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splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability


#26

Hi,

OK - Part 1 Introduction to Whonix stuff is finished. I’m now working through the Part 2 Whonix Installation section.

For this Quick Guide, do you want me to cover off the Qubes-Whonix templates installation (see link below) or just focus solely on KVM and Virtualbox i.e. standard (easy) virtualizer solutions?

Most newcomers to Whonix will not be looking for a Xen bare metal hypervisor solution in the first instance. Further, advanced users would just install templates via the Qubes 3.1 installer at set-up.

When I eventually get this v0.1 done, I’ll post it to a new thread. It might take a few weeks.


New Qubes Website! New Whonix Website?
#27

Finished where?

Mention Qubes.


#28

OK - will link to Qubes also.

I didn’t post the introduction, as I thought I would draft the document completely first.


#29

I’ve made good progress on this and expect to have the complete draft posted within a few days, or a week at worst (fingers crossed).

If you end up liking it, I might have some time to move onto reworking the FAQ, or whatever else is a priority. We’ll see. Although I dare not tackle a ‘long version’ of the guide, as it would probably take months :grinning:


#30

@entr0py

About your previous post… splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability

Could you please update it as per the comments that followed? splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability

(Creating a new post.) That would help getting this task done.


#31

@entr0py I didn’t notice you revised the list by editing your post. Glad it’s already done! :slight_smile: I’ll quote it here:

    1. An Introduction to Whonix
      a. What is Whonix
      b. How is Whonix different from other Anonymity Distributions
    2. Installation and Updating (Upgrading)
      a. Choose a Virtualization Platform
        * Hardware Requirements
        * Host Recommendations
      b. Download, verify
      c. Install
    3. First Steps in Whonix
      a. Launch, connect
        * censored? click link to main docs
      b. Update
      c. Browse the Web
      d. Shutdown
    4. Common Tasks
      a. Pre-Installed Applications
      b. Need something else? click link
    5. Preserving Anonymity and Privacy
      a. What to do & What not to do
    6. Where to go from here (links)
      a. multiple browsers/gateways/workstations
      b. tunnels
      c. other applications
      d. hardened configurations

#32

Unless there are further comments, I think this is ready to go.


#33

Oh, some confusion. My first list was a proposed list of categories for the entire documentation section (knowledgebase).

What you just quoted was for the Quick-Start guide. On second thought, I think Section 1:

shouldn’t be included in the Quick-Start. There should be a link “What is Whonix?” on the main page and there should be a separate page dedicated to explaining what Whonix is; an overview of how it works; and a comparison to other systems.

So Quick-Start should jump straight to choosing, downloading, installing, and running. I’m thinking the target audience should be Windows/Mac/very new Linux users with little to no experience with Tor and little to no experience with VMs. So the goal is: accessibility, accessibility, accessibility. (also favor GUI over CLI wherever possible) Start with basic security/privacy and give them the path to advance further if inclined. I’ll try to write some prose this weekend.

[note to self: post-install: receive important news, stay updated.]


#34

This thread is getting crowded. Difficult to grasp.

Too many terms. Quick start, entire documentation, full documentation.

But I guess we’re all somewhat on the same page. And any change is probably better than the overwhelming thing.

There are quite some drafts now…

“full documentation” (the “legacy”, we can rename/move this):
https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Documentation

“entire documentation”:
splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability

Proposed Categories ?:
splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability

Quick-Start:
splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability

Right?

What’s next? I mean, someone still seeing through this and wanting to take the lead on this one? :slight_smile:


#35

Right. This thread needs to be split into a short and long edition… :wink:

Please disregard splitting Whonix documentation into a short and long edition for better usability. That was a draft for the Quick-Start guide which I realized was way too long.

The Goal is to have 2 things when all is done.

  1. The existing documentation stays in its current form. It could use a general editing pass to remove obsolete information, merge duplicated info, etc. It should also be re-categorized into meaningful categories (instead of having half the entries in “Advanced Topics”). Proposed categories.

