[tor-project] GSoC Student Introduction 2017

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Fri May 12 12:43:00 UTC 2017

> Hello everyone!
> My name is iry. I am a GSoC student who will be mentored by both Sukhbir
> (sukhe) and Patrick Schleizer!
> Although I have heard this good news for a while, I still feel great
> excitement and happiness every time I think about it. This is because
> contributing to the Tor/Whonix is my dream that has been encouraging me
> to move on. Therefore, you can imagine how appreciated I am to the Tor
> community for offering me such a great opportunity to let me get more
> involved with Tor!
> The following is a Q&A about myself and the project I will be working on
> this summer. I hope it will help you have a better idea about me and the
> project I will be working on! Also, if there is any question, feedback
> or anything else you would like to discuss with me, please do not
> hesitate to let me know! I will be more than happy to discuss them with you!
> #####What project would you like to work on?
> I would like to work on the anon-connection-wizard. It is a Python-clone
> of the Tor Launcher which aims at providing Tor users with a graphical
> instruction on configuring the Tor. This
> [application](https://github.com/Whonix/anon-connection-wizard) has been
> developed as a part of the Whonix Project. Some of the screenshots of
> its old version can be found
> [here](https://www.whonix.org/blog/connection-bridge-wizard).
> This application is especially helpful for users who live in
> Tor-censored area. This is because those users can only connect to the
> Tor network with the help of other censorship circumvention tools which
> include but are not limited to Tor bridges, pluggable transports and
> other third party Internet censorship circumvention tools like Lantern
> and VPN.
> Currently, the Tor Launcher is shipped with the Tor Browser Bundle and
> heavily relies on the Tor Browser for its implementation. Although
> thanks to the great
> efforts([[1]](https://git-tails.immerda.ch/tails/tree/config/chroot_local-hooks/06-adduser_tor-launcher?h=devel),
> [[2]](https://git-tails.immerda.ch/tails/tree/config/chroot_local-hooks/10-tbb?h=devel),
> [[3]](https://git-tails.immerda.ch/tails/tree/config/chroot_local-includes/usr/local/sbin/tails-tor-launcher?h=devel),
> [[4]](https://git-tails.immerda.ch/tails/tree/config/chroot_local-includes/usr/local/bin/tor-launcher?h=devel))
> of Tails, the Tor Launcher can be run as a stand-alone XUL application
> currently, since the XUL will not be supported by mozilla in Firefox ESR
> branch anymore [some time next
> year](https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/), that
> implementation may not work for a long time. Beiseds, I agree with the
> Whonix core developer Patrick Schleizer that "the Tor Browser Bundle has
> its kind of users. system Tor (refers to Tor from packages.debian.org or
> deb.torproject.org) users, where Tor runs as daemon, is used in
> different ways for different purposes".
> Therefore, although anon-connection-wizard is a Python-clone of the Tor
> luancher, since all its dependencies are already in Debian and already
> packaged, it can still serve as a really useful tool for the system Tor
> users or a loose coupling substituition to the Tor Launcher.
> In addition, the current instructions provided by the
> anon-connection-wizard and Tor launcher is not clear enough for users to
> configure Tor correctly. Therefore I would like to implement and
> redesign the anon-connection-wizard. I hope that my work will help more
> people to connect to the Tor network efficiently and successfully.
> #####Your proposal should also try to break down the project into tasks
> of a fairly fine granularity, and convince us you have a plan for
> finishing it.
> As mentioned above, my project goals include two main parts:
> ######The clone implementation of Tor Launcher:
> Currently, I have helped to implement the basic functions of
> anon-connection-wizard. However, there are still several bugs need
> fixing and a large number of exciting features need implementing, which
> include:
> 1. The current implementation of configuring torrc file is very
> rudimentary. The anon-connection-wizard should read the previous
> bridge/proxy configuration from the file and adjust the default UI
> accordingly. Just like what Tor Launcher has been doing. The ["edit
> marker
> approach"](https://forums.whonix.org/t/graphical-gui-whonix-setup-wizard-anon-connection-wizard-technical-discussion/650/226)
> is preferred way to implement this;
> 2. The password for proxy setting should be covered by character *.
> ######The redesign of the anon-connection-wizard:
> I have made a specific
> [proposal](https://forums.whonix.org/t/a-proposal-for-redesigning-anon-connection-wizard-for-better-usability/3681)
> for this topic. And the redesign should at least includes:
> 1. Rearranging the instruction page orders for better usability;
> 2. Rewriting the literal instruction so that it fits the actual
> situation of people in censored areas;
> 3. Adding more features to the custom Tor bridges configuration input
> box for more clear instruction. For example, syntax highlight,
> tool-tips, etc;
> 4. Doing user behavior experiment to find out what can be helpful for
> better usability;
> 5. Modifying the anon-connection-wizard based on the result of the
> experiment.

You should double-check
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/21951, especially Linda
et.al.'s paper in the attachment. They already made a usability study
showing design changes that would significantly improve the usability.
We are going to implement a lot of those findings later this year in Tor



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