13:58:04 <hellais> #startmeeting OONI Community meeting 2021-03-30
13:58:04 <MeetBot> Meeting started Tue Mar 30 13:58:04 2021 UTC.  The chair is hellais. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot.
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13:58:47 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> <here> Hello friends! Welcome to the *March 2021 OONI Community Meeting*. :):ooni::sparkles:
13:58:58 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> How are you all doing?
13:59:13 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Bonjourno!
13:59:28 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Hi @ivalentovitch! Great to see you! :)
13:59:35 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Same here :)
13:59:48 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Who else has joined us today? :)
14:00:08 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Please feel encouraged to introduce yourselves (either now or later asynchronously).
14:00:15 <slacktopus> <hellais> hello!
14:00:31 <slacktopus> <sbs> Hello!
14:00:56 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> As a reminder: Please *add topics* that you'd like to discuss during today's meeting in this pad: https://pad.riseup.net/p/ooni-community-meeting-keep
14:01:41 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> And while you think about (and add) topics, I'll start off by sharing a few quick updates:
14:02:03 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> 1. OONI Probe Desktop now supports *automated testing*! :tada:
14:02:23 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> You can get the OONI Probe desktop app (for Windows and macOS) here: https://ooni.org/install/desktop
14:02:58 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> By *enabling the automated testing setting* in the desktop app, OONI Probe will run tests automatically multiple times per day! :)
14:03:19 <slacktopus> <federico> Hello!
14:03:22 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> This means that you don't need to do anything. You can just enable "automated testing", and OONI Probe will automatically run tests for you! :)
14:04:00 <slacktopus> <dalvarado.ipys> Hello!
14:04:06 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> And as soon as it runs tests, the test results are automatically published on OONI Explorer in near real-time: https://explorer.ooni.org/
14:04:12 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> besides this feature, are there any other differences between the desktop and mobile apps?
14:04:56 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch that's a great question! For starters, automated testing will be supported on mobile soon too! We actually have an APK for that, and will encourage community members to test it once the beta version is ready. :)
14:05:02 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I'm asking because by default, I use the mobile app but maybe I should switch to the desktop
14:05:34 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Besides automated testing, OONI Probe mobile currently has more features (in terms of settings) than the desktop version, primarily because the mobile app was first developed years ago, and so the desktop app needs to catch up gradually.
14:06:04 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch I think it's useful to use both, depending on your use case. For example, with the mobile app you can run tests on mobile networks etc.
14:06:31 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> For now, the main advantage of desktop is that it supports automated testing, so you can regularly contribute lots of measurements. :)
14:06:49 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> (Welcome @dalvarado.ipys! :) )
14:07:10 <slacktopus> <sarath_ms> @ivalentovitch one thing missing from desktop app is the ability to use OONI Run links.
14:07:36 <slacktopus> <db1984> Just a quick and dumb question here, it would be from a traffic (e.g. in case of metered connections) and battery/energy particularly consuming?
14:07:55 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @sarath_ms that's a great point! You can access OONI Run here: https://run.ooni.io/ => And use it to generate mobile deep links for testing with your OONI Probe mobile app.
14:07:58 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> aaa, that's very interesting! I use often OONI Run and recently I had a chat with Cuban journalists who expressed great interest in RUn as well
14:09:30 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @db1984 that's actually a great question! To avoid consuming all your mobile data and battery, OONI Probe is by default configured to only test as many websites as it can connect to within 90 seconds. This means that the default testing should end within a few minutes. But if you're charging your phone and connected to WiFi, you can disable the "Limit test duration" setting in your OONI Probe app to test more websites for a longer
14:09:31 <slacktopus> duration.
14:10:45 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> We'll actually be publishing *user guides* for OONI Probe Mobile + OONI Probe Desktop this week (with details on all settings), so stay tuned! :)
14:11:01 <slacktopus> <sarath_ms> We do intend to support the OONI Run feature on desktop apps too... soon.
14:11:07 <slacktopus> <db1984> @agrabeli OH! Fantastic, thanks!
14:12:10 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> The 2nd quick update I wanted to share with you all is that you can *now apply for 5 OONI Google Summer of Code (GSoC) projects*: https://community.torproject.org/gsoc/ :)
14:12:46 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> You can apply until *13th April 2021*, and application details are available here: https://hub.osc.dial.community/t/gsoc-2021-dial-open-source-center/2134
14:13:06 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> You can also learn about GSoC here: https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/
14:14:08 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ This would mean working with us over the summer of 2021 (paid by Google) to work on one of our listed projects, or on an OONI project that you propose. :)
14:15:32 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Does anyone perhaps have any questions based on these updates, or something they would like to share?
14:18:11 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> This is a great opportunity! Is it geared primarily to developers?
14:18:36 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch yep! It needs to involve software development.
14:18:50 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> It's also primarily geared towards students.