  2. Quick-Start guide. Proposed outline.

@torjunkie’s guide falls into a category of its own. The issue with a document that is that comprehensive is that it becomes difficult to maintain over time because you forget what’s in it. Hence, keeping it disaggregated like the current wiki makes more sense IMO. However, it seems like it would be a waste not to offer it somewhere…

Since @torjunkie is busy at the moment, I will take pieces of his guide and put together a Quick-Start draft. Hopefully, he’ll have time to review it with his excellent writing skills! Also, I don’t know how to make web pages, so once the content is finished, perhaps @Ego can port it to the web platform.

EDIT: Speaking of the web platform, does the current engine allow for collapsible text without javascript? It’d be nice to direct readers to additional links for further information, but only if they can be hidden behind a click.


#36

Good day,

Porting/Incorporating any documentation once done shouldn’t be an issue, seing how most of the “Quick-Start-Documentation-Base-Code” seems to be working fine at the current moment from my point of view.

Is possible thanks to CSS, though strange. What I mean by that is that, from what I can tell (and read on Stack Overflow, etc) all more or less known CSS based “Expandable Text solutions” either don’t work with certain renderers, mess up the apperance of the rest of the site or at the very least aren’t persistent with one another, meaning that due to the nature of CSS (or rather the input feature “abused” for this), once you open one and then open another one, the first one will be closed regardless of the fact the user actually didn’t close it. On some renderers, this “persistence issue” seems to go so far as to once a user clicks anywhere on the site, the “expanded text field” closed.

Keeping in mind however, that all of this isn’t really that big of an issue compared to the alternative of never giving additional information, if the user desires it, during the initial introduction/learning fase, I feel compelled to say this as a reason for not using such a solution.

Have a nice day,

Ego


#37

Sounds all great!

Should the Quick-Start guide be a table of contents that,

  • a) a table of contents that, links to all content
  • b) all Quick-Start guide content one one page?

I guess a) is better.

Where to add the Quick-Start guide?

  • a) mediawiki
  • b) new Whonix homepage “EgoBits1

a) is easy. Could be done very soon.

b) might require concluding the mediawiki replacement thread first.

Ha! Good one! :slight_smile:


#38

Good day,

I feel like regarding that, it would be necessary to really come to an agreement in regards to certain aspects. After all, most requirements we agreed on previously in that or other threads have already been achived in one way or another.

Let’s go through them one by one:

How does the new solution make sure translated pages do not get out of sync? I.e. when the English original is modified, how is this change reflected or at least noted on the translated version?

Well, similarly to Mediawiki, not at all really. Since Mediawiki has always kept the translated pages and the original fairly seperate, that has been what I set out to achieve as well. With Github as the base, and some tinkering with Jekyll, it seems to work, for now.

Can we make it pretty? Usable, modern presentation?

In the “New Website Thread”, I have already demonstrated and discussed a few designs. Whether these are presentable enough however, would have to be decided, as well as the question, which of the many mock-ups/attempts now should be used (i.e. categories on the side, long page, etc).

Can we have a mostly imported migration process from the old to the new wiki?
What about internal links?
What about wiki templates?
What about special markup such as {{Code2|…}} etc?

Since this is mainly being discussed for the short documentation, this question isn’t really important for this discussion.

Can we add meta tags (for seo, social media)? (Example below.)

There are different ways to achieve this with Jekyll, however I didn’t really test any at the current point in time.

Regarding things like “Expand buttons”, to enhance documentation, I already wrote about that in the post above.

Have a nice day,

Ego


#39

Alright.

I think we concluded, sitebar is fine.

How can we decide which mock-up to use? I guess the overview is now done… It’s sill in the git history, though. Could you show these mock-ups overview please so we can pick one?

Ok.

