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[GNUnet-developers] Review of the new GNUnet website

From: Fabian Gerlach
Subject: [GNUnet-developers] Review of the new GNUnet website
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2019 21:18:49 +0200

Can we still call it new? Anyway, you know what I mean.

Hello, hello, hello, everyone.
I've sat down and reviewed the new GNUnet website for helping you to improve it.
Here are my findings/suggestions for improvement:

Better access:

Regarding, top section:
1 - Change the hyper link color from black to the new GNUnet logo blue
This change makes the hyper link words far more readable. Currently on dark 
grey background, the hyper link words are very hard to read.
Maybe applying this change to sections with white background would look nicer, 
as well. That's something one should test out. Said blue for hyper link words 
on white background also would set hyperlinks better apart from the normal, 
black text on white background. But black hyper link color for sections with 
blue background is just right.

Regarding :
2 - In the foundations text the 4 foundations of the GNUnet should be sorted by 
stack depth, so the more fundamental things should be mentioned at first, and 
the more superficial something is the later it should be mentioned. So at first 
[TRANSPORT], then 2. [R5N], then 3. [CADET], then at last [GNS]. The image 
above the text already is ordered like this.
This way text and image both are sorted in the same way, stack depth, and not 2 
different ways. This unification makes it easier to make sense out of text and 
image when dealing with this sub website in order to understand the 
architecture of the GNUnet.
3 - Highlight the 4 foundation components in the image, which are mentioned in 
the text. For instance by changing the background color of the 4 foundation 
component bubbles from white to the blue, which is also used in the new GNUnet 
logo and changing the text color of these 4 bubbles from black to white.
This way you strenghen the connection of the image and the text. It's also an 
idea to push that even further by colorizing the text so that in the text the 
text color of the 4 foundation components is the same as the blue background 
color of the 4 respective bubbles in the image. Additionally highlighting the 4 
foundation components in the image makes the image as such easier to 
understand. Right now the image doesn't explain GNUnet architecture, but just 
says, "GNUnet architecture is complicated!". Highlighting a small set of 
components, which are more important, gives people an important starting point 
for exploring the network of GNUnet components and would make the image more 
helpful to understand the GNUnet architecture.
4 - These blue dotted arrows in the image should be black or explained. 
Otherwise they are just confusing.

In general:
5 - At least on the website use more generally understandable vocabulary like 
"issue tracker", "vulnerability count", and "fix issues".
The website is addressed to a wide audience. Not only developers, but also the 
general public and academia. A more generally understandable vocabulary makes 
it easier for a wide audience to understand the content of the texts. This 
suggestion doesn't apply to the tech areas, meaning the repository as such, the 
tracker as such, the dev mailing list, etc., because these areas are mainly 
addressed to developers, so dev speech is totally okay there. But really not on 
the website for the broad audience. More generally understandable vocabulary 
also would make translation of the new website into other languages easier.
6 - Translate the website into other languages and reach out for help where 
gaps are
Is there any structure for filling in translations of the english website into 
another language?
What are the specific steps people should take who want to contribute 
If there is a language in the drop-down menu, people should find the expected 
translation of the website there; not emptiness or the english website.
So, either entry there and filled, or no entry, or at least a notice explaining 
that there is no translation of the website in the desired language, yet, and 
encouraging to contribute a translation and explaining how to do so.

More appropriate:

Regarding , 2nd section, 3rd sub section:
7 - Change "GNUnet is made for an open society" to "GNUnet is made for a free 

Regarding , 3rd section "The Internet of tomorrow needs 
GNUnet today", "Imagine..." sub section:
8 - Keep the hole analogy, and replace the theft analogy with a surveillance 
camera analogy. Suggestion:
"The conventional Internet is currently like a system of roads with deep 
potholes and surveillance cameras all over the place. Even if you still can use 
the roads (e.g. send emails, or browse websites) your vehicle might gets 
damaged. And the surveillance cameras will create a movement profile about your 
life: They recognize your car license plate, track you everywhere you drive, 
and save this information in a central data base."
By replacing the incorrect theft analogy (copying is not theft) with an 
analogy, which is not only correct but also practically more invasive for every 
day people (it affects directly everyone using the infrastructure, no matter if 
normal person or person of special interest like whistleblowers), this section 
becomes more correct and striking.

Regarding , 3rd section "The Internet of tomorrow needs 
GNUnet today", "The Internet is broken" sub section:
9 - change text " Protocols from Ethernet and IP to BGP and X.509 PKI are 
insecure by default: protecting against address forgery, routers learning 
metadata, or choosing trustworthy CAs is nontrivial and sometimes impossible.

GNUnet provides privacy by design, improving addressing, routing, naming and 
content distribution in a technically robust manner - as opposed to ad-hoc 
designs in place today."
as follows:
"The Internet is not designed with security in mind: The network generally 
learns too much about users; it has insecure defaults and high complexity; and 
it is centralized. That makes it very vulnerable for multiple attacks massively 
threatening our freedom.

GNUnet is built "privacy by design" and "distributed by design". This improves 
addressing, routing, naming and content distribution in a technically robust 
By this change the explanation in what way the internet is broken becomes more 
convincing and generally understandable.

Regarding , 3rd section "The Internet of tomorrow needs 
GNUnet today", "Decentralization is hard" sub section:
10 - Simplify the 1st section, the 2nd section is already fine. Suggestion:
"Instead of sharing common components and tools for building P2P systems, every 
P2P project seems to re-invent the wheel. That highens effort and number of 
By this change you convey same content with less words and in easier language. 
The details are already covered in the 2nd section, no need for mentioning them 
in 1st and 2nd section.

Regarding , 3rd section "The Internet of tomorrow needs 
GNUnet today", "Metadata is exposed" sub section:
11 - Add a short 1 sentence introduction before the current 1st sentence of the 
sub section: "Metadata is just as revealing as the actual content; and it gets 
exposed on the internet.". Or more personal: "Your metadata is just as 
revealing as the actual content; and it gets exposed on the internet.".
The result is that the sub section looks like this: "Metadata/Your metadata is 
just as revealing as the actual content; and it gets exposed on the internet. 
Although transport encryption is increasingly being deployed on the Internet, 
it still reveals data that can threaten democracy: the identities of senders 
and receivers, the times, frequency and the volume of communication are all 
still revealed.
By this change the point is brought across more striking and easier. People get 
"It's not 'just metadata'" and "I'm exposed".

Regarding , bottom section, law information:
12 - Sum up the years: "2015-2019", instead of "2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019"
Both is correct, but the suggestion is shorter and conveys the same information 
in a more clear way
13 - Rather use the copyleft sign 🄯 / (ɔ)
Judging by of the old website that would fit more 
to the GNUnet project

Best regards,

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