#008 - Progress Update February

March 6, 2021 • Written by David


A list of work packages we've fully wrapped up this month. Expand any to find out more about its conclusion.

Make it easy to understand how we make money. Clarify all details on a dedicated sub-page, which should be accessible both from the About page and the footer.

A Big Pain Point Is Now Resolved

In the last years, time and time again, people got super confused about our business model. The blame is definitely on us, since we marketed free software while listing "Pricing" as one of the main entries in the top navbar. As a result we falsely communicated a paradox: Free but Not Free.

The first step to resolve this was to restructure our website, which happened in January: We focused on the Portmaster and hid most of the SPN, including the "Pricing" in the top navbar. Now the confusion was gone, but we did not cleary show how we make money. With our newest sub-page, this has now been resolved.

Look at Safing's Business Model Cycle

In Progress

Expand any work package to find out more about its progress, obstacles and sub-achievements.

After v0.1, focus on stabilizing the typical issues that arise with early software. Fix bugs, improve performance & stability.

Detect failures in the network and react accordingly.

Deliver to more and more pre-orders as the network matures.

Anomaly Detection Evaluation Complete

In February we evaluated different anomaly detection algorithms, one of them coming from the European Space Agency. We are happy to have completed the evaluation stage and have found that it makes most sense to implement this after the SPN has progressed more. As such, we are wrapping up this aspect and re-shifting our focus on advancing the SPN. Finishing this evaluation also allowed us to conclude our ESA Business Incubation.

Look at ESA-BIC and our other influences

From a design perspective, the new User Interface was simply the minimal viable product. Go through each page and element in order to bring it up to speed with the concept design.

Network Monitor Got Polished, Lots of Small Fixes

The new UI was a big step sure, but it is still off from the concept design. Luke is spending a good amount of time to tackle and polish each sub-design individually. This month Patrick fixed a lot of smaller UI bugs, and the network monitor got a face-lift from Luke. The new eye-candy is already live for you to enjoy.

Download the Portmaster

Since two vital requirements were completed, (1) re-shifting communication towards the Portmaster and (2) its documentation, now focus on spreading the word again. Define the next steps and keep everyone in the loop.

Main Chunk Snoozed to March

Though we had a lot of other stuff going on in February, we did not completely ignore this area. Some talks already happened which might bear fruit in the coming months. But in terms of creating a proper concept for the next steps, the main chunk of that will happen in March. Stay tuned.

Describe some basics such as (un)installation, operating system compatibility, troubleshooting, how to contribute, etc...

Deprecate the GitHub Wiki. Flesh out the scope and details as you go.

Contribution And Installation Guide Have Arrived

Our previous installation guide lived on GitHub, but we migrated it over to the docs since we rather want to host our docs independently. Along with the migration we finetuned the guide and also created a contribution guide which describes how to best support us at our current stage.

Settings Reference and DNS Configuration Incoming

We think the next big feature will be really cool. A Settings Reference where all of Portmaster's configuration options are listed and explained. Similar to something like Mozilla's description of the `about:config`. This is not live just yet, but might see the light of day in March. We shall see. Also, we want to migrate our guide on DNS Configuration over to the docs.

Check Out the Contribution Guide

Make it convenient for people to see which operating systems we support, which linux distros are compatible and which VPNs work or do not work. Make it easy for people to share their experiences with others.

First Batch Is Live, Second Is Around the Corner

The first release in this regard included a Status Page for mobile and guides on both Linux distribution and VPN compatibility. It is all rather rough and simple, but we are iterating from there.

The next iteration has actually progressed well too, streamlining different pages to all include compatibility tables and making it easy for you to report positivies as well as negatives on GitHub. We are hard at work to bring this out as soon as possible.

Discover the Documentation

Embed the documentation into our overall design by giving it a fresh new look.

Concept Is Done, Implementation Pending

Luke started off with conceptualizing how the design of the documentation should be updated. Naturally its design will be similar to the rest of the website to fit into the overall experience. With a rough version completed the next step is to implement the concept into HTML and CSS.

Check Out the Documentation

Enable you to pay for the SPN with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero

Review Round III Defined Next Steps

In February we spent plenty of time to thoroughly review this large module and left no stone unturned. Some refactors and improvements were implemented in the process while others are being developed as we speak.

A lot has has been achieved and we do see light at the end of the tunnel, still we will take the time it needs to deploy a robust system. Payments are important.