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Re: Determining whether gnunet is connected

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: Determining whether gnunet is connected
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2022 14:34:22 +0100
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On 3/1/22 2:19 PM, Bob Ham wrote:
> On 01/03/2022 13:07, Christian Grothoff wrote:
>> a Master's thesis
>> Florian's Bachelor's thesis
> I cannot believe you would seriously suggest that academic theses
> constitute software documentation.

I don't. But: if someone wants to get a first grip on what these
subsystems do, they can be a starting point on the theory. Like, when
someone wants to understand a TLS library, getting some background on
crypto first is a good idea. It's not enough, but at the same time some
of the problem I believe we have is that we also need to explain the
fundamentals. For example, I had repeated conversations with DNS experts
about GNS. They really understand DNS, and TLS. But getting them to
understand the cryptography behind GNS, even though some are quite
interested, has been surprisingly hard. And I think that is largely
because it is non-standard. So if you want to understand how
secretsharing, e-voting or SMC auctions work, I think the answer is that
no amount of handbook editing will do the trick unless the reader is
willing to get some of the academic background first.

Oh, and to stress this point: those chapters in the handbook are for
_developers_. None of this is something users are expected to
understand. But you cannot effectively work on those subsystems without
some academic background that IMO really doesn't belong into a handbook
either. At least I'd not expect group theory to be covered in a TLS
library handbook.

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