14:19:14 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I knew I should study computers instead of plsci :)
14:19:17 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So if you know any student programmers who may be interested in this, please share this opportunity with them! :pray:
14:19:38 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Polisci is better ;)
14:20:31 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> I guess we can proceed with the 2nd topic of the agenda
14:20:37 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> #topic 2. Update regarding the future "test lists" intake platform if possible
14:20:50 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ Would the person who added the topic like to start the discussion? :)
14:22:01 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Yep - hi guys
14:22:19 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I'm Igor and I work on a project that aims to update Citizen Lab test lists
14:23:28 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> As you know the Lists were released to the community to update somewhere in the 2014. The problem with the updates is that GitHUb appears as a scarry platform to many non-tech people (like civil society activists) and they do not provide updates to the lists for that reason
14:24:16 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> The idea here is to set-up a user friendly intake platform that would enable all users to suggest updates to the lists and OONI is developing it
14:25:00 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Recently, OONI shared mock-ups of the new app and I share them wth some journalists for feedback
14:25:29 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> So, I was wondering how is the development of the intake platform going on and if you need any help?
14:25:45 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Thanks so much @ivalentovitch for raising this!
14:26:17 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> For a bit more context for everyone else, we're referring to the Citizen Lab test lists on Github: https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/tree/master/lists => The URLs from these test lists are used for OONI Probe testing
14:27:03 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> And the mock-ups that @ivalentovitch referred to for the new web platform (enabling contributions to these test lists, without a GitHub account) are available here: https://github.com/ooni/ooni.org/issues/787#issuecomment-779231391
14:27:40 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> If you have feedback on these mockups, we encourage you to share it with us either via email (contact@openobservatory.org), here on Slack, or via this ticket: https://github.com/ooni/ooni.org/issues/810
14:27:57 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @sarath_ms @hellais do you have updates to share on the URL submission platform? Or next steps?
14:30:19 <slacktopus> <hellais> We are planning to begin working on it within the next couple of two week sprints and our goal is to have the new intake platform shipped by the end of the summer.
14:30:44 <slacktopus> <hellais> Currently we are working on a new OONI accounts system to allow users to login to our web platforms, which is a requirement for having the test list intake platform
14:31:57 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> :+1:
14:32:05 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch but I think it's really important that we incorporate community feedback in the early stages of design and development of the platform, so any further feedback you and/or others may have would be greatly appreciated! :pray:
14:33:41 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Yes - I will be glad to help out with that. Just one question on this topic - when someone suggests corrections to given list, will a researcher review the suggestions or the process will be automated?
14:34:50 <slacktopus> <hellais> There will be some amount of validation that is done as part of the submission itself (ex. checking if the URLs are duplicate, they are properly formatted, etc.), but the suggestion will still have to go through a manual approval and review process as we have been doing it up until now.
14:35:20 <slacktopus> <hellais> The idea is that we will have some reviewer roles that have access to the backend and will be able to approve and/or reject community revisions to the testing lists
14:35:43 <slacktopus> <hellais> @ivalentovitch you will be one of said reviewers :)
14:36:11 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I'd love to :)
14:37:46 <slacktopus> <db1984> The idea anyway is that activists will use the service to manually enter an address when they feel it is being blocked, one by one, then reviewed, is that correct? And the site would be on GitHub but with a more user-friendly interface, correct?
14:39:19 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @db1984 yes, community members will be able to add websites for testing, re-categorize websites (if they have been wrongly categorized), and propose that certain websites are deleted (if, for example, the domain has expired). This will be done via a user-friendly web platform, and the contributions will end up as a GitHub pull request (without the user having to touch GitHub).
14:40:43 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> The idea is to enable more community members with a social science background to contribute to these test lists -- particularly since knowing the political environment of a country (and, therefore, which websites are more interesting to test) is important for updating these lists of websites.
14:41:50 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> BTW you can all learn about @ivalentovitch’s great project (on updating test lists) here: https://netalitica.com/2019/03/03/improving-test-lists-of-censored-online-content/ :)
14:42:34 <slacktopus> <db1984> @agrabeli Thanks! Of course, if you need a social science person just to have a third opinion, I can support!
14:42:35 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Thank you @agrabeli :)
14:43:03 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So I guess we can proceed to the 3rd agenda topic:
14:43:09 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> #topic 3. We know that OONI Probe tests a sample of the URLs included in given country list. If I run in paralel network tests on both Desktop and Mobile (mobile connected to wifi), will the apps sample the test list in the same way? Is there a way to make the probe go thorugh the entire test list instead of testing a random sample of URLs?
14:43:33 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ @db1984 did you add this topic? Is there anything you would like to add? :)
14:43:46 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I added this one as well
14:44:05 <slacktopus> <db1984> @agrabeli Yep! Not me this time :)
14:44:12 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Great, thank you @ivalentovitch! Anything you'd like to add? Or should I just reply straight away?
