Author Topic: Bytemaster and Mumble - A Proposed Solution  (Read 7734 times)

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Offline arhag

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What makes it difficult is that I envision a very large overhaul being needed, rather than quick and messy proposal vote system being slapped together without anonymity and without access to all voters due full client usability problems (which are improving but still have a fair distance to go).

Forget privacy, that is way too difficult to implement. I think a hacky solution (as ugly as it is) is the best way to go at the moment. We don't even need to hard fork the blockchain (although I would prefer to do so using a specifically designed proposal submission transaction). We can create an account whose wall is specifically meant for proposal submissions. The protocol could require the burn message to start with some keyword followed by a space and then a version number and then another space and then a digest of the proposal contents, and the burn amount would need to be positive and equal to some constant F amount of BTS that we define as part of the protocol. If a burn message meets these criteria it should be considered a proposal submission and the digest is the digest of the proposal content. We take all such burn messages in order of submission and number them sequentially starting from 1 (this is the proposal ID). The blockchain allows putting negative numbers in the delegate slate down to -2^31. I suggest that if a proposal has ID N, then if the negative number -(2*N) is included in the delegate slate it represents an upvote for proposal N and if the negative number -(2*N-1) is included in the delegate slate it represents a downvote for a proposal N (if both are included they cancel each other out and act as the default neutral vote which is equivalent to not including them in the delegate slate). This allows for 2^30 proposals (or roughly a billion). That should be more than enough for the time period that we use this hacky solution.

Everything else can be interpreted from the blockchain by the client. The delegates do not need to upgrade and no hard fork is necessary. You could even use a separate client to analyze the blockchain and tally the up and down votes for each proposal. However, the normal client would need to be modified for a user to be able to up or down vote a particular proposal. I would suggest providing a set of up to 111 unique negative numbers to the wallet (which is stored in the wallet database). Every time BTS is moved or update votes is pressed, the wallet should automatically add these numbers to the delegate slate of a BTS balance and the remaining slots of the slate are used to vote for delegates as usual. The user should be able to make changes to these set of negative numbers through the CLI but it should also ideally be possible to make the changes in a more natural way: something like proposal_update_vote <digest|ID> <up|down|neutral> which would use the indexed proposal database to automatically figure out how to do the correct thing; it should also be possible to visualize the current set of negative numbers in sensible format using a command like proposal_list_votes. However, in the worst case an outside script could use the CLI commands to update the set of negative numbers directly and provide this nice interface by tapping into the indexed proposal database created not by the main BitShares client but a separate outside utility that scans the chain folder (I prefer the in-client solution).

Although the UI described above is all CLI and I don't really expect GUI support in the client initially, it would be great if bitsharesblocks.com could visualize the tally for the submitted proposals so that people could easily view them from their web browser. It would also be really cool if bitsharesblocks.com stored the actual contents of the proposal and displayed it to users. Anyone could submit the content because the website would take the digest of the content and compare it to the digest of the proposal on the blockchain and only accept the content submission if the digests matched. If a sensible size limit was provided for the proposal contents and the value of the fee F chosen was reasonable, there would be no spam/abuse issues. Of course one could also just host the proposal content anywhere (say a post on this forum). Users could copy and paste the contents to the proposal page on bitsharesblocks.com and the web page would locally compute the digest and check if it is valid by comparing it to the actual digest of the proposal as determined from the blockchain.

So is this minimal developer effort worth it? Personally, I think we need better cold storage and restricted_owner support first. And not just blockchain and CLI support but GUI support and usable UX. Otherwise, I worry that voter apathy is just going to remain bad and the proposals will be of limited value. But after that I definitely think it is worth it to have at least this basic feature set so that we can actually give a fair voice to the shareholders. The good news is that it doesn't require any additional hard fork changes and so doesn't require consensus from all the delegates. Also a lot of the code (tallying the blockchain and visualizing the tally) could be done without any core dev support. But I think it is important to have an official wallet feature (even if only CLI) that allows the user at a minimum to specify some number of negative ints to vote for in BTS balances before using the rest of the delegate slate to do the traditional delegate voting. I wonder if pc would be interested in enabling such a functionality that could be merged into the official wallet (like he did with computing the balances of an account at an arbitrary point in time)? His delegate isn't in yet, if he is interested in enabling this then maybe shareholders interested in this idea could then vote him in as a way of showing support for this proposal (I think they should vote him even if he doesn't want to do it too). Anyway, if he doesn't want to do it I'll see if I can find the time to get something working, but it might take a while before I have enough free time to work on this (plus I don't want to waste my time on it if the community won't find it desirable).
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 04:43:14 am by arhag »

