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Offline Stan

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Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« on: June 13, 2014, 01:42:13 AM »

It seems to me that we still may have one nagging barrier to entry for delegates:  technical know-how.

I've noticed a few wistful postings on the delegate billboards indicating an interest in being a delegate "if it's not too hard" or "too fiddley".

It seems to me that some of our best delegate candidates (those with the ability to grow the industry, advocate a vision, engender trust, and/or represent constituencies) may be shut out, intimidated, or just too busy to keep up with the technical side of things.

I wonder if there are many who feel that way?

I suppose one solution might be to partner with a geek and become a formidable winning Delegate together.

Is anyone else thinking along this line?  Other concerns or ideas?

Anything said on these forums does not constitute an intent to create a legal obligation or contract of any kind.   These are merely my opinions which I reserve the right to change at any time.

Offline donkeypong

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 02:31:30 AM »
I hereby "out" myself as being non-technical.

Offline bitmeat

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 02:53:11 AM »
I'll admit I have not joined the effort as a delegate. However I would be interested in joining with the intention of building tools that make it easier for non-technical folks.

Also I'm thinking about ability to do nice monitoring features too - e.g. "is my node alive and well?"

What I would suggest is for Bytemaster to setup a node in AWS (Amazon Web Services) and make an image that then is easy to configure for each delegate.

Then all a delegate needs to do is fire up an instance with that public image, and then configuration of a private key should be MUCH easier, than trying to compile the whole thing from scratch.

Just my 2 cents. That's how I would go about it.

Offline bytemaster

Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 03:02:54 AM »
I'll admit I have not joined the effort as a delegate. However I would be interested in joining with the intention of building tools that make it easier for non-technical folks.

Also I'm thinking about ability to do nice monitoring features too - e.g. "is my node alive and well?"

What I would suggest is for Bytemaster to setup a node in AWS (Amazon Web Services) and make an image that then is easy to configure for each delegate.

Then all a delegate needs to do is fire up an instance with that public image, and then configuration of a private key should be MUCH easier, than trying to compile the whole thing from scratch.

Just my 2 cents. That's how I would go about it.

I agree that is where things should go. 
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Offline gamey

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 03:15:35 AM »
I'll admit I have not joined the effort as a delegate. However I would be interested in joining with the intention of building tools that make it easier for non-technical folks.

Also I'm thinking about ability to do nice monitoring features too - e.g. "is my node alive and well?"

What I would suggest is for Bytemaster to setup a node in AWS (Amazon Web Services) and make an image that then is easy to configure for each delegate.

Then all a delegate needs to do is fire up an instance with that public image, and then configuration of a private key should be MUCH easier, than trying to compile the whole thing from scratch.

Just my 2 cents. That's how I would go about it.

If people stick with the recommended version of linux and Bitshares devs make sure it compiles out of the box (given instructions) then there really should not be much of an issue. I think people are more scared to try to learn a rudimentary set of command line commands over anything.

If Bitshares devs make migrating to new versions as easy as possible then it would likely remove the largest hindrance towards adoption.

A node app that monitors the delegate and displays stats etc might be useful, but learning the ~5 commands it takes to run the delegate isn't exactly difficult.

Copy/move/delete, the git commands.  cd..  What else is there ?

If anyone wants to offer up a bounty I'll install virtual box and screen capture software and make a walk through.

 AWS is an expensive option on their higher tier offerings.  If delegate server would fit in a micro-instance then perhaps AWS would be a good solution?  (considering price.)  Sometimes they have TOS against "mining" FYI...  but the upside is you can fire up an instance in data centers all around the globe.
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Offline toast

Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 03:22:47 AM »
Quote
Sometimes they have TOS against "mining" FYI

only when your miner runs 100% cpu continuously... our nodes hardly compare even to normal web servers they are hosting
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Offline metalallen

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 03:25:53 AM »
As a non-technical guy, I'm looking forward it.
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Offline bitmeat

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2014, 03:30:05 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong but a delegate's job is to sign messages. Nothing less, nothing more. A cell phone could do that. My point is a micro instance can totally do it, and it costs like what $15/mo? AWS instance would be much more likely to be always on, compared to my home internet, which goes out once in awhile.

Another reason I offer AWS is because it is extremely easy for someone to create an image, that then others can just fire up, may be edit a single file and reboot. This discussion is about bringing non-technical delegates on-board. Even if it is just 5 lines, it's never that simple, unless you use the exact same version for everything. Even then, sometimes you do an update and you get the wrong library linking mixed up, stuff doesn't compile. I'm advanced user so I can recover from these things, but it is very discouraging for the non-technical fellas.

Offline gamey

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 03:44:52 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong but a delegate's job is to sign messages. Nothing less, nothing more. A cell phone could do that. My point is a micro instance can totally do it, and it costs like what $15/mo? AWS instance would be much more likely to be always on, compared to my home internet, which goes out once in awhile.

Another reason I offer AWS is because it is extremely easy for someone to create an image, that then others can just fire up, may be edit a single file and reboot. This discussion is about bringing non-technical delegates on-board. Even if it is just 5 lines, it's never that simple, unless you use the exact same version for everything. Even then, sometimes you do an update and you get the wrong library linking mixed up, stuff doesn't compile. I'm advanced user so I can recover from these things, but it is very discouraging for the non-technical fellas.

I agree 100% with what you're saying except if you install ubuntu 14.04 LTS and go through the list it should work 100% of the time.

