Version 189 (modified by lunar, 5 years ago) (diff)

update next steps

Tor Weekly News would be a regular bulletin that covers what happens in the Tor community each week.

Goals: Make everyone aware of what's going on around Tor. Feel and fuel the collective energy. Spread the word about where help would be worthwhile.

Project status: on-going!

Next steps: review thirty-seventh issue, write thirty-eighth issue

Target audience

  • Developers
  • Relay operators
  • Enthusiasts
  • Power users


Editor: Final cut on what gets sent. Responsible for publishing the newsletter. Three rotating volunteers would be good.

Language reviewer: Help improve the english. At least one per newsletter.

Technical reviewer: Help improve technical soundness. At least one per newsletter.

Reporter: Report on interesting things. Can either write a full report or just dump a title and a pointer so others can look it up. There are many areas that need to be monitored to cover everything. Spread out to get the best coverage of Tor-related news. It's important to have enough backups so that people can get vacations.


Example of what can be read in TWN:

  • Posts on
  • Release announcements: Tor, TBB, Torbirdy, Tails, Whonix, tor-ramdisk, etc.
  • Call for testing
  • On-going project discussions on tor-talk@ or tor-dev@
  • Important code milestones
  • Meaningful blog posts by the community
  • Quotes

Out of scope: anything that does not comply with the trademark policy, projects that do not use Tor (except those supported by the Tor project itself, like OONI or MAT).

Inspired by Debian Weekly News (2006-03-21 edition as an example).

Ideally, the newsletter should be sent on Wednesday so it can appear in the development section of Linux Weekly News (released every Thursday). See 2012-06-12 as an example.


Creation: Each edition is assembled on a wiki page. A wiki with an email notification system would be nice so people can subscribe if they want to help with this week edition.

Release: Through the tor-news mailing list. Maybe through postings on

Internal communication: news-team mailing-list and #tor-project IRC channel on


A list of who is responsible for the newsletter each week should be filled out on a wiki page.

People are free to send worthy news item to the internal mailing-list, or adding a line on the week's wiki page if they don't feel like writing a news item.

The content is written along the week on the wiki page. Deadline for new items is usually on Tuesday 12:00 UTC if not specified otherwise on the week's page. The editor then mark the newsletter as “frozen” and sends a call for review. The editor for the following week starts the next week wiki page.

Reviews are done between freeze and publication.

Editors publish the letter around 24 hours after the freeze, usually on Wednesday 12:00 UTC unless specified otherwise on the week's page.


Freeze process

  1. Add numbers for references (you can use the numerize.rb script to help you).
  2. Credit every one who participated in the issue. Look up page history to figure it out.
  3. Update the status on the week's page. Do not forget to mention expected publication time.
  4. Send an email to the news-team mailing list calling for reviews. Don't forget the deadline.
  5. Create a new page for next week from the template. Don't forget to update the dates!
  6. Update the next steps on the main TWN page: mention that this week's edition needs review and link to the new issue.

Release process

  1. Credit reviewers if they are not yet listed.
  2. Do a final check to ensure that the reference are good. DO IT! Bad links are useless!
  3. Put unbreakable spaces where they belong (see below).
  4. Do a final word wrapping pass.
  5. Send one email addressing both tor-news and tor-talk.
  6. If you have access, moderate the post to tor-news.
  7. Adapt the text for the blog: transform in pseudo-HTML. Paragraphs are separated by a blank line and should be all in a single line. Use <h1> for titles, <a> for links, and <hr/> to separate the content from the footer. Add a link on the first “weekly news” to the tor-news mailing list page. Remove upcoming events (they are already on the blog).
  8. Login to the blog.
  9. Create a new blog post by clicking on the right side on Add a New Blog Post:
    • Title: enter the mail subject
    • Tags: tor weekly news
    • Body: put reformatted newsletter
    • Input format: Select Full HTML
    • Comment settings: Select Disabled.
    • Authoring information: Mangle the date so that it's 12:00 UTC.
    • Publishing options: Untick Published.
  10. Review the blog post. Make sure the links are correct and there is no extra line wraps.
  11. Click edit, tick Published in Publishing options.
  12. Notify phobos(?) so the issue gets a tweet from @torproject account.
  13. Remove the newsletter content from the week's page and add a link to the tor-news archive instead.
  14. Update the archive section of this very page to point to the message in the tor-news archive.
  15. Update the next steps on this very page to remove reference to the issue that has just been sent.

Note: Lunar and harmony can moderate messages on tor-news and publish on the blog.

Areas to watch

Communication channel and who is looking at them:

The previous list can be completed!