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So basically you propose BM continue doing the Mumble hangouts but from now on they wouldn't be recorded? But then people that miss the chats will come on the forum and ask what was said and things will be misquoted leading to more confusion plus what's really stopping anyone from recording if they wanted to? Not a good idea in my opinion.

I prefer BMs idea to just do the BitSharesTV stuff to be honest.

 +5% Yes - this. The Mumble sessions should be recorded - I don't have a problem listening to them after the fact and deciphering context. If I don't understand something, I replay that part until I do.

I think using Bitshares.TV for announcements or discussion from Dan (or a PR representative) is a great idea.

Offline fuzzy

It's a matter of resource management while in the early stages.  Which would you rather have, a stable client or proposal voting?
Both would be nice but as it stands we have neither.

I understand the limited resources issue. The problem at hand however is management decisions and how they're made. Proposal voting is a mechanism that could solve that, IF leadership offers proposals to provide shareholder input / review / decisions. So even if we did have proposal voting it wouldn't do any good if management chooses not to use it and go in whatever direction they will.

This seems like a management culture issue.

I'm all for letting the inner circle of devs set policy & plot a course into the future, so long as those decisions are wise for all shareholders & the ecosytem, it's even OK if they make a few mistakes along the way. That's been my perspective all along, but  I'm beginning to question the wisdom of continuing to let them do so when experience is showing a pattern of poor decisions. At what point do shareholders say, enough? Is that the very trigger that got us here, some whale said enough? Fine, but to compound whatever problem upset the whale there's a knee jerk reaction to cut off ALL communication? Two wrongs don't make a right.

The team has demonstrated clear and innovative thinking in the technical realm, as well as the business realm at the high level. But leadership is sorely lacking in marketing skills and analysis of market impact released information can have. This isn't the first time this issue has arisen and unless measures are put in place to address this core issue it is bound to happen again. It disrupts the culture, which isn't always a bad thing but in this case will dramatically affect it to be less transparent and more centralized.

I think Dan & Stan should think about choosing a trusted set of community members to serve as a vetting committee or review board for potentially volatile decisions that could negatively impact the market. Information to be disclosed to the public should be numerically ranked in terms of market impact. IMO it would be wise to select these members from the pool of 101 delegates. How many to choose? As long as there are at least 3 it would be a dramatic improvement over the zero we have now. Should those committee members be made public? I can see pros & cons for anonymity as well as public accountability.

I am just frustrated by seeing this problem repeat itself.

Quote
What we should be aiming for is the success of the project, that is BitShares BTS, for the sake of bringing financial freedom to the world and enriching those who believe in it enough to invest in it.  Handing over full power to the shareholders with proposal voting may be a beautiful principle, and inevitable, but it's worthless if it doesn't result in success of the project and could even be harmful if done in a rush or with the sacrifice of other vital features.

I agree with this, as I believe most here do.

Quote
I'm always open to rational argument and could change my mind.  Cube's argument of investors 'voting with their legs' if this feature isn't implemented is compelling.
 

Let's hope we can keep that from occurring! How this issue is dealt with may very well put anchors or wings on people's feet.

Stan and Dan are open to having a review board like the one you mentioned.  Stan actually asked me in a pm if I could help set it up. ..
But .
That is one hell of a position to be in.  I mean yeh. ..I care a GREAT DEAL about our community,  but I am not as wise as all of us are,  together.
These small committees also make it far easier for the loyalties of a few to be bought and paid for. If that is what the community wants,  I'd consider it. ..but id do so with a great deal of trepidation.
There is a reason why we have a separation of powers built into our systems of governance.

