Question For Witnesses

in witness •  2 months ago

Witnesses are the backbone of our STEEM. Without good witnesses, everything would fall apart. They are our politicians as they decide what rules get implemented and what don't(done as accepting/rejecting hardforks). We vote them into power. Those with more SP make more of a difference with their vote. But every vote matters. Your 100 SP might be the deciding factor on wether a witness gets moved up a rank or not.

Now HF20 caused a lot of people to look at who they were voting for and especially me. I decided that there were some questions that I would like to have answered by our lovely witnesses before I decided to recast my votes. I compiled a list of a few questions that I would like to get the answer to. Not all are from me, I asked around for some things that others wanted to know as well. Some are pretty easy and can be verified while others are witnesses opinions that I want to understand. I'm going to be using the responses to this to see who I want to vote for and hope that others use the information to make their own decision as well.

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1. Why did you decide to become a witness?


2. Have you made any contributions that have been accepted into the STEEM codebase? If so, what was it?


3. HF20 started out with a ton of bugs. What do you plan on doing in order to make sure that we don't suffer a repeat of that?

Idea from @steemitqa.

4. What have you done to promote the STEEM blockchain outside of the blockchain itself?


5. Communities have become a very big thing in the STEEM ecosystem recently. Have you done anything to promote communities and help them out?


6. Do you understand enough of the STEEM codebase and C++ to be able to tell what changes are being made when they are committed?


7. Have you developed anything for STEEM? It doesn't need to be software, a community that utilizes STEEM counts too.


8. Communication was a major problem for STEEMIT INC. Many people want the public to be able to read whats happening in the private witness channel that STEEMIT INC has created. What do you think about that?


9. STEEMIT INC has done a major part of the development for the STEEM blockchain. Who should be doing more of the development for the blockchain, them or the witnesses? Or is it a shared responsibility where the witnesses do one part and STEEMIT INC does the rest?


10. Why do you deserver to become the top witness?


No matter your rank of witness, I want to hear your answer. You might be the person that I've been looking for and I agree with. Thank to all those who answer.
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I will try to answer all questions:

  1. I decided to become a witness, because I really like and care about STEEM.

  2. I found an issue which leads to a fix (my github name is holgern): https://github.com/steemit/steem/issues/2972

  3. I will check the changes and read the source code. I will also doing tests on the test net

  4. Noting yet

  5. I delegating 500 SP to opencomedymic and 5000 SP to steem-ua. I'm developing for steembasicincome.
    I'm running a weekly curation contest to encourage curation (last post)

  6. I'm a c++ developer, so I understand the source code.

  7. Yes, I'm the developer of beem. beem is python library for beem. I developed also https://beempy.com, a website where everyone can check the RC costs of important operations as a comment, vote, transfer, custom_json, ..

  8. I think it is fine that the channel is private in order to prevent price manipulation and other attacks when critical things happen to the steem blockchain. The talk in there is mostly very technical. When something happens as the bugs in HF20, there should be a detailed post about it from steemitblog.

  9. I think it is a shared responsibility. The dev from steemit are doing a good job and have all the tools for developing. The witnesses participating by writing issues, reading the source code and testing new code. I'm doing my part in replacing python-steem by beem.

  10. I don't know If I deserve it to be a top20 witness. I'm doing what I can to support steem and to develop usefull tools for it.

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Thank you for your answer, I just voted for your witness :)

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Haven't used beem yet, but I used steempy. Heard beem is better so I might give it a go when I get back on python. Thanks for developing for @ steembasicincome, they are one of my favorite groups out here.

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Hi @rishi556, I'm @checky ! While checking the mentions made in this comment I noticed that @steembasicincone doesn't exist on Steem. Did you mean to write @steembasicincome ?

If you found this comment useful, consider upvoting it to help keep this bot running. You can see a list of all available commands by replying with !help.
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Ah thanks.

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  1. We decided to run a witness because we wanted to support the network and we think we're highly qualified as a witness, especially when there are problems.

  2. We wrote one of the key pieces of the Steem code: the peer-to-peer network layer that enables steemd nodes to communicate with each other (i.e. share transactions and blocks). This code was originally written for the graphene blockchain library and re-used in the Steem codebase and other graphene-based chains, so it's actually used in a number of active blockchains nowadays. We've also developed other code for steem under various contracts.

  3. It's actually pretty challenging for witnesses to detect most code bugs in the Steem code ahead of time. To do a good job, the testers should really be interacting daily or at least weekly with the programmers doing the code as they need to understand the nitty gritty details in order to make good tests. This really doesn't fit with Steemit's current coding model, so I really feel the onus is on Steemit to up their testing game. About the best I think we could do as witnesses is ask to see what tests they've created and the results, then try to make a judgement about if the testing is adequate. Of course, we can also look at the code, etc, but it's unlikely that such an examination will detect anything Steemit hasn't already checked.

