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Re: [tor-talk] Better bridge management for clients

Nathaniel Suchy wrote:
I think Tor Browser would need to create a statistics database for the
bridges you provide it with and run tests over time and choose the
bridges which have been historically the most reliable.

You might be able to create something useful to the user much more simply just from keeping track of normal operation (w/o running extra tests). Perhaps after a bridge the software tried to use could not be reached a certain number of times over a certain number of days the user could be prompted with something like: "We were unable to contact such and such bridge the last 7 attempts over the last 3 days. Would you like to remove it from it from your list of bridges?"

This would reduce the complexity of both the software required and the information provided to a user who otherwise might feel overwhelmed with statistical data. Plus the software wouldn't take any action w/o the user's knowledge and consent. (If the user declines when first notified, the software could stop prompting him (so as not be annoying) but maintain a menu option where the user could see updated statistics (bridge unreachable n times in last m days) and where he could still delete the bridge from the list if he so chose.)


On 5/18/18 12:40 PM, Georg Koppen wrote:
When using bridges on a daily basis, how may I know which
work and which don't? (Say for example you added multiple
bridge lines and not simply one bridge)

It would be nice to add to the GUI some color coded buttons,
like "green" for "working bridge" and "red" for "bridge
is no longer usable" and the user is either given the option
to tick a box and remove the non functioning bridges with the
red color beside them or have them pruned automatically before
all is said and done. An option to save (overwrite) the user's saved
list of bridges with only working bridges would be nice.

In addition to this being a healthy way of managing bridges
for clients, it would prevent users from hammering away
at IPs where bridges are down, IPs may be dynamic, and some
poor fool obtaining an IP formerly used as a Tor Bridge and
wondering why he's seeing all of this incoming traffic!

Now there may be some internal way of Tor checking this
but it does no good to the Tor client user if he is reusing
the same set of bridges every day, with no apparent feedback
to which are good and which are no longer up.

I think I agree with the general idea and that it would be a benefit to
have some kind of differntiation between "bridge is working right now"
and "bridge is not working right now".

However, I wonder how we (say Tor Browser) should measure that safely
and make sure that it is actually the bridge that is down (maybe there
was just an upstream issue at that time). Or do you mean the latter does
not really matter to users anyway and as long as bridges are not
reachable for whatever reason they should be treated as down? Moreover,
once bridges are marked as down I am not convinced yet we should just
discard them. Bridges are scarce and it might be just a short time the
bridge was/is actually not reachable/down.

An other option could be to incorporate external measurement data but
that comes with the price of enhanced complexity making sure that all
users have up-to-date data about bridge reachability readily available.
And even that is error-prone because even though that external
measurement might indidicate a bridge is down/up that might not match
the experience an individual user has.

So, hrm,

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