[tor-dev] Needed improvements to the PT website

George Kadianakis desnacked at riseup.net
Sun Aug 3 11:27:03 UTC 2014

Hello list,

in my monthly status report [0] I mentioned that some PT-related parts
of the website are in need of improvement. As a response, a few people
sent me a private email asking me what kind of improvements I was
thinking about. Instead of replying individually, I decided to send a
mail to this list.

Here are some of the needed improvements:

- In the past, our main PT page was the obfsproxy page: 

  However, now that the scene is growing and the obfsproxy fad is
  shrinking, the main PT page should actually be:
  https://www.torproject.org/docs/pluggable-transports.html.en .

  Users, bridge sysadmins and researchers who want to learn about PTs
  will probably encounter that page. I suggest we optimize that page
  towards users and bridge syadmins and let researchers get their
  information from the "unofficial" wiki page:

- To make the PT page a bit more end-user-friendly, we could remove
  non-Tor-deployed PTs from the list, like Stegotorus, Skypemorph and
  Dust. These are better suited for the wiki, I think. Things that
  users see in the PT page should be ready to use.

  Also, it would be great if there was a "How to use PTs" document
  linked by the "Download PT bundles" section. Unfortunately, I don't
  think there is such a document atm. Sheried wanted to write one
  (with screenshots etc.) but I'm not sure if it was ever made.

- To make the PT page a bit more bridge-sysadmin friendly, we could
  link to a "How to become an obfsbridge" document. Currently, the
  only such document is linked from the obfsproxy page:
  and it only suggests installing obfsproxy.

  Nowadays, such a guide should also be guiding readers to install
  fteproxy. And Real Soon Now it will need to be guiding readers to
  install Yawning's obfs4proxy or gobfsproxy.

  Also, weasel read the guide and was not very happy. For example, the
  guide _suggests_ using pip as root, this is probably not sound
  advice and some workaround should be found.

- Another document that is needed for bridge sysadmins is a "Best
  practices for running obfsbridges" document.

  Such a document could have the following advices:
  - Which PTs should be installed.
  - How to install ExtORPort and geoip.
  - How to find geoip stats from your bridge.
  - How to check whether your bridge and PTs are used.
  - How to enable logging in your PTs and general debugging tips.
  - etc.

There are probably other improvements that could be suggested, but
this is a good start, I think.

Also, those tasks don't have any tickets at the moment. Please feel
welcome to make tickets if you'd like, or I can do it at a later time :)

BTW, I don't know much about UI or product marketing (#11501), so my
advices might be totally off :)

[0]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2014-August/000608.html

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