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jakub

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Alternative GUI for BitShares
« on: March 17, 2015, 12:13:38 PM »

We are NeuRa, an IT company based in Warsaw, Poland. We are happy to announce that we are in the process of creating an alternative GUI (Graphical User Interface) for BitShares. We would like to take this opportunity to receive your feedback regarding this concept. This feedback will be crucial for deciding our next steps.

Our main purpose was to create a fully functional, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing BitShares wallet, eventually suitable for mass adoption. We would like to offer it to the community, not as a competing product but rather as a complementary solution meant to enhance the adoption of BitShares.

At this stage it is not a completely finished product, but rather our take on wallet architecture in general, offering what we would hope are unique features.

Technical background
Whereas the official wallet is built in JavaScript ours is built in Java. In technical terms it is a JavaFX desktop application talking to the BitShares API using JSON encoding. It connects to the official BitShares client running in the background. This way our code is only responsible for the visual layer and all heavy-weight wallet processing is secure as it is performed in the background by the official BitShares client.
 
Source code
Once finished, our Java code will be fully released as open source.
 
Main features
1. An extended two-stage menu clearly divides the app into five distinct modules: Payments, Community, Exchange, System and Settings.
2. The main menu offers a detailed description of each section of every module, thus simplifying the learning process for first time users.
3. Main pages are accessible through the menu whereas pages displaying an item's details (e.g. account details or markets) are managed separately and can be minimized to the bottom bar and brought back to view with a single click. It works just like a task bar in a standard operating system.
4. We handle multitasking by allowing the user to have several pages open at the same time and easily switch between them. This includes the market pages and allows you to trade on two markets simultaneously.
5. The GUI features an overview showing a cross-section summary of all important information from all the modules.
6. The snapshot view gives you a list of all recently opened pages. This acts as an alternative way to navigate through the app.
7. Balances are displayed in two ways: by accounts and by assets. This way you can see how much money you have in total.
8. All user actions are guided through comprehensive wizards ending with a clear confirmation of what is about to happen.
9. The market pages offer big and scalable charts, showing both price history and market depth.
10. We've introduced the concept of delegate announcements and market news. As this feature is not supported by the blockchain, an external web service will be required to supply the data.
11. The app can handle internet links and display web content internally. This means that any announcement a delegate needs to make public can be easily integrated into the wallet.
12. Our layout is meant to be very mobile-friendly, ideally targeted for small laptops and tablets. Despite all the complexity everything fits into one screen without resorting to multiple pop-up windows. The layout is fully scalable and can fit both small and large screens.
13. The default colors can be changed by the user. It's all CSS-based so the app can easily have multiple color schemes.
14. All lists (e.g. accounts, assets, markets) have a search utility for easy browsing. The transaction list have additional search criteria.
15. There is a fully implemented back and forward navigation, just like in a web browser. Also, all relevant data inside the app is clickable, just like internet hyperlinks.
16. The transfer wizard offers multiple options, including a transfer to a public key and a transfer to an ad-hoc account name.
17. Drag-and-drop feature offers an easy way to make money transfers quickly.
18. The whole architecture is very modular with the modules being loosely coupled, meaning it is possible to take a small part of it (e.g. the market page) and launch it as a separate application and then develop it further (e.g. into a trading platform).

Features not implemented yet
1. Real data for delegate announcements and market news.
2. Introduction wizard and wallet creation for first-time users.
3. Preferences and wallet management features.
4. Language localization.
Obviously, whenever there are dummy lorem ipsum texts - these need to be replaced.
As of now, this app has not gone through the hands of a professional graphic designer and we realize that some graphical features will have to be improved.
Some of the icons and images have been grabbed from the internet, and for aesthetic and legal reasons will have to be replaced by custom made ones.

Branding
We intend to name our wallet "BitShares Hash" and clearly mark it by the "Powered by BitShares" logo.

Cross-platform support
As the code is written in Java, it is fully deployable on all mayor desktop environments: Windows, Mac and Linux. However, currently it will not work on tablets and other mobile devices - this may change in the future depending on the availability of Java Virtual Machine on these devices and the availability of BitShares light-weight client.
 