Writing tips

  • Start a new newsletter with the template.
  • Use to reference bug 9999.
  • Cite the URL when referring to a specific Tor mailing list message.
  • Cite emails, blogs, sites, etc. that are referenced in each news item.
  • Don't use the first person ("I", "We").
  • Write dates as Month date, year. Example: July 3rd, 2013.
  • Keep news item titles concise.
  • Only list the 4 next upcoming events.
  • Typographic nitpicks: only one space after periods, use proper unicode symbols (quotes “ ” / apostrophe ’ / ellipsis … / parenthesis style hyphens —), put a non-breaking space before a citation
  • Lines should not be longer than 72 characters (except URL) for the mail edition.
  • Headlines have matching numbers of dashes underneath.
  • Use oxford commas for lists.
  • 3 space indent for single digit citations.
  • 2 space indent for double digit citations.
  • 1 empty line between last citation and next news item headline.
  • 1 space between citation close bracket and URL.
  • No paragraph indents.
  • Date at the top is the current newsletter's release date.
  • Put non-breaking spaces before references in the parargaph (like "the Tor Browser Bundle<NBSP>[23]") and between the citation number and URL (like "[23]:<NBSP>https://...").
  • Do not use “here” as link test.
  • Capitalization of Tor:
    • The Tor Project, Inc.
    • the Tor project
    • the Tor network
    • the tor daemon but the main software package is Tor (which actually includes several programs, like tor, tor-resolve, etc.)
  • The Tails team wants (instead of want)

Technical tips

TODO: It would be great if a list could be made of vim/emacs/... commands or plugins (or any auxilary programs, for that matter) that configure the editor such that all contributors can automatically adhere to the above typographic conventions.

If you're comfortable with Vim, vimdiff is good for resolving edit conflicts.

If you're indoctrinated into Emacs, there is an untried trac-wiki editing script

If you wrap with Sublime Text 2, "rulers": [72] and then Wrap Paragraph at Ruler (Alt + Q).

If you use Thunderbird to send the newsletter, use the Toggle Word Wrap extension to disable automatic word wrapping and handle it yourself.


  • Lunar (editor, reporter)
  • moskvax (language and technical reviewer)
  • dope457 (editor, reporter)
  • whabib (language and technical reviewer)
  • luttigdev (language reviewer)
  • malaparte (reporter)
  • harmony (language reviewer, reporter)
  • kelley (contributor)
  • mttp (help desk reporter)
  • sandeep (reporter, reviewer, editor)

Please subscribe to the news-team mailing-list and add yourself! If you watch a particular area of the project, also add yourself to the "Areas to watch" list above.