AWS has a lot of advantages, but there is a disadvantage to having a recommended provider.  It adds to centralization but at this point it doesn't really matter.  Someone still has to do all the private key work on each instance after it is fired up and then upkeep it.  That to me seems to be the hard part.  Not the initial setup.  Thats why I decided against messing with this stuff.  Too much time commitment going forward keeping on top of things.

If you could make a tool to migrate the private keys (other data?) to each newly updated AWS image I think that'd be great.  Perhaps automating the whole thing.  install.sh and update.sh ?
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Offline bobmaloney

Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2014, 03:56:57 AM »
Non-technical delegate, reporting.
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Offline Stan

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2014, 04:21:39 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong but a delegate's job is to sign messages. Nothing less, nothing more. A cell phone could do that. My point is a micro instance can totally do it, and it costs like what $15/mo? AWS instance would be much more likely to be always on, compared to my home internet, which goes out once in awhile.

Another reason I offer AWS is because it is extremely easy for someone to create an image, that then others can just fire up, may be edit a single file and reboot. This discussion is about bringing non-technical delegates on-board. Even if it is just 5 lines, it's never that simple, unless you use the exact same version for everything. Even then, sometimes you do an update and you get the wrong library linking mixed up, stuff doesn't compile. I'm advanced user so I can recover from these things, but it is very discouraging for the non-technical fellas.

Technically, a delegate's job is that simple, but we hope it will grow to be much more significant.  If we can make the job profitable enough, then it will get competitive and the way many will compete is to plow some of those profits back into the industry - doing things that will keep them elected.  Thus, much of the maintenance and promotion and further development work and strategic decision making could migrate into the hands of the delegates.

Decentralizing these decisions from individual developers and making it possible to cut the tether on the way to full autonomy.

Quote
Delegate positions will be far more significant roles than is yet foreseen in the minds of men.
https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=4821.msg62779#msg62779
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 04:38:11 AM by Stan »
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Offline bitcoinba

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 04:22:57 AM »
This is along the lines of what we are thinking here: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=4987.0

Offline Stan

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 04:31:16 AM »
I'll admit I have not joined the effort as a delegate. However I would be interested in joining with the intention of building tools that make it easier for non-technical folks.

Also I'm thinking about ability to do nice monitoring features too - e.g. "is my node alive and well?"

What I would suggest is for Bytemaster to setup a node in AWS (Amazon Web Services) and make an image that then is easy to configure for each delegate.

Then all a delegate needs to do is fire up an instance with that public image, and then configuration of a private key should be MUCH easier, than trying to compile the whole thing from scratch.

Just my 2 cents. That's how I would go about it.

I agree that is where things should go.

Thinking ahead, the ultimate solution should have intercontinental diversity.  It shouldn't be possible for someone to order AWS to shut down most of a DAC's delegates in one swell foop.
Anything said on these forums does not constitute an intent to create a legal obligation or contract of any kind.   These are merely my opinions which I reserve the right to change at any time.

Offline pgbit

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2014, 07:35:17 AM »
It seems to me that we still may have one nagging barrier to entry for delegates:  technical know-how.

I've noticed a few wistful postings on the delegate billboards indicating an interest in being a delegate "if it's not too hard" or "too fiddley".

It seems to me that some of our best delegate candidates (those with the ability to grow the industry, advocate a vision, engender trust, and/or represent constituencies) may be shut out, intimidated, or just too busy to keep up with the technical side of things.

I wonder if there are many who feel that way?

I suppose one solution might be to partner with a geek and become a formidable winning Delegate together.

Is anyone else thinking along this line?  Other concerns or ideas?
100 delegates seems a low number, and my gut feeling is that would be a good move to let more people have a chance of participating in the network in this way. I always assumed PoS to mean that everyone who wanted to would have a chance of participating / being rewarded for being in the network - but the PoS is currently limited to 100 delegates, right? (many of whom have spun up many VPS instances). I like the design with voting though, but limiting it to 100 seems top-heavy. Should the PoS not be a proportional system, with no upper limit on the number of delegates? This would have the effect of making it more distributed. I think more instructions are needed as a priority to make the process a little easier.

Offline Kenof

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Re: Non-Technical Delegates of the World Unite!
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2014, 08:12:45 AM »
100 delegates seems a low number, and my gut feeling is that would be a good move to let more people have a chance of participating in the network in this way. I always assumed PoS to mean that everyone who wanted to would have a chance of participating / being rewarded for being in the network - but the PoS is currently limited to 100 delegates, right? (many of whom have spun up many VPS instances). I like the design with voting though, but limiting it to 100 seems top-heavy. Should the PoS not be a proportional system, with no upper limit on the number of delegates? This would have the effect of making it more distributed. I think more instructions are needed as a priority to make the process a little easier.

+5%

I was thinking about this a lot and must say that I agree with you completely. Fixed number of delegates is constraining the network with no scalability.

Maybe set 100 delegates as minimum and with more then 10 000 (100^2) active users add 1 delegate per 100 users. Using this approach network will always have similar ratio of users and delegates thus becoming more decentralized with more active users.

Also if there is number of active users fluctuating between for example 10 095 and 10 102 number of delegates will constantly vary between 100 and 101. Solution to this problem could be using some kind of hysteresis. Number of 100 users could be used but this needs to be chosen wisely.
If number of users is more then 10 100 then 101 delegates are active and if less then 10 000 users are ative there are 100 delegates.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 08:28:52 AM by Kenof »
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