SPS for development

in sps •  18 days ago 

The Steem Proposal System (SPS) has been mostly used for development purposes so far. Although it is not the only thing it could/should be used for, I will concentrate on the development side in this post, and will discuss the other use cases on another post later this week.

Opensource, a soft requirement?

There is no hard requirement for any kind of proposals made through SPS. However, lots of stakeholders agree that mostly, development proposals should be opensource to deserve their vote.

Why is that so important?

In my opinion, for the two reasons below:

Code ownership

Funding a closed source project means having a single point of failure (or a few). If the project owner(s) decide to terminate the project or, for a reason or another they are unable to maintain it, all previous fundings will have been pointless.
On the contrary, an opensource project can stay alive and evolve as long as anyone is interesting in working on it.

Proof of work

Since votes can be earned but can also be removed, it is important for a worker to actually show that things are getting done. In my opinion, going the utopian.io way and writing posts pointing to commits and pull requests on Github is the way to go. Which better way to see that code has been written than by actually seeing the code?

Once again, although I strongly believe on the necessity of opensourceness for SPS projects, this is my point of view and everyone is free to vote according to one's own standards.

Stability of funding

The return proposal has been very volatile these past few days. Especially today with a formidable jump from 14 to 21M SP.
While I believe the bar is currently too high and these fast changes can hurt development, I also think it will stabilize over time.
The fact that funding can stop as fast as it started is actually a necessary part of the SPS, and acts as a kind of defense mechanism against abuse.

SBD is piling up, unused

I have seen this argument a lot recently, and I'm really surprised about that. The SPS budget is financed by stakeholders through inflation. It's better not financing any project if they are not deemed worth it (according to each individual definition of worth) than financing them because of a lack of better options. That's why the Return Proposal exists. Those funds can still be used later on to fund other projects or get burned, and in the meantime, they are not being sold, avoiding additional downward pressure on the price.

Reaching out to stakeholders

Sometimes, the reason for not voting a project is not a lack of interest for the said project but a lack of alignment between the priorities of the project owner and those of the stakeholders.

Creating a community to bridge those who make proposals with the major stakeholders could be a great way to get feedback and an easier channel to reach them in general. Before Communities release, a Discord channel could be used for the same effect.

--

I hope we can have a healthy discussion on this topic on the comments, and keep this as drama-free as possible.

@stoodkev
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Code ownership

I think that may be an important thing to some independent developers. By going open source everyone has their hard work for free. I will use steemworld and @steemchiller as an example since he is one of the independent coders on steem block chain I am aware of. Why should he have to give up his code for others to take and use to improve their systems without compensation from them. We have steemd, and steemdb to see all the things that go on in the background if as a lay-person you can understand it. Neither of those tools are very user friendly for seeing things in a nutshell. SteemEngine, is another case in point, @steemchiller has managed to write code that will allow an individual to claim all the rewards, so far I have not seen any other tool that allows that, (not that I have been looking or anything).

So to get funding through the SPS, which is ostensibly developed to bring development and developers of applications to steem block chain, an incentive so to speak, if I understood the initial talk about it correctly. As a non-coder, I can see that requiring a coder to turn over their code and thus hard work to every one would be a dis-incentive to develop for steem block chain.

3speak is in a similar place, several people pulled their votes because it too is independent of steemit and the company steem. It seems to me it has become a defacto ways and means of steemit.inc to teach their developers how to code properly by trying to temporarily bride successful developers to turn their code over.

If the project owner(s) decide to terminate the project or, for a reason or another they are unable to maintain it, all previous fundings will have been pointless.

and

The fact that funding can stop as fast as it started is actually a necessary part of the SPS, and acts as a kind of defense mechanism against abuse.

That protects steemit, it does absolutely nothing for nor give any recourse to having funding pulled from a developer once he has turned his hard work over to the open source community, after all why keep giving someone funds for something that you can now work on or destroy yourself.

Sorry at times I am rather cynical of initial good intentions, which I am sure the SPS was, but is it still? For myself a normal everyday user of the social side of steem block chain not involved in coding or program development, it appears to be a completely one-sided system, all the protection is for steemit.inc and zero protection for the independents code/developers hard work.

By going open source everyone has their hard work for free.

Not necessary, I managed to keep SteemPlus (opensource) alive and even had another developer working with me on the project. It's possible to monetize opensource if it brings value to the community.

that requiring a coder to turn over their code and thus hard work to every one would be a dis-incentive to develop for steem block chain.

I don't see anyone suddenly taking SteemWorld code to create Steemworld2.org, there s no incentive and the userbase would keep using the original one. Look at Busy example, it s been opensource since the start (or at least since Im on the platform), and Utopian originated from a Busy clone, did it hinder Busy? I don't think so, on the contrary, it was out there for the betterment of Steem as a whole.

That protects steemit, it does absolutely nothing for nor give any recourse to having funding pulled from a developer once he has turned his hard work over to the open source community, after all why keep giving someone funds for something that you can now work on or destroy yourself.

This has nothing to do with Steemit. SPS is funded by inflation (hence stakeholders). Why would anyone want to code themselves an awesome tool or pay a dev to do it, rather than letting the original developer continuing his work? That doesn't make sense.
The funding is not guaranteed to last though, that s a valid point. In the end, it s up to the developer to make his project opensource or not. Mine have always been, even before there was an incentive for it, and it never played against me.

