[tor-dev] Damian's Status Report - October 2012

Damian Johnson atagar at torproject.org
Fri Nov 2 17:13:42 UTC 2012

Ahhh, the beginning of winter. That very special time of the year when
Seattle skies are perpetual overcast and gloomy. When crowds flock to
the coffee shops and the best thing to do with your time is hook up to
a caffeine IV and code.

... on a side note it has been a really productive month.


* Stem Website

Stem now has a far more developer friendly website!


Barring the obvious new sections I revised vast swaths of stem's API

Feedback welcome! The tutorial section is just starting, but I have
some ideas for expanding it.


* Network Status Document Parsing

After a couple months of work by Ravi and me the network status
document handling is *finally* done. It turned out to be a... very big
feature branch.

Announcement: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2012-October/004092.html
Docs: https://stem.readthedocs.org/en/latest/api/descriptor/networkstatus.html
Code: https://gitweb.torproject.org/stem.git/commitdiff/ea356b7?hp=5cd457b

With this done we're very nearly at feature parity with metrics-lib
(and I suspect a bit past it in terms of testing). In finishing this
up I also spotted an undocumented oddity with microdescriptor
'directory-signature' lines. [1]


* GSoC Mentor Summit

Met with the developers of numerous other open source projects. I was
really impressed at how many worthwhile conversations were crammed
into such a short conference. Highlights include...

* Arc from Python had distutils suggestions, thanks to which stem and
arm will soon have both Python 2.x and 3.x support.
* OSU's Open Source Labs are entertaining the thought of running Tor relays.
* Discussed TorBirdy and other Tor projects with Sukhbir. He mentioned
an issue with trac permissions that is now fixed. [2]
* Talked with Terri from Python about Mailman 3, which would be a
great answer for the requests we get to have a Tor forum. [3]
* Attended a talk led by Marina from Gnome about their outreach
program for women. We'll likely be taking part in it this year.

For the full trip report see...


Other changes include...

* Cleaning up orphaned pyc files as a part of running our tests
(feature suggested by Ravi) [4]
* Ported arm's str_tools module to stem and added unit tests [5][6]
* Code reviewed Ravi's attach_stream addition, waiting on the revisions [7]
* Arm troubleshooting on irc with zack and ultramage. Also fixed a
broken link on arm's site spotted by wh6iQ.

* A new contributor, Eoin, spotted some great issues and contributed
patches. Tickets include...
  * python 2.5 compatibility bugs [8]
  * count of the number of skipped tests [9]
  * error with the whitespace checker [10]
  * spelling corrections [11]

* Sathyanarayanan spotted some nice bugs including...
  * on python 2.5-2.6 a missing microdescriptor consensus wasn't
causing the related test to be skipped [12]
  * integ tests for the process module would fail if tor was already
running [13]


Next up: Ravi and I are working on tor event handling, the last major
feature stem is missing as a controller library. After that we plan to
port arm over, then tidy up loose ends in preparation for stem's
initial release.

Cheers! -Damian

[1] https://trac.torproject.org/7072
[2] https://trac.torproject.org/7186
[3] https://trac.torproject.org/3592
[4] https://trac.torproject.org/7103
[5] https://trac.torproject.org/7158
[6] https://stem.readthedocs.org/en/latest/api/util/str_tools.html
[7] https://trac.torproject.org/7152
[8] https://trac.torproject.org/7244
[9] https://trac.torproject.org/7246
[10] https://trac.torproject.org/7263
[11] https://trac.torproject.org/7245
[12] https://trac.torproject.org/7250
[13] https://trac.torproject.org/7251

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