And I think even that should be for short periods of time and only in times of emergency...which I personally don't think this is.


I'll tell u what though...crypto is doing a good job trying to figure it all out.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 01:47:43 am by fuzzy »
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Offline Thom

It's a matter of resource management while in the early stages.  Which would you rather have, a stable client or proposal voting?
Both would be nice but as it stands we have neither.

I understand the limited resources issue. The problem at hand however is management decisions and how they're made. Proposal voting is a mechanism that could solve that, IF leadership offers proposals to provide shareholder input / review / decisions. So even if we did have proposal voting it wouldn't do any good if management chooses not to use it and go in whatever direction they will.

This seems like a management culture issue.

I'm all for letting the inner circle of devs set policy & plot a course into the future, so long as those decisions are wise for all shareholders & the ecosytem, it's even OK if they make a few mistakes along the way. That's been my perspective all along, but  I'm beginning to question the wisdom of continuing to let them do so when experience is showing a pattern of poor decisions. At what point do shareholders say, enough? Is that the very trigger that got us here, some whale said enough? Fine, but to compound whatever problem upset the whale there's a knee jerk reaction to cut off ALL communication? Two wrongs don't make a right.

The team has demonstrated clear and innovative thinking in the technical realm, as well as the business realm at the high level. But leadership is sorely lacking in marketing skills and analysis of market impact released information can have. This isn't the first time this issue has arisen and unless measures are put in place to address this core issue it is bound to happen again. It disrupts the culture, which isn't always a bad thing but in this case will dramatically affect it to be less transparent and more centralized.

I think Dan & Stan should think about choosing a trusted set of community members to serve as a vetting committee or review board for potentially volatile decisions that could negatively impact the market. Information to be disclosed to the public should be numerically ranked in terms of market impact. IMO it would be wise to select these members from the pool of 101 delegates. How many to choose? As long as there are at least 3 it would be a dramatic improvement over the zero we have now. Should those committee members be made public? I can see pros & cons for anonymity as well as public accountability.

I am just frustrated by seeing this problem repeat itself.

Quote
What we should be aiming for is the success of the project, that is BitShares BTS, for the sake of bringing financial freedom to the world and enriching those who believe in it enough to invest in it.  Handing over full power to the shareholders with proposal voting may be a beautiful principle, and inevitable, but it's worthless if it doesn't result in success of the project and could even be harmful if done in a rush or with the sacrifice of other vital features.

I agree with this, as I believe most here do.

Quote
I'm always open to rational argument and could change my mind.  Cube's argument of investors 'voting with their legs' if this feature isn't implemented is compelling.
 

Let's hope we can keep that from occurring! How this issue is dealt with may very well put anchors or wings on people's feet.
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Offline carpet ride

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I somewhat agree it's a good idea to change the title from beyond Bitcoin to beyond BitShares and change to the letstalkbitcoin format


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Offline matt608

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The solution is not about limiting ideas or the channel where the ideas flow.  There are great values in transparency and the free-flow of ideas.  Rather it should be how the ideas are to be taken up by the sharesholders.  We need a way for the sharesholders to VOTE on those ideas.  If the shareholders VOTE for the ideas, they will have no reason to panic or sell bts as a way to 'vote with their legs'. 

- Client voting proposals so we hear from the larger holders, not just those that have time to hang out around the forums.

Fuzz, you may be right this ability is another year out, but IMO it's a year overdue. If the whole point of this DPoS ecosystem is to empower the shareholders this should have been a high priority to implement early. The fact it's still not considered important is clear testimony to how comfortable "the leaders" are with being in control. For all the "talk" about principles and giving people a voice thru "honest voting" why is it we don't have this extremely important functionality for our very own community?


It's a matter of resource management while in the early stages.  Which would you rather have, a stable client or proposal voting?   An unuseable product would render us voting over how to best use a pile of ashes.  What is it that people want to vote on anyway?  I've not seen any proposals considered urgent other than the proposal to be able to vote on proposals, which I agree is needed in the future.  It will be vital for the governance of the DAC.  But people seem to want to have a say just for the sake of having say, without actually having anything to say.  If you can tell me which development branch you would axe in order to develop proposal voting I am all ears. 

