[tor-dev] Email Bridge Distributor Interactive Commands

Ken Keys kenkeys at comcast.net
Thu Jul 24 02:51:20 UTC 2014

On 7/23/2014 10:57 AM, Matt Pagan wrote:
>>> COMMANDs: (combine COMMANDs to specify multiple options simultaneously)
>>>   get bridges            Request vanilla bridges.
>>>   get transport [TYPE]   Request a Pluggable Transport by TYPE.
>>>   get help               Displays this message.
>>>   get key                Get a copy of BridgeDB's public GnuPG key.
>>>   get ipv6               Request IPv6 bridges.
>>> Currently supported transport TYPEs:
>>>   obfs2
>>>   obfs3
>>>   scramblesuit
> I'm starting to see usability issues with this interface show up on
> the help desk. For example, a person who received the above message
> emailed the help desk asking what to do next. BridgeDB's response is
> reminiscent of a command line program interface. I personally find this
> appealing, but remember that bridges are needed by some of our least
> technical users, many of whom have never even seen a command line
> before.
> I'm wondering if the following message would be any less confusing
> (Should I put this suggestion on the ticket?):
> Hey, <you>!
> Please respond to this email with one of the following commands:
> (You can combine commands to request multiple items simultaneously)
>   get bridges                Requests vanilla bridges.
>   get transport obfs2        Requests obfs2 bridges[*].
>   get transport obfs3        Requests obfs3 bridges[*].
>   get transport scramblesuit Requests scramblesuit bridges[*].
>   get help                   Displays this message.
>   get key                    Gets a copy of BridgeDB's public GnuPG key.
>   get ipv6                   Requests IPv6 bridges.
> BridgeDB can provide bridges with several types of Pluggable
> Transports[*], which can help obfuscate your connections to the
> Tor Network, making it more difficult for anyone watching your
> internet traffic to determine that you are using Tor.
> Some bridges with IPv6 addresses are also available, though some
> Pluggable Transports aren't IPv6 compatible.
> Additionally, BridgeDB has plenty of plain-ol'-vanilla bridges -
> without any Pluggable Transports - which maybe doesn't sound as
> cool, but they can still help to circumvent internet censorship
> in many cases.
> [*]: You may need to request Pluggable Transport type bridges if
>      Tor is censored for everyone in your country.
>      https://www.torproject.org/docs/pluggable-transports.html
>  --
>  <3 BridgeDB
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Public Keys: https://bridges.torproject.org/keys
> This email was generated with rainbows, unicorns, and sparkles
> for your at email.com on Sunday, 20 July, 2014 at 16:59:19.
> _______________________________________________
> tor-dev mailing list
> tor-dev at lists.torproject.org
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-dev
Are some of our least technical users, many of whom have never even seen a command line
before and who may live in Sub-Saharan Africa or one of the Stan countries with only a rudimentary knowledge of English going to understand the difference between vanilla bridges and, say, chocolate almond bridges? Wouldn't it be better to choose terms that at least translate into something resembling what they actually mean?

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