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[Ring] Suggestions for improvement

From: ringu . ser
Subject: [Ring] Suggestions for improvement
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2016 14:20:03 -0600
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) H3 (4.2)

Hi all,

First I'd like to say that I think GNU Ring is the best VoIP solution at present.

However, it being distributed, the more nodes that are running the better! Thus I have a few suggestions for increasing the number of users and developers of GNU Ring.

In no particular order:

1. Document the protocol. Please write a white-paper or similar documenting exactly how OpenDHT interacts with ringd and with the new ethereum-based name-server. And how standards such as SIP, TLS, SRTP and other cryptographic (or other) protocols are implemented. This will allow further technical discussions and contributions. Currently I am not sure how to get further information on the protocol itself. It is clear that ring has quite a complex structure, so this would help a lot!

2. Document how to run a bootstrap node. Tox allows for running of bootstrap nodes quite easily, and the program to do so is even included in the OpenWRT repository. If this is as simple as running the ring daemon, please document this! Currently most clients will be connecting to the SFL hosted bootstrap node, which is quite problematic to the 'distributed' concept of GNU Ring.

3. Make the security features clear. As I understand it, calls and in-call chats are encrypted via SRTP (TLS), while out-of-call chats are encrypted using public-key cryptography (the public key being the ring address?). Thus forward secrecy is maintained for calls and in-call chats, however not for out-of-call chats. Please make this clear in the documentation! Further, it would be great to have the ability to start a chat-only session (and encrypt using OTR or OMEMO), but I think this is more likely to be worked on if the current situation is made clear.

4. Please increase commenting in the code. A secure, distributed communications program deserves many eyes and contributions on/to the code. It would be very beneficial to increase the verbosity of comments so new contributers can more easily understand what is going on.

5. Release some information on the plan for the iOS port. I can see from the gerrit and the tuleap that there is quite a lot of activity on this front, however, it would be great to have something public. I think the one major flaw at the moment for GNU Ring is the lack of the iOS port. I know there are licensing issues regarding GPLv3 and the app store, so it would be reassuring to have a blog post about it.

6. Public awareness! This is something that all users can do, not just developers. Begin by attaching your ring username to your website or email signature, or even business card. More people deserve to know about GNU Ring.

7. Continue the great work! I truly think GNU Ring is THE solution to sustainable VoIP (and perhaps IM, if the hurdle of offline messaging can be resolved without compromising on the distributed nature of the network). The ethereum-based name server solves the human memorable address, without compromise (not phone number or email address) and makes it the best communication software to date.

Thanks for all the time and effort you have spent on SFLphone and now GNU Ring, the world is much better for it.


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