What we should be aiming for is the success of the project, that is BitShares BTS, for the sake of bringing financial freedom to the world and enriching those who believe in it enough to invest in it.  Handing over full power to the shareholders with proposal voting may be a beautiful principle, and inevitable, but it's worthless if it doesn't result in success of the project and could even be harmful if done in a rush or with the sacrifice of other vital features.

Having said all this I am not a developer and don't know if implementing proposal voting in a useable way is even very difficult.  Toast demonstrated it can already be done in a primitive way by starting up 0% delegates.  However, the full client is still very slow for many people so you can't have a representative proposal vote anyway without increased client usability, backing up my argument that basic functionality must continue to be improved first.

If a dev wanted to step in now and say 'actually, we can get it done to a reasonable standard in a week', then that is great.  But these things have a way of taking far longer than anyone estimates, and we know it will take months for the full client to be very stable and useable for everyone.  We cannot afford delays.  Also proposals ideally need to be voted on anonymously as some may be controversial and I know that is a not an easy feature to develop.  We can still vote for delegates to get paid via dilution.  That's a pretty big innovation right there, let's not forget the power we have already been given.

I'm always open to rational argument and could change my mind.  Cube's argument of investors 'voting with their legs' if this feature isn't implemented is compelling.  What makes it difficult is that I envision a very large overhaul being needed, rather than quick and messy proposal vote system being slapped together without anonymity and without access to all voters due full client usability problems (which are improving but still have a fair distance to go).  This makes me think more time is needed before this becomes top priority. 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 09:28:37 pm by matt608 »

Offline Thom

The solution is not about limiting ideas or the channel where the ideas flow.  There are great values in transparency and the free-flow of ideas.  Rather it should be how the ideas are to be taken up by the sharesholders.  We need a way for the sharesholders to VOTE on those ideas.  If the shareholders VOTE for the ideas, they will have no reason to panic or sell bts as a way to 'vote with their legs'. 

- Client voting proposals so we hear from the larger holders, not just those that have time to hang out around the forums.

Fuzz, you may be right this ability is another year out, but IMO it's a year overdue. If the whole point of this DPoS ecosystem is to empower the shareholders this should have been a high priority to implement early. The fact it's still not considered important is clear testimony to how comfortable "the leaders" are with being in control. For all the "talk" about principles and giving people a voice thru "honest voting" why is it we don't have this extremely important functionality for our very own community?

And I don't recall who broached the subject (I believe it was JoeyD), but we're all speculating about what occurred to trigger this muzzling event in the first place. We're all just hacking away at branches rather than getting to the root of the issue, the trigger event that put us all here.

The more I think about it the more I think I'll join JoeyD in the time out zone!  >:(
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 08:45:56 pm by Thom »
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Offline fuzzy

It sucks that I currently just can't find the time to join you guys in the mumble .. even though it's 4 pm local time :(

I'm considering moving them to Saturdays/Sundays anyway.  Maybe that would help.


@joeyd  we are not stopping the hangouts no matter what.  If that means it is just yourself and the 80+people who openly voted to keep the hangouts as is,  just speculating on the decisions of the overlords,  then that is what it will be.  Of course,  Bitshares was made to be forked too...so keep in mind if this DAC becomes 2.0 version of apple,  we can always build a strong community with cool clones.   

DPOS is political. There will always be a demand for an inclusive community with devs who connect with them.  :)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 08:35:42 pm by fuzzy »
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Offline JoeyD

Disclaimer- Sorry if I sound a bit miffed, but that's because I am.

During the meet and greet I suggested a single one time (unrecorded if absolutely required) conversation with Dan and or Stan Larimer and a few community members to get to the bottom of this new decision to no longer communicate with the community and from now on only dictate. This was an off the cuff remark in the hopes of getting to know the actual argumentation  instead of us having to speculate and trying come to some sort of community consensus on solutions to these speculations.

Hey Joey, I wasn't trying to imply that this was your suggestion. I did my best to make it clear in the OP that I just wanted to explore this idea a bit further and get everyone's opinions.

