JonDoNym vs Qubes vs TAILS vs Tor - Documentation Chapters Comparison (# = position in documentation)
Introduction, General Information & The Basics (1,1,1,1)
Design Specifications (N/A, N/A, N/A, 2)
Hardware Recommendation(N/A, 2, N/A, N/A)
Installation and Upgrading (2, 3, 2, N/A)
First Steps (N/A, N/A, 3, N/A)
Common Tasks (5 & 10-11, 4, N/A, N/A)
Managing Virtual Operating Systems (N/A, 5, N/A, N/A)
Use of Premium Services (3, N/A, N/A, N/A)
Security Guides (N/A, 6, N/A, N/A)
Preserving Anonymity & Privacy (4 & 6-7, 7, 4, N/A)
Encryption & Privacy (N/A, N/A, 5, N/A)
Work on Sensitive Documents (N/A, N/A, 6, N/A)
JonDo/Tor-Secure-Live-DVD (9, N/A, N/A, N/A)
Circumvent blocking (12, N/A, N/A, N/A)
Configuration Guides & Advanced Topics (13, 8, 7, N/A)
Customization Guides (N/A, 9, N/A, N/A)
Troubleshooting (14, 10, N/A, N/A)
Credits, License (15, N/A, N/A, N/A)
Reference Pages & Neat Links (N/A, 11, N/A, 3)
Developers Guide (N/A, 12, N/A, 4)
As at 5-6th June 2016. See: https://anonymous-proxy-servers.net/en/help/index.html, https://www.qubes-os.org/getting-started/, https://tails.boum.org/doc/index.en.html, https://www.torproject.org/docs/documentation.html.en
If you look at most of these docs on-line, they are pretty simple (even Qubes!) So, if Whonix adopted a similar structure for a simplified guide, I think it should cover off the following (relevant) entries in roughly this order:
Suggested Simplified (Short Version) Table of Contents - Whonix
- An Introduction to Whonix
- Whonix Design and Hardware Requirements
- Installation and Updating (Upgrading)
- First Steps in Whonix
- Common Tasks
- Managing / Fine-tuning Virtualization Platforms
- Security Guide
- Preserving Anonymity and Privacy
- Configuration / Customization Guides*
- Credits, License
- Reference Pages**
*Simple (common) configuration changes only
**Reference pages is where a lot of terminal commands and output can be hidden, just like in the Qubes documentation. This saves pages of intimidating terminal output being shoved in the new user's face and provides a handy link for the most commonly used commands.
Now, compare this to Entropy's proposed guide above for the 'Advanced (Long) Manual'.
Main Point: The simple menu structure I have proposed is very similar, except it drops off all advanced topics/configuration, chaining/tunneling experiments, censorship circumvention, work on sensitive documents, developer/bug stuff and general encryption discussions. Plus it is based on a winning documentation formula from four other privacy/anonymity websites.
Slashing the size of the material is essential for the simplified (short) version. Around half (?) of the full Whonix index appears to be advanced/esoteric/misc. topics. General discussions around safely using email and other common programs would of course be covered off in the security chapter and draw on relevant material where required.
If I were to assist with creating a short, beginner-friendly version that won't scare away Patrick's engineer friends, then I would be unapologetic in heavily editing the content e.g. tone, readability, and harshly slashing it in size. 20-40 footnotes per page and an academic/research tone can remain in the advanced document.
End goal: the guide allows a basic computer user (non-Linux-guru) to easily install a safe (verified) version of Whonix in a suitable virtualization platform, update/upgrade, troubleshoot & fine-tune simple issues as required, and have a working Tor browser and other basic programs within short order.
Outcome: A steady increase in the size of the Whonix user base as it is introduced to a much larger audience - evidenced in stats at Linux distrowatch and elsewhere (which I note are creeping up!).
If this is combined with a visually friendly 'button' approach as discussed on the other thread instead of huge blocks of text, then Whonix won't be so scary anymore to the masses. Or if large chunks of text must still remain, they should be broken up periodically with tables, snapshots etc to reduce the visual monotony.
I'm not sure how long it would take - depends on time, expectations of developers etc. If I am to assist, I wonder how a draft document is best created? I could easily do it in LibreOffice, but I suspect you want it all done in html or something that I'm not readily familiar with i.e. so it is web-ready.