14:44:30 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> this is all I wanted to ask
14:45:00 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So regarding the 1st question: "If I run in parallel network tests on both Desktop and Mobile (mobile connected to wifi), will the apps sample the test list in the same way?"
14:45:30 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> The answer is no. It will test a random selection of websites (from the test lists) every time you tap "Run", regardless of the platform (mobile or desktop).
14:46:06 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Also with automated testing => It tests a random selection of websites every time it runs too.
14:46:34 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> yes, I understands that. I meant - will the sample be the same in size or the desktop will have a bigger sample?
14:47:12 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch based on the default settings currently, it will test as many websites as it can within *90 seconds* (on both mobile and desktop).
14:47:30 <slacktopus> <sarath_ms> However, in the desktop app, if you disable 'Limit Test Duration', it will fetch a very large list of websites to test and will run for a long time.
14:47:47 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ And the same applies to mobile too.
14:48:14 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch However, within 90 seconds, it can test a different number of websites each time, depending on your network speed/performance in that moment.
14:48:47 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Thank you! Maybe I shall share the logic behind the question: sometimes testers would like to see more URLs being tested and ask me why the probe did not test specific URLs they added to the list? I explain about the sampling process and direct them to OONI RUn for more user-control tests
14:49:41 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch great, so in this case, they can test *all* URLs from the global + country test lists by *disabling the "Limit test duration" option* in the settings (of the OONI Probe mobile + desktop apps).
14:50:00 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> By disabling the test duration, there is no limit, and so all websites from both test lists will get tested. :)
14:50:56 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> If they would like to test more websites (but not the full lists), they can alternatively extend the seconds of the "Test duration" in the settings. Currently, it says "Test duration = 90". If they want it to run for 5 minutes, they can change that to 300.
14:51:36 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> (and I think the above answers the 2nd part of the question in this topic)
14:52:02 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Great! Thank you - I will explain this better next time to them. In this regard, I have a suggestion - it will be of great value if OONI can make s brief animation explaining how the probe works and providing visuals about these little questions, which interestingly some curious testers identify and ask about
14:52:33 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch that's a great suggestion, thank you!
14:53:08 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> We'll be publishing user guides (which explain all of this) this week. :) But we'd also like to create screencasts (like short videos) on the use of OONI Probe as well.
14:54:06 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I noticed that non-tech testers are very curious - they do the test and they go to check the results. When they do not see what they expected - they start asking questions and if they do not find quick answers, they may feel discouraged to continue testing. THis is where the explanatory animation will come very handy
14:54:54 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch yes, you're absolutely right! I think this feedback could potentially also feed into UI improvements in the app (to better explain things directly inside the app).
14:55:21 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Yes, this would be best!
14:56:37 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> I think we can also improve upon how URLs from the test lists are prioritized for testing (in order to prioritize more relevant URLs, such as social media, and perhaps prioritize URLs that have recently been added).
14:57:52 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> I definitely would like to create some short videos on running OONI Probe, but I also think we should improve the communication of these parts in the apps themselves.
14:58:57 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ We actually explain this in the copy inside the Websites card of the app, but perhaps not too many people read it.
14:59:45 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Yes, maybe. Anyways, I this is a great idea! I think @hellais mentioned last time that the weight of some key categories (e.g. media/pol. criticism URLs) is increased in the sampling process
15:00:01 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch irrespective of test lists, you can also test the websites you care about directly through the "Choose websites" button, which is inside the Websites card of the app. :)
15:02:38 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Yep - this is a great feature. As I'm based in Canada, I do not get too many sites to test. But this feature is very helpful to testers in censorship hot spots. I just think some may not know about it.
15:04:06 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch yeah, we've been brainstorming on how to make the "Choose websites" button more obvious (while still being consistent with the design of the app and not over-cluttering the UI). We welcome any suggestions you or others may have! :)
15:05:01 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> I will ask testers for feedback :)
15:05:26 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> thank you! :pray:
15:05:39 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So as we're 7 minutes past time, I think we can end the meeting here
15:06:01 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> But if you have any further questions/feedback/comments you'd like to share, feel free to share them here on this channel anytime :)
15:06:21 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Thanks everyone <here> for joining us today! <3
15:06:30 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Hope you all have a great day/evening!
15:06:49 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> I'll be sharing details for the April 2021 community meeting here + on mailing lists, per usual.
15:06:51 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Thank you too guys! Talk to you soon :)
15:07:35 <slacktopus> <dalvarado.ipys> Thank you for let me join here!! I think it will useful too to explain which is the meaning of the tests results, for example when the test says “Failed” (?) is it because the url has something wrong? Is it because a connectivity error? Could it be for both reasons?
15:08:01 <slacktopus> <nanda> thanks, everyone have a nice time!
15:08:42 <slacktopus> <hellais> @dalvarado.ipys if you see the test as failed, it’s most likely an issue in communicating with the OONI backend servers. Have you been noticing this happening a lot?
15:08:58 <hellais> #endmeeting