Truthfully, I was not fully convinced myself of the validity of this approach myself, but nevertheless, I thought it prudent to continue the dialogue for purposes of gaining clarity about the issue from the community. I tried to present the strongest arguments I could as to its merits, and to offer them up as a prospective solution. If we can use this forum to clarify where we all stand on divisive issues such as this one, it will be easier to understand how and where to apply our efforts at addressing any real or perceived elephants in the room.

Ok, thanks for the clarification.

I'm finding myself getting angrier every passing minute about the idea of not being allowed open discussion anymore, what the flying capital f followed by a towering exclamation mark. Are you trying to commit suicide here? Are there actually people or investors (note the excluding differentiation there) out there who honestly think that creating the bitshares groupie DAC is a good idea? If this is the influence of some whales, let them speak up and make themselves clear, because I was under the impression this was a community effort.

Btw I challenge anybody throwing out the Ethereum marketing as a good thing to defend that with actual arguments, because I've been unable to have any meaningful discussion about ethereum anywhere on the internet and their forums are a joke, how in hell can you find anything there. Ethereum marketing to me looks like letting fanboys dream and not hindering anybody with some common sense. I'm not in favor of bullshitting people like that at all and find it a very very dangerous development in our attempts in providing new improved transparent solutions.

I find the shooting in the foot analogy far to weak, these new developments are more like shooting yourself in the temple or throwing ourselves off of a cliff.

Maybe I should talk with people on mumble to vent some steam, because this thing is really really pissing me off.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 06:57:15 pm by JoeyD »

Offline xeroc

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It sucks that I currently just can't find the time to join you guys in the mumble .. even though it's 4 pm local time :(

Offline CryptoPrometheus

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Disclaimer- Sorry if I sound a bit miffed, but that's because I am.

During the meet and greet I suggested a single one time (unrecorded if absolutely required) conversation with Dan and or Stan Larimer and a few community members to get to the bottom of this new decision to no longer communicate with the community and from now on only dictate. This was an off the cuff remark in the hopes of getting to know the actual argumentation  instead of us having to speculate and trying come to some sort of community consensus on solutions to these speculations.

Hey Joey, I wasn't trying to imply that this was your suggestion. I did my best to make it clear in the OP that I just wanted to explore this idea a bit further and get everyone's opinions.

Truthfully, I was not fully convinced of the validity of this approach myself, but nevertheless, I thought it prudent to continue the dialogue for purposes of gaining clarity about the issue from the community. I tried to present the strongest arguments I could as to its merits, and to offer them up as a prospective solution. If we can use this forum to clarify where we all stand on divisive issues such as this one, it will be easier to understand how and where to apply our efforts at addressing any real or perceived elephants in the room.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 07:11:57 pm by crypto_prometheus »
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Offline JoeyD

Disclaimer- Sorry if I sound a bit miffed, but that's because I am.

During the meet and greet I suggested a single one time (unrecorded if absolutely required) conversation with Dan and or Stan Larimer and a few community members to get to the bottom of this new decision to no longer communicate with the community and from now on only dictate. This was an off the cuff remark in the hopes of getting to know the actual argumentation  instead of us having to speculate and trying come to some sort of community consensus on solutions to these speculations.

I do agree with the statements made earlier that either the mumble hangouts are recorded or not done at all. Maybe the format or frequency can be altered, but not recording or performing a pre-scripted staged play are both not an option for me.

I don't understand what the point is of a letstalkbitcoin setup, that's the same thing as bitshares.tv. With all due respect (and I do enjoy the bitshares.tv episodes that I've seen) that would be just another non-interactive dictating format where you have to trust interviewers and editors and offers no way for community members to react in real time if at all.

Btw, for anyone without the time to attend these "hangouts" just imagine the time required to actually create something close to what's proposed for setting up such a "show". Anyone who wants it should probably go for it themselves, because I can't think of anyone with the free time to do it.

Maybe the problem is in the name beyondbitcoinshow, while the mumble voicechat is more like irc, but with voice. It's just that occasionally the bitshares main-developer shows up at predetermined intervals and community members have a chance to interact and make absolutely sure that their concerns are actually being heard and not buried in the massive shitstorms on the forums or comment-sections. Actually I think comment sections and forums incite shitstorms because of that reason alone, people have no way to make sure that their message came across and in their self enforcing anxiety make things worse. With voice in realtime this is a lot harder, because for one it would be noisy, but when you do manage to get your statement or question in, you are at the very least certain that your message came across.

