I've decided I needed to complete my Steemit education. After blogging a little bit left and right and catching the ropes of author rewards, curation rewards, voting power, bidbots and all the drama about the "reward pool rape" I came to the conclusion that ... steem is actually a very decent system!
A well-rounded software stack, only a few config-tweaks away (and a condenser update) from being a great blockchain-powered real-world application!
I am therefore organizing the first Steem meetup in tiny Luxembourg (the only Grand Duchy in the whole world, no less!)
Not only that, I teamed up with a fabulous devops engineer called Pablo and we started the process of setting up a new Witness node!
Our common witness account is called @lux-witness (the Witness from Luxembourg, duh!). It will be hosted at ws.steemit.lu (as an anecdote, the "steem.lu" domain name was reserved by ... Phillip Morris Intl.)
Following @gtg's appeal, we'll also be running a seed node.
Why the effort?
Having come to the conclusion that the platform is a well-rounded blockchain ecosystem, proven after more than 2 years of continuous operation at high capacity, I want to learn as much as I can about it from all the angles. Even if, later on, another platform appears that challenges steem, knowing as much as possible about the latter will allow us to make informed comparisons and decide whether the challenger is indeed better overall or not.
Specifically, I believe that learning (through setting up a witness node) about steem will also facilitate a better understanding of EOS (when it will come out).
One of the things EOS adds to the DPOS consensus is the idea of a "Constitution". I consider this addition salutary, because governance is the biggest challenge of a decentralized system and I feel that a constitution is precisely what Steemit lacks currently.
A lot of the drama that we see unfolding around the perceptions of reward pool abuse reflects the fact that, absent a commonly-agreed "Greater Mission" (which a Constitution implicitely embodies), most people around Steemit are obsessed with the money, with the rewards. Whereas they should be obsessed with the content instead!!
Furthermore, I think Steemit is really a good idea that could be developed in so many exciting directions. But in order to "take it places", one needs to influence the first 20 witnesses and have them approve changes. And I suspect someone who is not a witness himself will have a lot more trouble getting his voice heard (especially if that person is not a whale). In this respect, we'll try to go further if possible and set up a full RPC node in the near future.
What we didn't do it for were the witness-associated rewards. Yes, we'll try to go as high as we can in the rankings and we would rather not lose money in the process but making a profit from this operation was never the main motive of this initiative.
How we went about
As I'm writing this we are still catching up with the blockchain so we are not yet ready, but here is how we started:
We decided to go for a VPS (yes, @themarkymark recommended a dedicated server and maybe we'll get one later on but for the moment we'd rather start small). We therefore headed toward contabo.de which appears to have the best quality/price ratio (on paper at least). We got their "top-of-the-line" VPS with 10 vCPUs, 50GB of guaranteed RAM, 1200GB of SSD storage, 1Gbps network speed and unlimited traffic. The machine was hardened according to best practices.
We then followed the guide for HF19 from @someguy123 (thank you! followed and voted for witness). Not the most recent article he wrote but containing instructions to start fresh. We decided to use a docker image rather than recompile in order to save time. Maybe we'll recompile later when we get more familiar but in order to start, the docker image seemed a good compromise. The only thing we changed in @someguy123's procedure was to install docker using its official documentation rather than the
install_docker()function provided in
run.shin order to make sure we have the most recent docker version.
We downloaded and unpacked the compressed blockchain provided by @gtg and started a replay which we hope will take less than 2.5 days that @themarkymark anounced (was he using a compressed copy of the blockchain to speed up the process?)
Before going to bed the replay process had passed successfully HF19 and was about 65% complete
We'll keep you posted once our @lux-witness is up and accepting new blocks ! We'll publish an official application to be a witness, duly motivated, and we are hoping you'll vote for @lux-witness as witness!
A big thank you to all the great steemians who wrote guides and tutorials that we have sourced for information!