Author Topic: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!  (Read 2772 times)

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Offline Black Arrow

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Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« on: July 26, 2015, 04:06:38 pm »
I’ve been following and investing in Bitshares for a couple of years now. I like the great ideas and the great development team and the tremendous potential and have been gradually accumulating BTS.  I realize that the developers work very hard for very little and I am hesitant to complain. However I am really frustrated by the Windows client installation procedure, and I doubt I am the only one, and I can’t help but think these problems are having a big negative effect on Bitshares adoption.  I cringe whenever there is a mandatory upgrade because I know it won’t go smoothly and will inevitably result in me having to download the blockchain yet again thus taking up a lot of time and using up a big portion of my monthly download allowance (I have a satellite connection with monthly download limits).

Bitshares has lots of great features and there are great ideas to enhance it even further. But without a functioning wallet, I can’t really use them. It does not matter how many great features you have, if updating the client is so painful, not very many people are going to go to the trouble.

Bitshares is beset with a number of problems and they’ve been talked about before on this forum as well as elsewhere, but IMO, far and away the number one problem with Bitshares and it isn’t close, is the lack of a stable wallet software. This needs to be fixed BEFORE focusing on increased adoption. In spite of all of the great features, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else until there is stable wallet software, and at this point I’m skeptical about whether such a wallet will ever actually exist.

I am currently running 9.1. Apparently there is now a 9.2 that is only required for delegates. I’m not a delegate, but in any event my software no longer syncs.  I’m not a software expert, but I have installed lots of software over the years and never encountered the problems that I have encountered with Bitshares. I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to spend a few hours or days fighting with it and use up a lot of my monthly download allowance then I could eventually get it working and synched. But it’s just not worth it to me anymore.

I am using Windows and I get that technically inclined users think that the Windows operating system is crap, but it’s what I know and am comfortable with. And it’s what a lot of other people use also, and we’re not going to switch operating systems just so we can use Bitshares.

I get that making a robust wallet that works across multiple operating systems is hard. But other crypto-currencies have done it. I have been updating my full node software for the bitcoin core wallet for several years now and upgrading has always gone flawlessly. Yeah, I know bitcoin has a much bigger user base and more developers who contribute to it, but I also own several other alt-coins and have not experienced anywhere near the frustration installing and updating the alt-clients that I have had with Bitshares.

I won’t bother going through the litany of problems I’ve experienced with software upgrades over the past year or so. Some of them are already documented in prior posts but there are many more that I’ve managed to (painfully) work through myself and have never posted about. Users try to help, but it’s just a frustrating time-consuming experience all around. There really needs to be an easy-to-find set of installation instructions with trouble-shooting procedures if something goes wrong, but unfortunately the software is so unstable I don’t think that’s possible.

I don’t have the technical skills to actually fix any of these problems but if I were convinced that there was a serious effort to solve these problems, I would probably be willing to do some beta testing and report on bugs and try different solutions but that’s about the extent of my ability.

Since we are using DPOS, it is less important for me to run a full node so a reliable SPV or web-based wallet would be fine for me as long as I maintained control over my own shares.

For now I’m just going to sit on my BTS, but I don’t plan to buy any more nor do I plan to recommend it to anyone else unless and until the wallet problems are solved.

Offline xeroc

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2015, 04:15:36 pm »
BitShares 2.0 will have a smooth, stable and reactive web wallet .. current source can be seen in github and looks (and feels) awesome ..
Just wait for BTS2.0 to arrive!
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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 04:19:08 pm »
If you are not trying to short any bitassets use wallet.bitshares.org.

Offline cylonmaker2053

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2015, 04:53:55 pm »
BitShares 2.0 will have a smooth, stable and reactive web wallet .. current source can be seen in github and looks (and feels) awesome ..
Just wait for BTS2.0 to arrive!

awesome! still, i can't wait for greater adoption and incentive for entrepreneurs to start putting together alt BTS/SmartCoin wallets.

