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Feature #7774

Rename the Unsafe Web Browser to express its supported usecase more clearly

Added by intrigeri over 5 years ago. Updated almost 5 years ago.

Status:
Confirmed
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category:
-
Target version:
-
Start date:
08/11/2014
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Feature Branch:
Type of work:
User interface design
Blueprint:
Starter:
Affected tool:
Unsafe Browser

Description

While doing user support, it's clear that many users misunderstand what the Unsafe Browser is for. I don't think it's particularly surprising:

  • the Unsafe Browser doc doesn't explicitly tell that it's only meant to connect to captive portals
  • the launcher's title is "Unsafe Web Browser", which might hint people that one can browse the web with it
  • the launcher's tooltip is "Browse the World Wide Web without anonymity", same problem as the title

I'm starting to think that we should simply rename the "Unsafe Web Browser" to something that clearly expresses what its only supported usecase is. E.g. "Log into a captive portal", or whatever.

This rationale changed quite a bit now that we decided to move LAN traffic to this same browser. Naming it something about captive portals only wouldn't work and we need a more generic name.

Still, it might be worth trying to improve on that.


Related issues

Related to Tails - Feature #7772: Document why Unsafe browser don't access the data of amnesia user Resolved 08/11/2014
Related to Tails - Feature #7976: Disable LAN access in Tor Browser Resolved 11/05/2014

History

#1 Updated by intrigeri over 5 years ago

  • Related to Feature #7772: Document why Unsafe browser don't access the data of amnesia user added

#2 Updated by sajolida over 5 years ago

Renaming it might reduce a bit the user support overhead, so why not.

But still, regardless of how this piece of software is called, people will continue using it as an unsafe browser if they can and want, be it "supported" use case or not.

If we really want Tails to stop having an Unsafe Browser (something that "browses"), then maybe it would be worth investigating if it is possible to actually limit the possibilities of that piece of software to log in into captive portals and not actually be able to browse anything useful.

#3 Updated by u over 5 years ago

I like sajolida's idea: maybe we could research if it is possible to make a first request to a captive portal without even having needing to use a browser?

#4 Updated by sajolida over 5 years ago

My idea was more about having a browser that would not be usable apart for logging to a captive portal.

I don't really know how this could be achieved. Maybe it could block itself or close down and restart automatically after five minutes, be limited to contact a limited number of IPs do a limited number of DNS requests, or TCP connections, blacklist most popular websites, be limited to having one tab, not displaying CSS.

I'm not convince that we will be able to find a simple solution that works for every single captive portal, but if we don't brainstorm about it we surely won't :)

#5 Updated by intrigeri over 5 years ago

Maybe it could block itself or close down and restart automatically after five minutes,

Can't work, some captive portals require you to keep a specific web page open.

be limited to contact a limited number of IPs do a limited number of DNS requests, or TCP connections, blacklist most popular websites, be limited to having one tab,

Could possibly work.

not displaying CSS.

Will break many captive portals, I guess.

I'm not convince that we will be able to find a simple solution that works for every single captive portal, but if we don't brainstorm about it we surely won't :)

:)

#6 Updated by sajolida about 5 years ago

  • Blocked by Feature #7976: Disable LAN access in Tor Browser added

#7 Updated by sajolida about 5 years ago

  • Subject changed from Rename the Unsafe Web Browser to express its supported usecase more clearly? to Rename the Unsafe Web Browser to express its supported usecase more clearly

#8 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

  • Blocked by deleted (Feature #7976: Disable LAN access in Tor Browser)

#9 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

  • Related to Feature #7976: Disable LAN access in Tor Browser added

#10 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

Actually, now that we decided to move LAN access to the Tor Browser, this ticket is not blocked by #7976 but should probably be done at the same time (or later).

#11 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#12 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

  • Type of work changed from Discuss to User interface design

The first thing to do would be to brainstorm on this and come up with a list of ideas, so marking this as "Uset interface design" as we don't have any type of work that works very well for generic terminology issues...

#13 Updated by intrigeri almost 5 years ago

  • Assignee set to sajolida

(First, thanks for triaging these tickets!)

sajolida wrote:

The first thing to do would be to brainstorm on this and come up with a list of ideas,

We've already brainstormed this, and the best idea we've found back then was "Non-anonymous Browser". I still like it.

If you're not satisfied with the brainstorming we've already had or its outcome, then please lead the discussion on -ux@ to find a better solution (hence assigning to you). Else, please turn this ticket into a "Code" one. Thanks!

#14 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

The original objective behind this ticket was to find a name that makes it more clear what this browser is for (wrt captive portals). But now we decided not to limit its use to captive portals but cover LAN access as well. So the original intent behind this discussion is quite outdated I think.

Regarding the notes from the November meeting, thanks from bringing them in, as this was obviously forgotten when writing them (probably by me). Still they say "maybe 'Non-anonymous Browser' if the two features are combined in one browser [...] but those names would have to be refined".

I'm now myself not convinced that "Non-anonymous Browser" is semantically very different from "Unsafe browser" (since "anonymous" = "safe" in the context of Tails browsers). While introducing a change and making it longer. So I'm not we should go this way. But I'll check that with others...

#15 Updated by intrigeri almost 5 years ago

Still they say "maybe 'Non-anonymous Browser' if the two features are combined in one browser [...] but those names would have to be refined".

OK. Maybe this discussion (on -ux@) can be merged with the one about where exactly we should move the LAN browsing functionality, that you said you would start too (#7976).

I'm now myself not convinced that "Non-anonymous Browser" is semantically very different from "Unsafe browser" (since "anonymous" = "safe" in the context of Tails browsers).

Reading his makes me feel the need to remind us that the safety Tails provides is not only about being anonymous: it also includes being amnesic (which the Unsafe Browser is actually more than the Tor Browser, since it's hard to move files out of its chroot to persistent storage). That's why I still prefer the "non-anonymous" wording that conveys more clearly (IMO) what's specific about this browser.

OTOH, of course I've been able to live with the "unsafe" wording too for years, and I can definitely go on living with it, especially since it implies less work. In any case, I don't mean to argue endlessly to make the "non-anonymous" wording prevail :)

But I'll check that with others...

Yay! \o/

#16 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

What you said about "unsafe" vs "amnesic" is definitely interesting.

From a quick brainstorming we had we didn't find anything that was obviously much better than what we have already. I'll still dump some idea here for the record:

  • Risky Browser
  • Dangerous Browser
  • Broadcast Browser
  • Public Browser
  • Regular Browser
  • Visible Browser
  • Be Careful Browser

#17 Updated by sajolida almost 5 years ago

  • Assignee deleted (sajolida)

#18 Updated by SpencerOne almost 5 years ago

Currently, we have the browser titled 'Unsafe Browser', but this doesn't explain why it is unsafe.

Then, we have the proposal for 'Non-anonymous Browser', which explains why the browser is unsafe, but this doesn't explain the limitations that require it to lose its anonymity, such as its use to gain access to Captive Portals and LAN connections.

'Limited Browser' might be appropriate given its [preferred] limited functionality. This is expanded upon by "Show[ing] a dialog asking the user for verification, while also briefly explaining that the [limited] browser [sessions] won't be anonymous, [and why]".

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