Discreet Log #5: Improving Safety with Cwtch UI Tests

16 Apr 2021

In my last post, I discussed porting Cwtch’s user interface from Qt to Flutter (using our common Go backend).

This week, I’m going to give an introduction of our use of flutter testing tools to improve the quality and safety of the new Cwtch UI.

We will take a look at Flutter widget and integration tests, and how we are using them to test everything from our custom textfields to safety critical features like “does blocking actually work?”.

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Discreet Log #4: On Tapir, Rust, and notes for building future anonymous applications.

02 Apr 2021

Cwtch is still experimental software, and we have plenty of open questions about turning it into an application that meets our increasingly higher standards for anonymity, privacy and consent. It is no small feat and requires constantly evaluating our assumptions and previous expectations.

As we finally approach a Cwtch Beta, I want to take the opportunity to look back, with hindsight and fresh eyes, in order to understand where we go next.

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Discreet Log #3: A brief history of Open Privacy automated build systems, and our recent build system upgrade

19 Mar 2021

A Brief History of Open Privacy Automated Build Systems

I’ve had a few experiences with build systems over my career. After joining a small startup, I was horrified to find that their deployment ‘process’ for 6 micro-services, entailed devs logging into each of the two servers they initially had for production, and manually checking out the latest code, rebuilding it, and restarting it. I spent some of my early time there building an automated build system with Jenkins.

Later, I worked at a large tech company which had a pretty decent and robust system that had been developed in-house. Sadly, even in that company, operational excellence levels varied quite wildly from team to team. Some teams had full Continuous Integration (CI), which is a fully automated build pipeline deploying code that passes the tests to production automatically, which speaks highly of the team trusting their tests to catch any and all issues. Meanwhile, many other teams not only had manual approval steps in their build pipelines but many of those approvals were attached to very long documents of required manual testing steps.

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Discreet Log #2: Qwtch to Flwtch: Porting Cwtch's Go/Qt Frontend to Go/Flutter

05 Mar 2021

Welcome to Discreet Log! A fortnightly technical development blog to provide an in-depth look into the research, projects and tools that we work on at Open Privacy. For our second post Erinn Atwater documents the development of a new Flutter-based UI for Cwtch.

The Cwtch library provides a backend written in Go intended to provide support to a number of other apps we have planned that use Cwtch connections as a (metadata-minimizing, authenticated) transport layer. Sarah has been working on Tapir so the backend has an open path forward in Rust, but today we’re here to chat about the other side!

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Discreet Log #1: Anonymity, Bandwidth and Fuzzytags.

19 Feb 2021

Welcome to Discreet Log! A fortnightly technical development blog to provide an in-depth look into the research, projects and tools that we work on at Open Privacy. For our first post Sarah Jamie Lewis will take us through her investigations into some new research on “fuzzy message detection” schemes that might hold the key to bandwidth efficient metadata resistant offline messaging in Cwtch…

Anonymous messaging systems (and other privacy-preserving applications) often require a mechanism for one party to learn that another party has messaged them.

Many schemes rely on a bandwidth-intensive “download everything and attempt-decryption” approach. Others rely on a trusted 3rd party, or non-collusion assumptions, to provide a “private” service.

It would be awesome if we could get an untrusted, adversarial server to do some of that work for us without compromising metadata-resistance.

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What is Discreet Log?

Discreet Log is a fortnightly technical development blog to give a more in-depth look at the research, projects and tools that we work on at Open Privacy.

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