[guardian-dev] Options for Signal circumvention

Robin Tarsiger rtt at dasyatidae.com
Wed Dec 28 03:23:44 EST 2016


On 27/12/16 15:58, Nathan of Guardian wrote:
> Google Play Services essentially works this way today, where you are
> prompted to install or upgrade based on if you have it or not. While
> there is no defined dependency specification, it is clear that Google
> considers this an acceptable user experience to require of the masses.

Nnnn... I'm not sure. Google considers it an acceptable user experience
for a central part of the OS which is in a very privileged place already
(see also all the complaints re AOSP that Play Services is basically
required as an OS component because everyone writes their code to it).
It's also usually a hard or near-hard dependency, so the path forward
requires zero bits of cognitive input. (Last I checked, at least.)

Orbot is certainly a nice case for things like optdepends, since it's
basically a specialized VPN which apps probably have deeper integration
with than just "send and receive packets".

But if "optional dependencies" as a generic mechanism ever actually
_catches on_ without rather more advanced support for guiding a user in
which parts they need, and having a good set of automatic stock
configurations for cognitive crunches, it can become more an Arch Linux
sort of thing pretty quick. (Especially if the optdepends are allowed to
chain!)

\RTT



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