  4. We promote it a lot on our web site: https://blocktrades.us. And indirectly through any marketing that leads people to our site. We also actively upvote/fund reasonable proposals that people make to do external promotion of the Steem blockchain.

  5. We have and do support various communities via targeted upvoting, especially when they are just getting started. We have also occasionally delegated steem power to such communities.

  6. As long term graphene coders, we're about as qualified as anyone is to read the Steem codebase. We have a large team of experienced C++ coders (our most experienced guys have 20 -30 years experience in C++) who've worked on extremely challening code.

  7. We've developed various Steem-based applications, but we haven't released them for public use yet. The ones that come to mind off hand are a messaging system that allows chat/email over the Steem blockchain and an accounting system that can analyze Steem wallet transactions for tax purposes (but this is part of a much larger system). We also have a prototype vote bot that we've never really used.

  8. Communication from Steemit is a real problem, but I don't real feel the same thing is true of the witnesses. The solution to this problem, IMO, is for Steemit to post more often.
    So I guess I don't think it's a great idea, as I think it's just likely to stifle honest dialog in the channel if witnesses feel like they have to monitor every word they say.
    The discussions aren't really that fascinating most of the the time and generally it seems like anytime there's an idea that gets any traction in the group, one witness or another winds up making a post about it to get the opinions of the wider Steem world. Some witnesses I would say are pretty much elected based on their work publishing such ideas on the blockchain (which is very reasonable to me).
    That said, I'd be fine if the discussion itself was made readable, it's not a big deal to me one way or the other, and maybe it would end the conspiracy theories that seem to arise around the channel (or probably not, since I think there would just be the claim made next that there's another more secret channel, lol). So probably it's a pointless exercise.
    Oh, one other issue is that sometimes there are real security issues discussed in that channel (i.e. a zero-day bug that's not yet patched). There really needs to be a secure chat channel for such communication to prevent hackers from taking advantage of that kind of information before witnesses can coordinate to update their code. This is obviously a rare situation, but it does happen.

  9. Steemit has the funding and most of the experienced steem developers (well, we're probably the one exception to that rule).
    Witness pay was cut along time ago to the point where it's really not practical for witnesses to pay for programming teams. Even when our team was doing work on the Steem blockchain, it was under contract with Steemit itself, as our witness pay simply couldn't cover the programmer's salaries.

  10. We have the personnel and experience to do the main tasks that I think witnesses can reasonably do: 1) produce blocks, 2) respond to emergencies, and 3) evaluate proposals for new features in the blockchain and then put pressure on Steemit when necessary to make sure inputs from outside Steemit are properly considered when adding new features and making changes to blockchain economics.

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Thanks for the response. I think that you guys really changed my mind on the private chat. I used to believe that it being read only should be enacted but when you said:

Oh, one other issue is that sometimes there are real security issues discussed in that channel (i.e. a zero-day bug that's not yet patched). There really needs to be a secure chat channel for such communication to prevent hackers from taking advantage of that kind of information before witnesses can coordinate to update their code.

I fully knew that keeping it private would be the best. I really like that you have the personnel and experience to keep the blockchain in a great state. And your site has been my favorite exchange for anything steem related. Thanks for your great work.

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We've developed various Steem-based applications, but we haven't released them for public use yet. The ones that come to mind off hand are a messaging system that allows chat/email over the Steem blockchain and an accounting system that can analyze Steem wallet transactions for tax purposes (but this is part of a much larger system). We also have a prototype vote bot that we've never really used.

This sounds exactly what me and @bsameep might have written !

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Hi @rishi556!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 3.190 which ranks you at #8362 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has dropped 79 places in the last three days (old rank 8283).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 291 contributions, your post is ranked at #260.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • You're on the right track, try to gather more followers.
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I hope this reaches the witnesses. Some good old fashioned answers to end-users would be enlightening.

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@timcliff and @gtg have aggreed to answer. Hope I get more. If you could soread the word i would love it.

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For the cause. Resteemed.
I also nagged a few witnesses on Discord. Hopefully they'll show up.

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Thank you so much, its much appreciated. The data collected not just helps me, but it helps everyone make more informed witness votes.

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I'm glad it kicked off well.

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Definitely has, this is way more witnesses that've answered than I thought. I read them all on my phone, but then reread them on my computer and then respond to them. Slow process to get through all of them, but it works.

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Yeah, it's a lot to digest, I'm doing the same thing.

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Thanks to all the witnesses who've answered so far. I've read them all but haven't had much time to analyze them much or respond. Hopefully I will have some time for that tomorrow.

Here's the link to an answer made by another witness: https://busy.org/@kevinwong/witness-update-11-10-2018.