#018 - Progress Update February

March 3, 2022 • Written by David


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

With "On/Off" switches now available, redesign the settings page and make it easy to switch between monitoring an app and configuring its settings.

Redesign Out For Everyone

Happy to say that redesign was completed in February and is now out for you to to enjoy and explore! More beautiful settings, application pages, and the biggest one:

Simple "On/Off" Toggles Replace Complexity

The biggest learning curve for new users has always been the Network Rating, where you configure settings not only for the moment, but also for future environment changes. With Portmaster version 0.8+ new users now get simple toggles switches per default.

This approach makes things much simpler for most people, hence they are the default for all new installs. We are super pumped these changes are out and feel this is a big changer for the whole Portmaster experience!

Read the full blog post to read about all the new changes

A lot of duplication happens in the HTML of our different web projects. Having already built the most common components into CSS component classes, such as `btn-primary`, implement them into the main website to remove duplication and clean up the HTML.

Website Is Completely New... Technically

Did you notice that the Website got a complete overhaul in February? Probably not, because everything still looks the same. But that was the goal.

For the developers out there, the HTML was completely redone in order to make future maintenance and page creations easier. A lot of hours were spent to find and tweak all the small details which needed re-adjusting; which is a natural effect with such a big structural change. So happy this is out of the door now.

Seth from the amazing Opt Out privacy podcast recently invited us to be part of Opt Out S02, where he chats with different privacy creators. Most definitely!

Episode Got Published

The episode got out on 13th of February - it was a super fun experience where Seth talked with Daniel and David about things like: How we got into privacy, Why we built the Portmaster, what it can do and what its drawbacks are. It is a great place to get to know us a bit better!

Tune into the Episode

In Progress

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

The current installation experience is sub-optimal. Prompt users to reboot their system after installation to mitigate issues.

Revisit our linux distribution, improve the PKGBUILD and add packaging for RPM and Arch. Also, submit Portmaster to AUR.

Work Can Continue After Stable Release

As mentioned last time progression within this task got halted since we had to wait for a dependency update. The 0.8 Portmaster release happened at the end of February so work can now continue.

With our recent months being focused on the SPN, invest more time into investigating Portmaster bugs and make the whole experience more straightforward and stable.

Lots of Small Fixes Here and There, But Hard to Write About It

There have been a lot of bug fixes in the last weeks - and these are spread across the board. In the UI, the main application or within installers.

So even though work is being invested into bug fixes, it is hard to properly communicate about all these small tweaks. Hence this card will not have a follow up next month. We will naturally continue to communicate about all bigger changes. Also, if you are interested in the small things happening, check out the activity on GitHub.

View Closed Issues on GitHub

Enable users to view connections across all applications. Make it easy to filter based on individual needs.

Evaluating How to Filter ALL Connections Across Your Device

We hear you - a lot of people report that they would like to troubleshoot or filter all connections instead of doing this per-app. If it were easy this would already be a feature, but there are some big technical challenges attached to this. Hundreds of connections are at play and we do not want to eat up all your memory.

Technical Specification Is Being Worked On

Nevertheless, we think this challenge is worth it - which is why our team is already working on evaluating different approaches in order to find the best solution. Also the design and user interaction has to be fleshed out. Work in progress.

Let SPN users select at which server they want to exit for certain apps. Also make it easy to exclude certain apps or websites from using the SPN.

Many New SPN Settings Are Out in Beta

A lot of SPN settings are coming up - and have already been released to the Beta Release Channel. These new rules are powerful: whether you want to exclude domains from the SPN, configure its routing algorithm or exclude countries from being an exit node, so many opened possibilities.

We Already Got Plans to Make Things Even Better

Even with these new settings out, we already thought of ways to make the configuration of them easier. I cannot tell much more at this point, but it will get even better!

Write blog posts comparing the Portmaster with different alternatives. What does the Portmaster do better? Where are others better? Be honest.

Paused A Bit During February

Even though "Portmaster vs Simplewall" has already gotten far and Pranav continues to work on the next post - the step for publishing did not get any progress since Daniel's resources were needed elsewhere. We shall see how this progresses in March.