  • July 3rd, 2013: mail, blog: Deterministic, independently reproduced builds of Tor Browser Bundle, Minor progress on datagram-based transport, obfsproxyssh, Crowdfunding for Tor exit relays and bridges, Tails 0.19 is out, new stable Tor Browser Bundles, Jenkins + Stem catching their first regression, First round of reports from GSoC projects
  • July 10th, 2013: mail, blog: First release candidate for Tor 0.2.4.x series, New vulnerability in Tor Browser Bundle 2.3.25-10?, The Tor Project is hiring a Lead Automation Engineer, outage, An experimental transparent Tor proxy for Windows, Theft of Tor relay private keys?, A new interface to explore the Tor network
  • July 17th, 2013: mail, blog: Last call for testing Tor 0.2.4 branch, Tor Hack Day, Munich, Germany, 13th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium, Hardware for high bandwidth relay, Blocking GFW probes on the firewall, Is it worth running a relay on a home broadband connection?, Using Mumble with Tor
  • July 24th, 2013: mail, blog: Summer Development Meeting 2013, Remote descriptor fetching in Stem, Orbot 12.0.1 call for beta testing
  • July 31st, 2013: mail, blog: Summer Developer Meeting Wrap-up, Comparing handshake protocols for Tor: Ace vs ntor, New Globe web application to explore the Tor network, Tor at OHM2013 - Netherlands
  • August 7th, 2013: mail, blog: Large hidden services provider compromised, attacks older TBB versions, Monthly status reports for July 2013
  • August 14th, 2013: mail, blog: New Tor Browser Bundle releases, Tails 0.20 has been released, New release candidate for the 0.2.4 tor branch, About Tor Browser usability, Tails 2013 summit, Three new proposals
  • August 21st, 2013: mail, blog: Future of pluggable transports integration, Extended ORPort land in tor 0.2.5, A new implementation for the web side of, Tor exit crowdfunding, A Flattr-like incentive for Tor relays?
  • August 28th, 2013: mail, blog: Orweb Security Advisory, “Why would anyone want a deterministic build process?”, Filters and the default Tor Browser search engine, Sudden rise in direct Tor users
  • September 4th, 2013: mail, blog: Serious network overload, Latest findings regarding traffic correlation attacks, A peek inside the Pirate Browser, Monthly status reports for August 2013
  • September 11th, 2013: mail, blog: tor is out, The future of Tor cryptography, Toward a better performance measurement tool
  • September 18th, 2013: mail, blog: Official response to QUICK ANT disclosure, Entry guards and linkability, The lifecycle of a new relay: further research needed, Food for thought, Tor help desk roundup
  • September 25th, 2013: mail, blog: Reimbursement of exit operators, Tails 0.20.1 is out, New Tor Browser Bundles released, Tor mini-hackathon at GNU 30th Anniversary Celebration, Clock skew: false alarm
  • October 2th, 2013: mail, blog: Tor Browser Bundle 3.0alpha4 released, Tor mini-hackathon at GNU 30th anniversary, Tor Stack Exchange page in private beta, liballium: Pluggable Transports utility library in C, Monthly status reports for September 2013
  • October 9th, 2013: mail, blog: New tranche of NSA/GCHQ Tor documents released, tor is out, How did Tor achieve reproducible builds?, Toward a new Tor Instant Messaging Bundle, More monthly status reports for September 2013
  • October 16th, 2013: mail, blog: Making hidden services more scalable and harder to locate, Detecting malicious exit nodes, Hiding location at the hardware level
  • October 23rd, 2013: mail, blog: Tor’s anonymity and guards parameters, Hidden Service research, Usability issues in existing OTR clients
  • October 30th, 2013: mail, blog: A few highlights from this year’s Google Summer of Code, Collecting data against network level adversaries
  • November 6th, 2013: mail, blog: Tails 0.21 is out, New Tor Browser Bundles based on Firefox 17.0.10esr, Monthly status reports for October 2013
  • November 13th, 2013: mail, blog: First beta release of Tor Browser Bundle 3.0, A critique of website traffic fingerprinting attacks, The “bananaphone” pluggable transport
  • Novemeber 20th, 2013: mail, blog: tor is out, USB Sticks for Tails, New version of, Current state of the proposals
  • November 27th, 2013: mail, blog: Round of updated Tor Browser Bundles, Tor is looking for a Browser Hacker and an Extension Developer!, “Safeplug”
  • December 4th, 2013: mail, blog: Next-Generation Hidden Services reach draft proposal state, Tor relay operators meeting at 30C3
  • December 11th, 2013: mail, blog: Introducing a new Lead Automation Engineer, Freedom of the Press Foundation launch a support campaign for Tor, More monthly status reports for November 2013
  • December 18th, 2013: mail, blog: Tor is out, Tor Browser Bundle 3.5rc1 is out, Tails 0.22 is out, awarded $250,000 grant
  • December 25th, 2013: mail, blog: The 3.x series of the Tor Browser Bundle is now stable, The Tor Project now accepts donation in Bitcoin, Tor is out, Tor events at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress
  • January 8th, 2014: mail, blog: Tor at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress, Tor website needs your help!, Monthly status reports for December 2013
  • January 15th, 2014: mail, blog: Orbot 13 is out, Who are the Tor Project’s website visitors?, Let’s save Tor Weather!, More monthly status reports for December 2013
  • January 22nd, 2014: mail, blog: Future of the geolocalization database used in Tor software, Key generation on headless and diskless relays, Exposing malicious exit relays
  • January 29th, 2014: mail, blog: Tor Browser Bundle 3.5.1 is released, New Tor denial of service attacks and defenses, Good times at Real World Crypto 2014, The media and some terminology
  • February 4th, 2014: mail, blog: News from the browser team front, Key revocation in next generation hidden services, Help needed to remove DNS leaks from Mumble, Monthly status reports for January 2014
  • February 12th, 2014: mail, blog: Tails 0.22.1 is out, Tor Browser Bundle 3.5.2 is released, Call to bridge operators to deploy ScrambleSuit, More status reports for January 2014
  • February 19th, 2014: mail, blog: Tor is out, Tor Browser is released, Help draft a proposal for partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, Only as good as your weakest transport?
  • February 26th, 2014: mail, blog: News from the 2014 Winter Developers’ Meeting in Reykjavík
  • March 5th, 2014: mail, blog: Tor is out, Tor in Google Summer of Code 2014, Two ways to help with Tails development, Monthly status reports for February 2014
  • March 12th, 2014: mail, blog: New release of tor-ramdisk, Tails launches a logo contest, More status reports for February 2014