Offline Black Arrow

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2015, 05:07:04 pm »
BitShares 2.0 will have a smooth, stable and reactive web wallet .. current source can be seen in github and looks (and feels) awesome ..
Just wait for BTS2.0 to arrive!

Thanks. I really hope that's true and if it is I'll be a lot more optimistic about Bitshares. In the meantime, I'm just going to sit tight and wait.

Offline Thom

Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2015, 05:39:27 pm »
You're not alone Black Arrow. The concerns over wallet usability have been raised more times than I care to count.

It is clear to me looking back over the progress of this project that the dev team is much more focused on the backend than the frontend. Collectively their passion is in the infrastructure not the user interface. Sure, they have a few devs like cass and jcalfee that are highly talented UI developers, but it's just not enough.

Moreover, the dev team leadership has not balanced resources for infrastructure vs. UI development, nor have they sought external resources to help balance the need for deeper engineering of the user interface.

It's easy to sit here and criticize the management decisions based on outcome, but to be fair none of us have all of the facts that contributed to where we are now. However, no matter what feedback is provided, it doesn't appear to me to result in a significant change to the management approach taken. This will hopefully change once CNX releases its grip on decisions when 2.0 is operational and decisions are based on public consensus. But I don't expect that will shift overnight, it is a process and will take some time to transition. It may happen overnight on paper in in practical reality most if not all of the initial guardians (delegates / workers / witnesses) will be CNX staff or heavily influenced by CNX staff. I don't see that as a problem generally (at least initially), but the longer CNX is perceived as decision makers and not the community BitShares won't truly be self directing based on consensus.

This is why I hope the community will continue to express their feedback - the stronger the better - to help guide the public consensus.  +5% to you Black Arrow for coming out of the shadows to do so, even at this late date.

Who knows, if we all shout loud enough in unison perhaps CNX will really turn up the heat and focus on the UI by shifting resources into UI development, including bringing in additional UI developers to refine the UX and accelerate mainstream adoption. I myself would love to see a healthy partnership between BitShares and Taulant's team on the Moonstone project, who have demonstrated their abilities not only in the quality of their user interfaces, but also in the area of project management.

Another thing to consider is the CNX business model. I don't think this has been discussed very much with the community, it seems to be shared only with a few "insiders". From what I gather, the focus of CNX is on exchanges, banks, big business, corporate interests first, individuals second. They're focused on the top layers of the pyramid hierarchy, not the base of the pyramid or end users. Viewed with that perspective the CNX approach to management and design makes sense. It is also a bit scary for hard core crypto-currency enthusiasts that want a safe, secure and private alternative to the mainstream financial system. There are conflicts in the model. It's like building a skyscraper with controlled demolition built in so that one day it will be easier to collapse the building to make way for something else, the "ultimate" planned obsolescence if you will. I have seen others express similar perspectives, tho not nearly as strongly. It remains to be seen whether a BitShares "house" will be able to stand or if it will be divided by the conflicting interests of privacy and regulation. In my view one or the other will become dominant and push the other out.

If CNX's view were closer to the individual, more effort on the UI / UX would have been given. Even privacy concerns were less important than transaction rate until very recently, where Bytemaster announced there would be infrastructure in place at the initial launch of 2.0 (blinded balances and stealth transactions), but without UI support. I see this as a good change, although it would be better if UI support were included. Bytemaster now has realized how fundamentally important privacy is and is correcting the earlier (bad) decision to launch without concern for privacy. He realized that without provision for privacy, all account balances would become public at the launch of 2.0. I don't know if that was a factor in reversing the decision to implement privacy after the launch of 2.0, but if not just goes to show how many aspects of the entire 2.0 push have not been thoroughly thought through. It also shows how agile the CNX team can be, if necessary.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 05:42:31 pm by Thom »
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Offline cylonmaker2053

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2015, 05:46:03 pm »
i agree with the core dev team's focus on infrastructure; getting the system right is critical. wallets and other user apps should come from new entrants to our system who find sufficient value in the infrastructure to start designing their own businesses off of it.

