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Re: [GSOC] ncat gui idea
From: Shinnok <admin () shinnok com>
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 20:52:10 +0300

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Hi Fyodor,

Thanks for writing your views on my proposals, they are valuable and
well regarded.

Embedded answers bellow for what I have to say in reply:

On 03/31/2011 04:44 AM, Fyodor wrote:
On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 01:45:33PM +0300, Shinnok wrote:

I would like to probe my idea for this GSOC iteration
for nmap against the nmap-dev list. What I am thinking
about is a GUI for Ncat,

That sounds like a clever and potentially valuable idea to me.  We
would seriously consider such an application.

written in native C++ code and Qt.

That part makes it a harder sell.  Nmap already ships with a GUI named
Zenmap which is written with Python and PyGTK.  Remember that
maintaining software is usually more work over the long term than the
initial work of writing it, and using a consistent set of software
infrastructure makes maintenance much easier.  It substantially eases
the cross-platform build process and also reduces the number of
software libraries and programming languages that maintainers must
Yes indeed, adding a new library dependency and the afferent support
along with the currently supported GTK makes it harder to adopt from the
current standpoint of the Nmap suite. I thought of this beforehand and
Toni hinted at that too. You, of all, know what's best for Nmap, of
course and I respect that and what's best for the project as a hole and
at the current time.

So I wouldn't rule out SoC funding for a Qt GUI for Ncat, but it would
be a very tough sell.  Of course you are welcome and encouraged to add
Ncat support to your NetcatGUI on your own.  The need to reduce
software dependencies only applies to packages we ship (e.g. with
Nmap).  But the main goal of SoC for us is to help students produce
code that can be integrated with Nmap and used by millions of people
after just a few months of development.
I am definitely going to continue work on NetcatGUI, though now I am
seriously considering basing on Ncat, now that I have a plan and
everything set up in mind and writing.

Remember that the hardest part of creating a great Ncat GUI is
designing an efficient, intuitive, well-organized, and powerful
interface.  Writing the code (whether in Qt or PyGTK) will likely take
a minority of the time.
I am aware of that. Seriously. Even though, I know I would have done a
great job, at the same time I do realize that it's kind of risky from
your shoes to test that on a GSoC slot and basic business and economics
guide toward refusing such a *risky* proposal. Damn game theory. :-)

Another reason that i am sending this e-mail is to probe the nmap's
team and community need for a new GUI for nmap.

Everyone prefers writing a new program from scratch, but (except when
there is a pressing need requiring a rewrite), we (Nmap project and
Nmap users) normally get the most value from spending the time
improving the existing code rather than trying to reinvent the wheel
from scratch.

Writing a new Nmap GUI would be fun and you're certainly welcome and
encouraged to do that on your own (including mailing test releases to
nmap-dev, etc.)  But we probably wouldn't sponsor such a thing for
SoC.  Again, we're mostly looking for code that stands a high chance
of being integrated into Nmap.  Now if you started an Nmap Qt GUI and
by next year it was competitive with Zenmap in terms of UI and
features, we'd consider a SoC project to enhance it.  But don't
underestimate how hard it would be to rewrite a GUI like Nmap.  We've
had numerous SoC students spend the summer just implementing specific
features for the existing Zenmap.
If i get around time, I will start working on a new UI in Qt for Nmap,
It sounds really tempting to me, to put in code and design, what I have
in mind as a frontend for Nmap. Though, as always, time drags and beats
you down to the ground reality. Will see. :D

I hope this mail doesn't sound discouraging!  I'm just trying to guide
you toward the ideas we're most likely to accept.  I'd encourage you
to apply for Nmap SoC in any case.
It's not discouraging in any way, I applied before reading this e-mail
and I think my offer will be hard to refuse without second thoughts. :)
I really appreciate the feedback and your views as the Nmap master
cheerleader. Open Source is not Tango, it is such a great havoc of a
dance, but you feel so great after performing it. Hehe.



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