A encryption context is the internal state maintained by a encryption algorithm. The contents of a encryption context depend on the algorithm and implementation in use. From the point of view of this specification, it is an opaque object. A encryption context is initially in a start state such that it anticipates the first byte of input.
Conformance requirements are expressed
with a combination of descriptive assertions
and RFC 2119 terminology.
The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL”
in the normative parts of this document
are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
However, for readability,
these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification.
All of the text of this specification is normative
except sections explicitly marked as non-normative, examples, and notes. [RFC2119]
Examples in this specification are introduced with the words “for example”
or are set apart from the normative text
This is an example of an informative example.
Informative notes begin with the word “Note”
and are set apart from the normative text
Note, this is an informative note.
Requirements phrased in the imperative as part of algorithms
(such as "strip any leading space characters"
or "return false and abort these steps")
are to be interpreted with the meaning of the key word
("must", "should", "may", etc)
used in introducing the algorithm.
Conformance requirements phrased as algorithms or specific steps
can be implemented in any manner,
so long as the end result is equivalent.
In particular, the algorithms defined in this specification
are intended to be easy to understand
and are not intended to be performant.
Implementers are encouraged to optimize.