in body, or explained).

I will nominate the article for Featured Article review shortly unless anyone announces that they are able to work on these issues. Bilorv(c)(talk) 12:30, 2 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

"Pseudo-code" would be out of place, since there's no real multi-step algorithm involved... AnonMoos (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Why was this passage removed from the article?


ROT13 has been described as the "Usenet equivalent of a magazine printing the answer to a quiz upside down". AnonMoos (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

ROT13 used to hide email adresses?


How would ROT13 be used to hide email adresses? The source says that the the original email is displayed on the webpage, while the mailto link, links to an email address which "encrypted" by ROT13. However, there are problems with this:

  • This would also affect real users who are clicking on the email link, in order to contact that email address.
  • Why is ROT13 necessary to accomplish this? Why can't any other encryption system be used?
  • Any good bot would be able to detect that the mailto link goes to a different email than displayed, and would simply fix it.

NegativeZ (talk) 22:57, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

This would also affect real users who are clicking on the email link, in order to contact that email address. - No as you would reverese the rot 13 with javascript before displaying it.
Why is ROT13 necessary to accomplish this? Why can't any other encryption system be used? Other encryptions can be used, but this is still largely the used one.
Any good bot would be able to detect that the mailto link goes to a different email than displayed, and would simply fix it. - "any good bot" is not a real thing, it is like saying "any smart person can do reverse binary from the top of their head". - the fact is that the bot would have traverse the website, and let the javascript run before reading the email address, and that is not as simple as just reading the html on the page. (talk) 07:03, 11 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Are implementations in individual programming languages necessary?


Currently this article has three minor sections about implementing the ROT13 algorithm in Python, Ruby and Go.

Are these implementation necessary? Should a Wikipedia article have implementations about programming a very simple algorithm, if so, why these three languages? Why not Rust, or Javascript, or C? These sections don't even talk about a function in the standard library of the respective languages, they are a "tutorial" on how to make a specific function to encode with ROT13. Blyxyas (talk) 16:30, 30 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I agree, and I have removed similar examples from other articles. Example implementations can help to clarify how the algorithm works, but here the algorithm is so simple that this isn't necessary. Most of the example implementations are taken up by example text or code for iterating through strings rather than actual aspects of the algorithm. I suggest we get rid of all of them except maybe for the ones where it is built in to the language. Hut 8.5 17:38, 30 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's better for this article to have examples that do the ROT13 task by different methods, rather than to have examples from different programming languages which do the task in basically the same way. AnonMoos (talk) 22:42, 30 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]