Screenshots
Available here:
http://neura.sx/bts/screens

Trying it out
We can offer a compiled jar file which can be deployed on a virtual machine. It would require a Windows 7 or 8 virtual machine with Java 8 installed and running the latest BitShares client (as our GUI sits on top of the BitShares client). For security reasons I would not recommend to try it on real wallet and outside a virtual machine before the source code is released. If there is interest to test it this way I would be happy to supply detailed instructions and the jar file.
 
Our background
More details about NeuRa can be found here:
http://neura.sx
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 12:36:36 PM by jakub »

Offline xeroc

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 12:30:48 PM »
Holy moly .. you already have some nicely looking screenshots .. +5%

Will it run under Linux and or android too? It looks as if it was optimized for touch screens ..
Give BitShares a try! Use the http://testnet.bitshares.eu provided by http://bitshares.eu powered by ChainSquad GmbH

jakub

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2015, 12:45:59 PM »
Holy moly .. you already have some nicely looking screenshots .. +5%
I'm not sure if the URL links are working for everyone. Please let me know if you have problems accessing the screen-shots. The URL should be http://neura.sx/bts/screens/index.html.
If it does not work for you please use this
http://213.165.69.41/bts/screens/

Will it run under Linux and or android too? It looks as if it was optimized for touch screens ..
It should run under any desktop (including Linux) but not Android as there is no Java VM for Android yet. This may change in the future, as the main reason is not technical but is due to a legal disagreement between Oracle and Google.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 12:51:38 PM by jakub »

Offline cass

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2015, 12:52:01 PM »
 +5% Wow nice!!!!


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Offline matt608

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 01:03:39 PM »
Nice!  The charts especially are a big improvement.

Offline Xeldal

Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 01:53:48 PM »
Outstanding!  very excited about this. +5%

jakub

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2015, 02:19:26 PM »
Thank you for your positive feedback so far. I'm really pleased that you like it.

I wonder what is the best way to offer the GUI for testing so you can see it in action.
Are you willing to set up a virtual machine on your computer and run the compiled jar there? (using virtual machine is for security reasons)
Or would you suggest other options?

Also, is there a test blockchain we could use? (so far all my test have been done in live environment using a test wallet with a small amount of bts but I do realize we need a testing process better than this)

Offline svk

Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2015, 02:22:47 PM »
Very interesting, +5% :)
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Offline robrigo

Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 02:31:28 PM »
Thank you for your positive feedback so far. I'm really pleased that you like it.

I wonder what is the best way to offer the GUI for testing so you can see it in action.
Are you willing to set up a virtual machine on your computer and run the compiled jar there? (using virtual machine is for security reasons)
Or would you suggest other options?

Also, is there a test blockchain we could use? (so far all my test have been done in live environment using a test wallet with a small amount of bts but I do realize we need a testing process better than this)
You could use DevShares, a separate network for testing. PM me if you need some test DVS with a public address or registered account.

Offline xeroc

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 02:36:59 PM »
Also, is there a test blockchain we could use? (so far all my test have been done in live environment using a test wallet with a small amount of bts but I do realize we need a testing process better than this)
Yes there is ..
it's called XTS and is the develop branch AFAIK:
https://github.com/BitShares/bitshares/tree/develop

There are also some publicly known private keys for XTS that carry funds so you can test but I can't find the URL atm :(

Please note, that there also is DevShares which is like an intermediate network in between XTS and BTS!

//edit: found it:
https://github.com/BitShares/bitshares/blob/develop/dev-test-keys.txt
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 02:39:21 PM by xeroc ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ »
Give BitShares a try! Use the http://testnet.bitshares.eu provided by http://bitshares.eu powered by ChainSquad GmbH

Offline sschechter

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2015, 02:47:13 PM »
 +5% +5% +5%
BTSX: sschechter
PTS: PvBUyPrDRkJLVXZfvWjdudRtQgv1Fcy5Qe

Offline yellowecho

Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2015, 03:38:45 PM »
Great initiative looks cool !  8)
696c6f766562726f776e696573

Offline robrigo

Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 03:48:22 PM »
Just a heads up- seeing a web server landing page when I try to visit your main website. DNS problem?

jakub

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Re: Alternative GUI for BitShares
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 04:26:44 PM »
Just a heads up- seeing a web server landing page when I try to visit your main website. DNS problem?
I'm sorry about this, there has to be a DNS problem outside my home country and it's hard for me to fix it as I'm no expert in this area. Everything works fine in my browser but you are not the first one to report problems accessing our URLs.

 

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