[tor-dev] IRC meeting to plan sponsor L milestones on Wed July 18, 15:00 UTC in #tor-dev

Karsten Loesing karsten at torproject.org
Thu Jul 19 07:37:46 UTC 2012

On 7/11/12 12:20 PM, Karsten Loesing wrote:
> The meeting will happen
>   July 18, 15:00--17:00 UTC in #tor-dev.

Hi everyone,

here's a summary from talking about sponsor L deliverables in #tor-dev

To quickly recap what what the meeting was about: Sponsor L is very
likely to happen, but the contract is not yet signed.  The contract is
supposed to run from October 2012 to August 2013 and would have
quarterly milestones.  The purpose of the IRC meeting was to get some
developer feedback on the deliverables before negotiating and signing
the contract.  The sponsor L wiki page is here:


Note that I'd like to add the (possibly revised) paragraphs below to the
wiki page, so that they don't get lost in everybody's inboxes.  Please
somebody let me know if that's a dumb idea.

The phrasing of deliverable 1, which explicitly mentions "DNS" and
"HTTP", is problematic.  George thinks that DNS and HTTP are hard
transports to write properly.  George is okay with doing a stupid
attempt at an HTTP transport, but he's not prepared to promise a "good"
HTTP/DNS transport.  We should try to take out the words "DNS" and
"HTTP" from the deliverable text.  If it's too late to do that, we
should make sure that we can replace them with better transports, maybe
after writing down why we think the transports we picked are better.  If
the focus of this deliverable isn't just on building and deploying
transports, George would prefer to take care of the pluggable transport
ecosystem for future deployment: develop and deploy pyptlib and a Python
transport or two; develop (and potentially deploy) obfs3; keep an eye
out (and help) on academic research; help Zack with Stegotorus,
especially if he is interested in porting it to Python.  We didn't talk
about milestones, because the question of deliverable phrasing or
internal interpretation needs to be answered first.

George and Nick say that, in order to complete deliverable 2, we'll have
to finish #5040 which depends on #4773 (which overlaps with deliverable
3).  Nick thinks we can promise "progress towards" these two tickets for
December, and aim to implement them in December, with a possibility of
slipping to a March deliverable.  Then we'll have some time for
obfsproxy bridges to report stats, so that Karsten can make graphs for
June or August at the latest.

The remaining part of deliverable 3, minus #4773 which is part of
deliverable 2, is to implement the safe-cookie authentication mechanism.
 The same milestones apply here as to deliverable 2, so "progress
towards" in December and "done" in March.

Deliverable 4 will already be done before the sponsor L contract would
start.  It's promised for sponsor G for September 2012.  Aaron says that
BridgeDB is ready, minus any tweaks we want to make, and a Tor 0.2.4
build that people can run.  Aaron would like to get some public
obfsproxy bridges running Tor 0.2.4 listed in bridges.tpo before end of
September 2012.  We'll probably have to promise something else for
deliverable 4.

Deliverable 5 is totally doable, says Runa.  This deliverable involves a
few substeps which we might derive milestones from: rewriting parts of
the website is something we can do ourselves; planning some kind of
campaign around the videos to be created and not just putting them out
there is something we can do, too; writing screenplays for videos is
something we'll have to do together with a partner; creating videos is
something we'll have to find a partner for; starting the campaign is
something we can do.

Deliverable 6 is doable.  Runa thinks she could either be the community
manager by extending her tasks, or we could hire a new person.  She also
has an idea who to hire for English, Farsi, and Arabic; there was a
brief discussion between Runa and Nick about making an open call for
these hires vs. only asking people we know.  Runa thinks that the trick
for paid support is to find a way to let anonymous users pay for support
and still make sure they get a reply in time according to the service
level agreement we have to create.  Runa is wondering why we want
funding for languages no one has emailed us in (Spanish and French);
though nobody has emailed us in Arabic, either.

Deliverable 7 is doable.  Runa is somewhat unhappy that funding doesn't
include Arabic.  She says a large number of our users speak either Farsi
or Arabic, so not having funding for Arabic translations (and thus
relying on volunteers) seems silly; if we have funding for Arabic
support, we should also include Arabic translations.  Runa has an idea
of who to hire for Farsi and Arabic translation, no idea about
Vietnamese and Chinese (but can't be too hard to find someone).

We didn't talk about deliverable 8 at the meeting.  Maybe Mike can reply
here and give some quick feedback on this deliverable with respect to
phrasing/interpreting the deliverable text and possible tasks to promise
for the four milestones?

Deliverable 9 substantially overlaps with Sebastian working on Thandy in
Q3.  Sebastian is unclear whether his work will be funded by sponsor L
money, and if not, what work remains to be funded by sponsor L.
Sebastian's plan for Q3 is that Thandy bundles should exist and work at
the end of Q3, which is probably the hardest part of deliverable 9.
Deliverable 9 further requires coordination between Vidalia and Tor with
respect to updating config options.  Sebastian suggests to complete
deliverable 9 by March 2013.  December 2012 would give us just three
months of testing which may not be sufficient to make Thandy the new
default distribution mechanism, but we also shouldn't push it back
further than March 2013.  Aaron is also interested in working on Thandy
and will talk to Sebastian about it.

We didn't talk about deliverable 10 at the meeting.  Maybe Erinn or Jake
can reply here and give some quick feedback on this deliverable with
respect to phrasing/interpreting the deliverable text and possible tasks
to promise for the four milestones?

Thanks to everyone at the meeting for taking the time.  Hopefully this
feedback will help negotiating the final contract.


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