Sorry at times I am rather cynical of initial good intentions, which I am sure the SPS was, but is it still? For myself a normal everyday user of the social side of steem block chain not involved in coding or program development, it appears to be a completely one-sided system, all the protection is for steemit.inc and zero protection for the independents code/developers hard work.

This post is here to welcome dialog, and as long as its polite, I don t mind it at all. That s actually why I wrote this post, so that non coder can also get an insight from the coder's perspective. And once again, this has nothing to do with Steemit Inc.

Elaborate?

Honestly, not in the mood right now. If anything, maybe later my friend.

But on behalf of eloquence, as they use to say: "A picture is worth a thousand words"

  ·  17 days ago (edited)

A picture is worth a thousand words

Sure, you're implying that I don't see the big picture. And I disagree with that, which is why I'd rather debate with you than have you senselessly mocking the points discussed above, with no counter-argument whatsoever.
If it's a question of mood, looking forward for yours to change and make an intelligent discussion possible.

Sure, you're implying that I don't see the big picture.

Yeah! I applaud your great perception. That's exactly what I'm implying.

But again, you won't want me debating when I'm not in the mood. You are well aware that I am always willing to discuss anything and whenever it is worth discussing. And I never shy away from a good debate.

Yeah, expect very soon a gratifying and possible intelligent discussion with a Cranky Gandalf. But don't expect me to do it when I'm not wearing my customary pink outfit. :)

has managed to write code that will allow an individual to claim all the rewards, so far I have not seen any other tool that allows that, (not that I have been looking or anything).

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Open source is great in theory. And Can add more value given the same other variables.... the issue is that steem has a long long history of CRAPPY stupid little tools that get made quickly and then just kind of stop... and their code doesn't even seem to be used much. Sure there is some that continue on after the developer has their moment of fun then abandons the project or all of steem.... but if we're talking "value to steem"... then just being open source is a lackluster bar for making decisions.
I'd like to see more non-open source projects that actually do something awesome on steem and bring a ton of value to steem beyond just creating sub-par code that get's quickly forgotten and never actually helps the system.
We don't just need more crappy code on steem.... we need projects that have a plan and bring people to steem and use cases for the steem currency. There's so much more... making open source this barrier is soooo short sighted. It's developers thinking steem is gonna some how sky rocket just by a bit more extra code.
I see lots of people like @howo @anyx and maybe @dimitrydao talking about open source being this magic barrier and I just don't see it. Open source has value for sure... but making that a barrier is sooo short sighted.

But still interested in the discussion.
I haven't actually heard where the significant voters stand on these things.

  ·  15 days ago (edited)

Hi @jarvie! First, I really like what you guys are doing and I'm not saying at all, that closed-source projects don't have a place in our ecosystem, I just mean that the SPS might not be the right way to fund them. I agree with what you're saying in general, and most of the projects that bring value to Steem currently are closed-source. However they only bring value as long as they're here, so I think they d rather target investors rather than Steem stakeholders as a whole, in order to get funding.

Steem also has a history of closed source projects milking as much as they can and leaving the platform, and if the whole stakeholders have to pay for this, I think that we need to be sure that the code is here to stay, and not base this on personal trust. Also in the case of SteemWorld, it showed that without code to review nor periodic update posts, it was really hard to estimate what was getting done.

Some of the big voters are also looking at whether a code is opensource or not before voting, that's why i wanted to open this discussion.

About the so-called barriers, I don't think that's a thing, in the end everybody's free to vote according to their own standards.

After the roundtable we had in SF, I think it would be quite possible to fund the development of some opensource code through SPS, that could be used by the different dApps, regardless of their opensourceness.

The big voters have mostly said nothing from what I have seen... I have not seen posts by them... it's been a bunch of developers projecting what they think big voters want. I wish big voters actually communicated their thoughts more.

Right now sps in general is a crap show with everyone making assumptions and everyone seemingly having a different take on things... I think for a while sps just won't work and the return is gonna be top voted for a while.
Like you said everyone seems to have differing standards and theres for example a few people seemingly pushing the open source barrier when whales have not actually stated that is their own standard.

On our proposal we stated what our standard is.

Also if the example of milking steem is the video system then they milked steemit inc and their delegation. I'm not familiar with other projects but I haven't been around forever.

  ·  15 days ago (edited)

The big voters have mostly said nothing from what I have seen... I have not seen posts by them... it's been a bunch of developers projecting what they think big voters want. I wish big voters actually communicated their thoughts more.

Some of them have said they d vote SW if it would turn opensource. You can check the last post about SteemWorld.

Like you said everyone seems to have differing standards and theres for example a few people seemingly pushing the open source barrier when whales have not actually stated that is their own standard.

As I proposed in this post, an efficient channel to communicate with the whales (possibly through a Community) would be great to resolve that. Once again, I don't think that I'm pushing a barrier, I'm just writing about what I (and lots of others) honestly think is best, and readers are free to decide by themselves whether they agree or not.

On our proposal we stated what our standard is.

I'm not targeting any project in particular and certainly not yours.

Also if the example of milking steem is the video system then they milked steemit inc and their delegation. I'm not familiar with other projects but I haven't been around forever.

If a closed source project leaves Steem, decide to abandon the project or is suddenly unable to continue maintaining the project, all the previous funds used for development would result to nothing.

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  ·  17 days ago Reveal Comment