Offline xeroc

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2015, 06:04:31 pm »
i agree with the core dev team's focus on infrastructure; getting the system right is critical. wallets and other user apps should come from new entrants to our system who find sufficient value in the infrastructure to start designing their own businesses off of it.
This ... looking towards Moonstone and @Elmato 's mobile wallet ..
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Offline Black Arrow

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2015, 06:06:56 pm »

Thom, Thanks for the thoughtful and informative reply.

Offline Black Arrow

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2015, 06:13:01 pm »
i agree with the core dev team's focus on infrastructure; getting the system right is critical. wallets and other user apps should come from new entrants to our system who find sufficient value in the infrastructure to start designing their own businesses off of it.

Yes,backend infrastructure is important, but I've seen a lot of emphasis on increasing adoption through referral programs etc. And I won't be making any referrals  nor do I expect wide adoption without a working wallet with a simple and reliable update/installation procedure.

Offline Thom

Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 06:13:13 pm »
i agree with the core dev team's focus on infrastructure; getting the system right is critical. wallets and other user apps should come from new entrants to our system who find sufficient value in the infrastructure to start designing their own businesses off of it.
This ... looking towards Moonstone and @Elmato 's mobile wallet ..

My question is, how much cooperation are these guys getting from CNX so the CNX UI effort and the UI efforts of Elmato & Moonstone are happening concurrently (i.e. treated like partners not competitors) ? Without that, development will be serial, and Elmato & Moonstone will have to wait on CNX to start their work. I doubt it's totally serial, and work has indeed already begun. It would be nice if the efforts could be parallel as much as possible.
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Offline phillyguy

Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 06:34:23 pm »
I think one of the disconnects with the UI from the beginning has been that BM, the dev team and other high profile contributors are generally using OSX or Linux on machines with lots of available RAM...whereas many end users are using consumer windows machines that would not be considered "developer grade". (I could be completely wrong about this, just my impression from reading the forum for the past 12 months).

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Offline tbone

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 07:12:26 pm »
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't understand why this conversation is taking place considering a) there is currently an end-user web wallet available, b) Bitshares 2.0 will launch with a new web wallet, and c)  Bitshares 2.0 will offer incentives for 3rd parties to create additional end-user wallets with their own value adds, and we know that Bitsapphire among others have already made headway along these lines.

With these things in mind, it seems to make perfect sense to commit all remaining resources to finishing off the 2.0 back-end infrastructure ASAP.  Please feel free to enlighten me if I'm missing something, but making an issue out of end-user wallet availability seems like either being negative for the sake of being negative, or just short-sighted.  Where am I going wrong here?

Offline Black Arrow

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2015, 07:39:29 pm »
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't understand why this conversation is taking place considering a) there is currently an end-user web wallet available,

Have you had any experience with it? Do you have a link for this?

b) Bitshares 2.0 will launch with a new web wallet, and c)  Bitshares 2.0 will offer incentives for 3rd parties to create additional end-user wallets with their own value adds, and we know that Bitsapphire among others have already made headway along these lines.

Yes, Xeroc mentioned that above. If and when this happens and it works as advertised, I'll be very happy, but in the meantime I don't have a wallet that I can use without spending hours of time trying to upgrade yet again.

Please feel free to enlighten me if I'm missing something, but making an issue out of end-user wallet availability seems like either being negative for the sake of being negative, or just short-sighted. 

I'm very sorry if I've conveyed that impression. But unless I have wallet software that I can install/upgrade relatively painlessly, then effectively, I don't have a wallet and I can't experiment with many of the great features that are built into Bitshares. I think the frustration with the wallet software is driving away potential users. This has been an ongoing problem for a long time, and I would like to see more emphasis placed on resolving it.

Offline Black Arrow

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Re: Bitshares needs robust stable wallet software that works!!
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2015, 07:50:01 pm »
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't understand why this conversation is taking place considering a) there is currently an end-user web wallet available,

I assume you mean this: https://wallet.bitshares.org/

From the website, it looks like it might only be experimental but I'll check it out. Thanks for mentioning it. I wasn't aware of it.