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Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 18:20:14 +0300
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: A couple of topics on the wiki for beginners

Hi Pete,

On Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 01:16:04PM +0000, P PO1434 wrote:
> As part of my exploration of JtR, I've learnt a fair bit about setting it up for debug in an IDE (NetBeans), and writing (in a ham-fisted way!!) new formats.
> I've tried to put some of what I've learnt on the openwall wiki for all to see/edit/contribute too, and am hoping this might be useful to someone.
> It's at:

Thank you for contributing this.

> Feel free to add/correct or even suggest new content.

I think that one of the required changes is moving this to a sub-page or
to a page outside of the tutorials section maybe - but we need to
decide on its name either way.  How about "internals",
"source-code-hacking", or "development"? - or make your suggestion.

Actually, I thought of creating a john/internals page or section myself
(outside of the tutorials section).  Clearly, if we keep adding content
to this page or section, it'd grow far beyond a beginner's tutorial.
In fact, this very topic is not exactly for beginners.  Maybe it makes
sense to keep some quick recipes under john/source-code-hacking and
in-depth stuff under john/internals/...  With this in mind, I think I
like the "source-code-hacking" name for the current content best.

As to the tutorials section, I think that it should contain simpler
stuff aimed at typical end-users.  I envision these tutorials as
step-by-step guides or examples for specific use cases - e.g., auditing
passwords on a Windows system (that's one tutorial), then auditing
passwords from various Unix-like systems and Windows on a Linux system
(that's another tutorial).  And I do mean step-by-step - e.g., start
with downloading JtR, compiling it (if applicable), downloading pwdump6
and running it on a Windows system with output to a file, scp'ing the
file, and so on...  More specific and greater detail than that found in
the official documentation for JtR.  Some overlap with the official
documentation (such as with doc/EXAMPLES) and between multiple tutorials
is no problem.

Then there's the usage-examples section, which I might have named
poorly (as the name could also imply what I wrote about above).  I meant
this section to be used for more advanced examples, not aimed at new
users.  It currently contains some references to john-users postings
that I think should be turned into wiki pages.  Maybe this section
should be renamed to "advanced-examples".  It is going to be difficult
to draw the line between new user tutorials and advanced examples, though.

Opinions, suggestions, and further contributions are welcome - and if
you (anyone reading this) have something to contribute, please go ahead
and do it in whatever way you can think of first - it is not that
important to place your content into the correct place on the wiki, we
can always move it to a new place later.

In fact, it is difficult to make correct decisions on what wiki sections
we need before we actually have the corresponding content contributed -
so maybe content should appear first, in arbitrary places on the wiki,
to be moved in place later.

Thanks again,


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