Re: [Tails-project] correctness of future Home and About pag…

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Author: sajolida
To: Public mailing list about the Tails project
Subject: Re: [Tails-project] correctness of future Home and About pages
>> * What I wrote is actually correct. Sometimes we have to find trade-offs
>> between simplicity or standard over technical correctness. For
>> example, we're switching from "almost any computer" to "any computer"
>> on purpose. Or that Tails might be not be theoretically safe from all
>> possible viruses ever, but in practice we want it to be. But you might
>> be able to catch important bugs in my writing and this week would be a
>> good time for that.


Thanks a lot for looking into this!

> Claiming that Tails works on "any computer" is indeed not technically
> correct, and I'm afraid that it might cause bad feelings for users who
> are not able to install Tails on the device they want to.

You're right and I agree with you that this is about setting
expectations. I'm wondering *where* is the best place to set these

It's practically impossible for most people to know in advance whether
Tails will work on their computer or not. They will have to try to know.
We might be able to better set expectations but we won't be able to save
them time and frustration in practice anyway (for most people, most of
the time). The current Home, while being more correct, is probably not
any better at preventing people's frustration regarding system

I don't think that making the 2nd second sentence of the Home heavier is
a solution. It's not the point in their journey where people wonder
whether Tails will work on their laptop. It's the point where they are
trying to figure out what is Tails and whether it's interesting.

One person at the IFF wondered about requirements (in this case,
regarding the USB stick) in the first section of About. So I added to it
what we already have in our system requirements:

« Tails takes 1.1 GB to download, ½ hour to install, any USB stick of 8
GB minimum, and works on most computers less than 10 years old. »

At a later stage, I will also probably add links to other parts of the
documentation from various places of About and could point to

An even better place to set these expectations might be /install,
/install/$os or even /install/$os-overview where we already have a list
of requirements. I created #17441 to track this.

What do you think?

I'm surprised we never discussed this earlier. Thanks for leading us to
this conclusion!

> Another statement that's not technically correct is "It's impossible to
> not encrypt". It is technically possible to store data unencrypted on
> the Tails device. But it's hard enough to achieve that I don't think it
> can realistically happen by accident. So I'm fine with this simplification.

This sentence was particularly hard for someone on Saturday, so I got
rid of it already. I'm now saying only:

« Everything in Persistence is encrypted automatically. »

Not so fancy but more correct and easier to read.

>> * What I wrote is something that we are fine displaying on our website,
>> in terms of public relationships, ethics, alignment with our mission
>> and values, etc.
> I don't see any problems regarding that.


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