So we’d just use the new homepage for Quick-Start table of contents, linking to the wiki. Why not…

Yes. The “mediawiki way”, collapsed by default when using javascript and expandable. And without javascript, everything is expanded by default. I guess that is the best compromise we can make at this time until css provides better ways.


#40

Good day,

Sure, will create comparison screenshots right away.

I apparently seem to not have properly expressed myself in the previous post. “Expandable text” is possible with CSS without necessitating JS in any way. It just isn’t as versatile and dependable as JS based solutions under certain engines, though it should work fine. Example: https://codepen.io/peternguyen/pen/hICga/

Have a nice day,

Ego


#41

I did understand that earlier. :slight_smile: I however discarded that option, because you said…

Well, if it was only as bad as auto expanded by default, that would be a compromise we could make. (Similar to the one with our existing mediawiki solution.)

I understood this as a deal breaker.

That seems very buggy indeed. A deal breaker?

Which could be super annoying if someone wants to copy something from an expanded area, no?


#42

It’s looking great! I assume it would be trivial for you to make it hidden by default and expand upon click? Could you modify that example please to make two boxes hidden by default so we can test this?


#43

Good day,

Ah, I see. Well, I can see why you see these things as issues, though let me clarify a bit which engines are problematic with such a set-up. The more severe issues, like messing up the base layout or collapsing at any click regardless of where it is made, should only be expected to happen on browsers like the Internet Explorer 8, due to its rather obscure implementation of CSS.

The persitence issue is however one which indeed happens regardless of browser, as shown in these small examples: http://stackoverflow.com/a/19170853 As you can see, most of the shown examples are plagued with this problem. The top one seems to work on Blink at least without fault. Adding to that, there seem to be other, more advanced approaches which, at least from what I can tell, seem to work much more reliable like this one: http://jsfiddle.net/thurstanh/emtAm/2/

Yes, would be possible easily as well, though this approach suffers from the “persitence issues”, whereas the last example I linked doesn’t making it a much better choice as a base.

Have a nice day,

Ego


#44

Good day,

Regarding the previous request to show the two different, basic concepts for the Quick-Start-Guide:

The advantage of going this route is, as I’ve previously explained, that users get gradually thought everything neceassary to operate Whonix, rather than in one session, making the whole “ordeal” easier to digest. Arguments against it have been that this approach isn’t really of use considering users likely click" through the whole thing in one go eitherway since they want to use Whonix to its fullest immediately. Adding to that, finding what you are looking for might be harder than with an “one-page-solution”. However, I personally feel that a chapter based approach makes a project look better, though that is likely just me.

The advantages of a “one-page-concept” with click- and linkable subcategories is rather obvious. It’s easier to maintain, let’s users find information more quickly and efficiently and all in all is very similar to what we currently have on MediaWiki on sites like “DoNot”. Different to those however, to save screenspace, it was (at least at the time) decided against having the chapters on top or the site of the page. This might make finding your way arround as a newcomer harder. However, since newcomers should be reading the entire thing anyways, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Having one long, ongoing page also means that we should try to keep the information as focused, short and simple as is humanly possible, otherwise we (as I’ve mentioned in detail before) may overwhelm users with so much information that they wouldn’t want to use Whonix in the first place or (even worse) underwhelm them so much that they immediately presume all that information isn’t necessary and is already something they know. Both states we should avoid, as far as I’m concerned.

Have a nice day,

Ego


#45

Ego:

The advantage of going this route is, as I’ve previously explained, that users get gradually thought everything neceassary to operate Whonix, rather than in one session, making the whole “ordeal” easier to digest. Arguments against it have been that this approach isn’t really of use considering users likely click" through the whole thing in one go eitherway since they want to use Whonix to its fullest immediately. Adding to that, finding what you are looking for might be harder than with an “one-page-solution”. However, I personally feel that a chapter based approach makes a project look better, though that is likely just me.

Since there weren’t any other opinions… And since we previously agreed
that sidebar is okay… Let’s go for that route.