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Re: Determining whether gnunet is connected

From: Schanzenbach, Martin
Subject: Re: Determining whether gnunet is connected
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2022 16:54:42 +0000

> On 1. Mar 2022, at 17:17, Bob Ham <> wrote:
> On 01/03/2022 12:41, Schanzenbach, Martin wrote:
>> FWIW my latest attempt on making GNUnet more accessible started with this 
>> page:
> Unfortunately, this makes things worse.  You're spreading documentation
> out over the website and texinfo.  And you're adding more mess to the
> existing jumble of disparate, patchy, confusing information.  Stop writing!
>> Now, the links on that page should point to better documentation.
> But they don't.  The documentation they point to is a general
> description of the very basic concept of software layering and says
> nothing at all about GNUnet.  This helps nobody who's trying to
> understand GNUnet and has no business being in GNUnet documentation in
> the first place.
> If I might offer some unsolicited advice, if you want to be sure your
> reader understands software layering then just provide a link to
> Wikipedia, for example:
> .  I don't know why the original author chose to write that section of
> the handbook.  I think it says a lot about what the GNUnet community values.
>> It is also why we started this:
> Why?!  Stop "documenting" things by adding pages to the website!  Stop
> telling users about applications that don't work!
> Be clear to potential users: the system doesn't work.  For a system in
> such an early state as GNUnet, I would expect the website to be minimal
> and tell people where to get the source code, how to communicate with
> the developers and perhaps a little information about the system and its
> history.
> I find it astonishing that you talk about "Applications provided by
> GNUnet" as if someone can download GNUnet right now and run these
> things.  They can't.  Please don't write web pages as though they can.
> But then I forget, you want present GNUnet to grant providers, right?
> You want to make it seem as though it *is* something users can download
> right now and run.  Right?

The pages were made in an effort to generate interest in the hope that
helping hands arise that help us with documentation, website maintenance and 
GNUnet is not a particularly well funded project to begin with I have no
idea where you get that from.
So, if you think the website is designed to impress grant providers we
are not doing a very good job in that regard.

Why you are writing this in such an aggressive tone?
This is not constructive help at all. We know that the system is not
in a good state at this time. Nobody is claiming otherwise.
This project is over 10 years old. A lot of stuff has accumulated.
Entropy is a bitch.
GNUnet is not a recent "crypto" project with significant funds and community
behind it. It is also not written in nodejs or Go.
Instead it has strong foundations in academia. Almost all components are
built and designed by (under)grad students and PhDs. Hence most
components have publications surrounding it.
While this has benefits (such as peer reviewed algorithms) it also has
severe drawbacks: The churn of people working on the components.
They often graduate and then move on with jobs in the industry.
It also means that the people are not only developers, but also researchers.

Have you actually tried downloading and running it?
There are packages as well for some distributions to try.
So yes, you can download and try it. How would people build newer applications
(such as reclaimID or messenger) if it would not work at all?

What were the problems you encountered? Which application did not work?
Did you open a bug? Was there already a bug reported?
Where was the documentation wrong?
How would you improve it?
This is a Free Software project. We rely on everyones help.
But alas, this idea has faded since projects are released on github
with permissive licenses and developed/backed by multi-billion dollar companies
(or more recently crypto scams I guess) that can afford pretty documentation 
and are ready to use.
EVERYTHING you see is accessible to you on and can be 
Trolling and bashing will not get you anywhere.
Replacing the website with a simple text saying "DO NOT USE THIS" is not a 
convincing approach, however, sorry.

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