[tor-reports] Lunar's report for February 2014
lunar at torproject.org
Sat Mar 1 18:01:59 UTC 2014
Here's a lot of what kept Lunar busy in February:
2014 Winter dev. meeting
The 2014 Winter dev. meeting  was held in Reykjavík from 17th to
21th. Overall, I am really positive about what happened, I felt we had a
really productive time.
I have spent the weeks before the meeting, and especially the last one
trying to come up with a schedule for our two days of discussions. I
ended up sending about 30 private emails asking people to rank 42
topics and using Condorcet  voting to see who was interested in
what and how important it was. I had something to propose on Sunday
evening. Quite last minute but it looked like it worked in the end.
Following-up on that, I also acted as facilitator and timekeeper during
the meeting. This made it difficult sometimes to be focused or
understanding during the discussions.
Both were stressful and drained a serious amount of my energy. Hopefully
the next time we'll plan more in advance, have an external facilitator
or have more attendees sharing the roles.
My attempt to prepare a “roles and responsabilities” session  more
or less failed. Some people still believe it is a good idea to make such
an inventory, so I might come back with it once things are a little less
I am particularily happy with the “support team and Tor Browser team
meeting” session  which in half an hour made pieces of various
puzzles find their place.
I've also spent a good amount of time reviewing minutes, trying to
improve their formatting and fix technical misunderstandings I was able
to notice. There are still some sessions missing documentation, but most
of them have some, which is already good.
One idea that come up at the dev. meeting is to turn the “short user
manual” into the Tor Brower User Manual.
The latter will be shiped with the Tor Browser. The TBB team will be
responsible for ensuring that this manual is up-to-date: new features
that affect the user experience are required to update the manual before
It will have a list of “known issues” that will be maintained by the
support team and the Tor Browser team. It will also contain a section
on how to get support.
I took care of creating a project ticket , describe several
tasks and sort out old “short user manual” related tickets.
I have also spent some time researching on a good source format for the
Tor Browser User Manual . I still need to put a proof-of-concept
online for a Markdown based solution . Project Mallard  also
looks like a good candidate.
I have handled 302 tickets in English, 38 tickets in French and sorted
around a hundred spams.
Continuing my efforts on finding the source of users' problems, I've
filled or tried to move forward several tickets:
* reCAPTCHA on bridges.torproject.org are impossible to solve
for humans (#10809 )
* Please create a specific “Unable to connect” page (#10864 )
* Tor Browser users don't know if their network is free of obstacles or
not (#10610 )
* Please make it clearer that help desk is not a bridge autoresponder
One of the reccuring frustration is also the overall quality of the
messages that we get on the help desk. Often we need to ask users basic
information like operating system and software version. Looks like
the Tor Browser User Manual will help us address this problem .
There is still some RT hacking that could be done to get an initial
auto-response with a couple of FAQ and a list of known issues, and to
redirect “get bridges” messages automatically .
I have sent the help desk report for January.
We had a conversation with Nathan from the Guardian Project on how to
hanle support for Orbot and other software from the Guardian Project.
For the time being, we will now redirect users to
<support at guardianproject.info>.
I became the owner of the “Tor Support” component on Trac.
I have organized an online meeting of the support team, mainly on how to
organize wrt. what was discussing at the dev. meeting.
One of the aspect is “chat-based support”. We discussed  the idea
of using chat only when users' issues required quicker feedback than
email. We are likely to setup an invitation based system that could
further be extended to voice and video using WebRTC in the future.
I'll coordinate what has to be done before deployement .
Tor Weekly News
I have been an editor for issue #31, #32, and #34. I wrote for #31, #32,
#33, and #34. Every issues are on the blog.
Kudos to harmony for handling most of issue #33 while everyone was busy
at the dev. meeting.
63 more mailing list subscribers in February.
The “numerize”  and “linkify”  script are now online.
I have attended FOSDEM and helped hold a booth there .
On the Debian packaging front: I have uploaded obfsproxy/0.2.6-1 and
obfsproxy/0.2.6-2 to Debian unstable, txtorcon/0.9.1-1_bpo70+1 to
wheezy-backports, backported obfsproxy/0.2.6-2 to wheezy-backports, and
on deb.tpo for squeeze-backport, wheezy-backport, precise-backport,
quantal-backport, raring-backport, saucy-backport. And another obfsproxy
upload (0.2.6-3) to add python-gmpy to the Recommends. I have also
filled an ITP for ooniprobe  and done some more work on the package
during the dev. meeting. The package still needs another round of
testing but is mostly ready.
On the QA front: I've tested TBB 126.96.36.199 and also experimented with
David Fifield experimental Flashproxy+tor-fw-helper bundle. I also
found a possible fix  for the input issue which affected TBB on
I have reviewed every reports and TWN issues since July to make an
inventory of our SponsorO related activities to help Karen with the
2014 Summer dev. meeting preparations
Preparations for the upcoming 2014 Summer dev. meeting in Paris are
already running high.
I have configured the new dedicated mailing list.
I got in touch several people to find a place for a “university style
talk”  and a night venue .
I've helped draft several options on the general day-to-day organization
of the dev. meeting and organize a vote for core Tor people on what they
What's in for March?
Help desk work! Help prepare reports for SponsorF and SponsorO!
Web-chat support interface! Tor Browser User Manual! Meeting up people
in Paris to prepare the next dev. meeting! Tor Weekly News! Debian
packaging! Website work? Code review? Vacation planning?
Lunar <lunar at torproject.org>
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