Late proposal (apologies...)

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Patrick Grave

Mar 30, 2020, 12:37:15 AM3/30/20
to BeagleBoard GSoC
Hey Beaglebone. I'm extremely sorry for this late message but I was caught up with a whole bunch of coronavirus measures at university. I was hoping to apply as a GSoc candidate this year and have drafted a proposal. My name is Patrick Grave and I'm an undergraduate studying in Melbourne, Australia.

I was hoping to implement a privacy/security-related project using the Beaglebone. Basically, I am aiming to write and extend the featureset of a piratebox-like system ( on Beaglebone. As piratebox is shutting down and beaglebone has the required features (compact and available off the shelf), I wanted to write something similar. The aim is to produce a portable 'hub' that implements file-sharing, instant messaging, and a modular design so its utility can be shifted for different users. i.e. It could function as a small media server or a collaborative working space given the right module. I think with increasing surveillance online, it is important to provide the privacy-concious with a method of using the web's essential features without using the web (we have become too reliant on always-online web apps). And I believe that this privacy-concious mentality alighns with Beaglebone's ethos. Please let me know if this project is something beaglebone could accommodate. I will submit the cross-compiling PR shortly. Many apologies for the situation, Patrick.

Further, any information on potential mentors would be great! Thanks again

(duplicate from IRC due to late notice. Apologies once again)

Jason Kridner

Mar 30, 2020, 3:37:47 PM3/30/20
to BeagleBoard GSoC
I didn't see your post on the IRC. 

The project Freedombone has several outstanding updates that might be suitable for you to contribute. Kinda late to throw a proposal into the system, but you can give it a shot. Please try to engage some potential mentors our there. It takes some work to encourage the help--that is, the bar is pretty high.

Here were some of the maintainer's suggestions:

On the RSS screen add a text entry box so that you can dump a list of
rss links, without needing to send one link at a time.

A lot of the translations are currently automatic. If anyone has
language skills then checking that the strings all make sense would be
very helpful.

Expanding the CI system to include tests that individual apps install
correctly. This would be really useful and probably wouldn't take much

Getting more recent SBCs working with the build system. This can be
fairly advanced so might not be a suitable task for people new to Linux.

pentesting to find vulnerabilities. Make a test install. Add a few apps.
Try to knock it down. Report the results.

Go through the STIG tests and for each try to ensure that if there is a
failure then the system makes a best effort to fix it by itself. This
already happens to some extent, but there are many tests.

Add support for Matrix bridges to IRC or XMPP. Would need some changes
to the app and some web interface changes.

Icons sets and themes. Currently there is only one set of icons for the
web interface, but potentially there could be different themes. If you
have artistic skills produce an alternative icon set.

If you make a blog post and publish it, and if you have Epicyon
installed, then automatically create an ActivityPub post linking to the
blog post. Sounds complicated but the implementation is probably fairly

Check accessibility for the web interface. Fonts, color contrast,
layout, use with shell based browsers and screen readers. I've
already done some of this, but someone with more experience of
accessibility issues could be helpful. Produce an accessibility
report for the web interface.

Fix the progress bar when installing from menuconfig on Armbian. This
doesn't work at all currently, but is probably easy to fix.

Make images for recent SBCs. You can use Armbian as a base. Test that
all STIG tests pass. Check that HRNGs are being used properly for each
board type.

Distributed backup. Make a proposal or produce an implementation for a
way to do distributed backups. This should require negligible
intervention or knowledge from the user. As close to fully automatic as
possible. I did have a way of doing this in the past, but it was too complex.

Add more community networks. Many cities in Germany now seem to have
Freifunk networks, and I don't think they're all supported in
Freedombone yet.

Are there ways to speed up the community network map updates without
using javascript? This is an unknown. Something to research.

Can the system be used with Pagekite? Pagekite apparently works in
China, but it's a system I have no experience with. If it can then add
something to the web interface to configure it.

Add support for I2P to the web interface. Show a QR code for I2P
addresses. There's already support for XMPP over I2P in the background,
but it hasn't been linked up to the web interface.

Make a howto set of instructions for setting up Freedombone with a
community Network. To do it at the lowest possible cost you could use
Orange Pi Zero, which has wifi. Recommend good antennas and procedures
for physical installation. Tools needed, time estimates, etc.
Someone with electrical/radio experience would be good for this.

Patrick Grave

Mar 31, 2020, 3:51:59 AM3/31/20
to BeagleBoard GSoC

Thanks Jason
I have taken a closer look at the ideas and I really like the Stepwise Mathematics suggestion.
I have refactored this and added some additional features to make a proposal here:

If anyone could take a look, I would be eternally grateful.

Apologies for the late notice once again!

Kind Regards,

Patrick Grave
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