[tor-relays] Tor Weather has been discontinued

Karsten Loesing karsten at torproject.org
Mon Apr 4 14:48:39 UTC 2016

Hash: SHA1

Dear relay operators,

as of April 4, 2016, Tor Weather has been discontinued.

Tor Weather [0] provided an email notification service to any user who
wanted to monitor the status of a Tor node.  Upon subscribing, they
could specify what types of alerts they would like to receive.  The
main purpose of Tor Weather was to notify node operators via email if
their node was down for longer than a specified period, but other
notification types were available, including one where operators would
be informed when their node was around long enough to qualify for a

The main reason for discontinuing Tor Weather is the fact that
software requires maintenance, and Tor Weather is no exception.  Tor
Weather was promising t-shirts for relays that have not been around
long enough or that provided too little bandwidth to be useful to the
network, and it was almost impossible to deny a t-shirt after Tor
Weather has promised it.  Apart from that, Tor Weather was likely not
offering t-shirts to people who have long earned it, thereby confusing
them.  An unreliable notification system is worse than not having a
system at all.  Relay operators shouldn't rely on Tor Weather to
notify them when their relay fails.  They should rather set up their
own system instead.

We have tried to find a new maintainer for Tor Weather for years, but
without success.  We started rewriting Tor Weather [1] using Onionoo
[2] as data back-end in 2014, and even though that project didn't
produce working code, somebody could pick up this efforts and finish
the rewrite.  The Roster developers said that they're planning to
include an email notification function in Roster [3].  And we
developed a simple Python script that provides information about a
relay operator's eligibility for acquiring a t-shirt [4].  None of
these alternatives is a full replacement of Weather, though.

We encourage you, the community of Tor relay operators, to step up to
start your own notification systems and to share designs and code.
Tor Weather is still a good idea, it just needs somebody to implement it.

Tor Weather is discontinued in two steps.  For now, new subscriptions
are disabled, new welcome messages are not sent out anymore, and
existing subscriptions continue working until June 30, 2016.  From
July 1, 2016 on, Tor Weather will not be sending out any emails.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused by this.

All the best,

[0] https://weather.torproject.org/

[1] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/weather-in-2014

[2] https://onionoo.torproject.org/

[3] http://www.tor-roster.org/


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