[tor-reports] Damian's Status Report - November 2014

Damian Johnson atagar at torproject.org
Sun Nov 23 21:17:38 UTC 2014

Hi all. Next weekend I'm returning to ye olde isle of Vashon to feast with
family, so figured I might as well send this out early. I'll be in a
Thanksgiving food coma this time next week, after all...

My devious scheme for November was to finish rewriting arm's graph panel and,
while that certainly made progress, Stem, DocTor, and internal discussions
stole the spotlight this month...


 * We now notify directory authority operators directly of issues in addition
   to the tor-consensus-health@ list. This should reduce duration of outages
   and other issues with the authorities.

 * We replaced turtles with longclaw. Sebastian deserves major kudos for
   orchestrating this. [1]

 * Properly fixed DocTor's OOM issues by not shelling out to send notification
   emails. [2]

 * DocTor detected a burst of relays from Google App Engine. These relays
   lacked any contact information so we dropped them from the network as a
   potential Sybil attack. [3]

   If you're the operator of these then please let us know! We'd be delighted
   to add you back in once there's a proper family and contact information.


 * Ossi Herrala made delightful improvements so we parse descriptors
   ~10% faster [4], and now read from the '.new' files in Tor's data
   directory [5]. Thanks Ossi!

 * Expanded our descriptor tutorials with an example of persisting descriptors
   to disk. Thanks to mmcc for the idea [6]...


 * Replaced quite of bit of boilerplate in Stem with a new @with_default
   decorator. Mmmmm, deleting code is fun... [7]

 * Updates to reflect changes in Tor's spec this month, including HS_DESC's
   new reason attribute, and validating the new consensus parameters.

A couple other quick things of note is that I spruced up our volunteer
page [8] and attended this month's Seattle TA3M. The later had a nice bit
of serendipity in that I met Anna, a UW PhD student who's looking into our
Bandwidth Authorities [8]. Best of luck Anna! That's certainly an area that
could do with a lot of improvement. ;)

Cheers! -Damian

[1] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/13296
[2] https://gitweb.torproject.org/doctor.git/commitdiff/94a2e9d
[3] https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-consensus-health/2014-November/005252.html
[4] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/13821
[5] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/13756
[6] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/13774
[7] https://gitweb.torproject.org/stem.git/commitdiff/56a1f03
[8] https://gitweb.torproject.org/project/web/webwml.git/commitdiff/05c1b60

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