Offline davidpbrown

..the various PR blunders that we have experienced in the past year
..
My proposal to bytemaster and to this community is that he consider continuing to hold mumble sessions with us, but that we do not record them.

I haven't time atm to catch up with this but it seems a change for the worse.

Talk of PR blunders .. meh .. I've seen none that matter more than providing raw insight that maintains support. Not recording mumble sessions is just a way to frustrate a good insight into what really is going on. Who in their right mind relies on PR!?.. My experience is that marketing tends to be full of flunkies, who will say and do whatever is in their interests and usually that maps to the shortterm. Obviously not necessarily true of all and some will have good intentions but the reality of normalising all messages, does that.

My advice would be, if you want to action strict PR, do it at v1.0 - careful craft and action the marketing from there on in. Doing it now, neutralises what will attract devs and early investors. Bare in mind that devs and shortterm investors love to big up the reality but we are early on and there a way to go yet.

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Offline fuzzy


My proposal to bytemaster and to this community is that he consider continuing to hold mumble sessions with us, but that we do not record them. I do not believe that this would betray our principals, because anyone is still welcome to join and participate. What it does provide is an opportunity for all of us to continue the lively discussions that we have grown fond of, while protecting ourselves significantly against the accidental rapid dissemination of subjective misinterpretation.


Are you suggesting having no recording at all? Not even an edited release? If this is the case, my response follows.

It's all well and good making anyone welcome, but I'm frustrated by the idea of having no recording.
The problem is that the mumble sessions are brilliant! Currently I can listen to a recording if I can't make it to the session in real time. I can even submit questions on reddit for fuzzy to ask for me.
As it stands the mumble sessions are wonderful for the community. I consider them to be a very valuable part of the BitShares experience.

If there are no recordings, only people lucky enough to be able to attend will get the benefit, and I think this is CRAP! I don't care for the conference analogy - it doesn't hold water (surely the reasons are obvious?).


Anyone is welcome to the mumble sessions if they're lucky enough to not be:
  • at work
  • asleep
  • doing something with their family
  • having a medical procedure done
  • in an area with no internet access...

...I was going to do an absurdly long list for comedy value, but unfortunately I have to go out because I have other commitments which are unavoidable... :P

Thanks for the input. As i havevsaid before,  community organisation is what i do.   I don't know why but it comes as naturally to me as coding for these whiz kids around here.   As for the perspective on them as conferences, at present I completely agree.  In another 16 months (if they survive a chopping block), you will see precisely why I call them what I call them.  ;)

PS, feel free to call any of my ideas brilliant at any time.  :P
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Offline hadrian

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My proposal to bytemaster and to this community is that he consider continuing to hold mumble sessions with us, but that we do not record them. I do not believe that this would betray our principals, because anyone is still welcome to join and participate. What it does provide is an opportunity for all of us to continue the lively discussions that we have grown fond of, while protecting ourselves significantly against the accidental rapid dissemination of subjective misinterpretation.


Are you suggesting having no recording at all? Not even an edited release? If this is the case, my response follows.

It's all well and good making anyone welcome, but I'm frustrated by the idea of having no recording.
The problem is that the mumble sessions are brilliant! Currently I can listen to a recording if I can't make it to the session in real time. I can even submit questions on reddit for fuzzy to ask for me.
As it stands the mumble sessions are wonderful for the community. I consider them to be a very valuable part of the BitShares experience.

If there are no recordings, only people lucky enough to be able to attend will get the benefit, and I think this is CRAP! I don't care for the conference analogy - it doesn't hold water (surely the reasons are obvious?).


Anyone is welcome to the mumble sessions if they're lucky enough to not be:
  • at work
  • asleep
  • doing something with their family
  • having a medical procedure done
  • in an area with no internet access...

...I was going to do an absurdly long list for comedy value, but unfortunately I have to go out because I have other commitments which are unavoidable... :P
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