I'm working on a frontend!steemCreated with Sketch.

in steemdev •  last month

I don't like censorship!

Recently I learned about how, though the Steem blockchain itself is censorship resistant, frontends (like Steemit) can decide not to display any content for whatever reason they fancy. While Steemit Inc. seems to have done some wholesome community-minded stuff, I categorically distrust corporations. When you have as much of the share of users as Steemit the potential for censorship is very real. Not only that, but such conditions contribute to centralization not decentralization.

To this end, I have begun the development of my very own Steem frontend!

It's not much at this point, but I have done valid remote calls to steemd public nodes. I'm getting a bit hung up on serialization for transaction signing, mostly because I can't find good documentation resources. When I have transaction signing down, I'll be able to post from my frontend. Once that happens, I'm leaving Steemit behind. I'll be making all my post through my frontend which will in turn encourage me to refine it. Finally, once I think it is sufficiently refined, I plan to release the source code and executable.

That's my development roadmap, and here are some of my design choices...

  •     I want my frontend to be a native java standalone executable (not a webpage), and I'm using javafx for the GUI.
  •     My frontend will display any content on the blockchain. No exceptions for corporate or otherwise.
  •     Only public nodes not run by Steemit Inc. will be used by my frontend to promote decentralization

I'd be happy to go into more technical detail in the comments if anyone is interested, but for the sake of concision I won't go any farther on that right now. I do have the some screenshots of the UI, so you know I'm not just blowing steem ;)

Frontend

I encourage you to criticize my UI, and every aspect of my project!

Thanks!

Thanks to @themarkymark for his new public node! I've got some good use out of it, well done.

Thanks to you too for reading! Hope you enjoyed.

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You could just host your own condenser and clear out the blacklisted users.

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But that's nowhere near as fun! :)

I like, that you are using linux mint ;-) - and your interface will grow with time - at the moment I see a usable posting tool - everything else will come with time - good luck

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I'm glad someone noticed :) I left that reflected logo in hoping someone might. Thanks you for your encouraging words! While I haven't been posting too much recently, I have been hard at work between the breaks I take playing Dwarf Fortress to stay fresh. Now, much thanks to you and others, I have a pool of RC I can use to reply to my feedback!

Stay tuned! Along with the technical computer-y stuff I've also been cooking up a real name and I'm going to make a new development update soon!

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Thanks for your great reply :-)
Yes, RC is a teaching-tool to think before typing .... my grand-dad also told my "thinking before speaking" .... maybe RC could be watched as such a tool, and sideways it's limiting the addictive part of social media in a way. May be we need more RC ... and viewing RC in the Interface (like esteem shows RC and VP in the menu-bar at the bottom of the window) is a usefull thing. May be you can adopt this some day (in the far future) :-)

Add a tag search functionality, that would be the https://www.thebomb.com/

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I've been rolling over a few different search scopes in my head, and I definitely think searching within a given tag would be doable. I won't be using any google or other third party powered search like Steemit does however.

Extra functionality like that is kind of on the development back burner, if it's even on the proverbial stove quite yet. Once I implement the ECDSA (a necessary, mathematically intensive prerequisite for voting, posting, etc.) those sorts of auxiliary things will come into full focus, and I think will really add polish to my project.

Thanks for the feedback, and your support!

Cool, glad to see ppl inspired to work on their ideas! Good luck !

Dear @a-non-e-moose

Recently I learned about how, though the Steem blockchain itself is censorship resistant, frontends (like Steemit) can decide not to display any content for whatever reason they fancy.

So did I. I found it quite ridicolous that we've censorship resistant STEEM blockchain but frontends are still an issue.

To this end, I have begun the development of my very own Steem frontend!

Wow. Keep us updated. Will surely follow you closely.

My frontend will display any content on the blockchain. No exceptions for corporate or otherwise.

Question is: will your front-end will be as centralized as Steemit.com or steempeak.com? will it be another centralized application/site?

Yours
Piotr

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First off, I must say that was a well laid and thought out comment, and thanks for your support!

Ridiculous is the word for it for sure, it undermines the entire prospect!

I have been kind of silent on Steem recently, but you wouldn't say I was silent if you could hear my keyboard clacking away ;) More updates are incoming soon!

Now, to address your question, which I thank you for posing. My front-end will not be as centralized as Steemit, but I'll admit I'm not as familiar with Steempeak. Different than both of those however, it will not be a website hosted on servers who-knows-where run by who-knows-who doing who-knows-what to the incoming/outgoing data, or live inside a web browser that could have somewhat similar qualities.

It's going to be a purpose-built application running locally on your computer that connects directly to any of a list of remote, publicly available node of the Steem network. My frontend will have no company backing it or imposing it's interests on it's users in any way. I will not put ads anywhere on my frontend. It's going to use only public nodes run by active community members (who aren't Steemit Inc) that don't filter content, like @themarkymark, thereby making no exceptions to what content is shown and avoiding the problems of frontend censorship. I'm going for public service rather than profiteering with my frontend.

Hope that helped you understand more what I'm going for and why it seems less centralized to me.

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Dear @a-non-e-moose

I'm sorry for such a late reply. I only realized now that I've missed your previous comment somehow.

Thank you for your amazing and prompt reply. I appreciate it a lot.

I have been kind of silent on Steem recently, but you wouldn't say I was silent if you could hear my keyboard clacking away ;) More updates are incoming soon!

Cool! :) If you would publish something interesting and you would like me to show my support then send me link in memo :) Otherwise the chance that I will see your post in newsfeed are very slim.

My frontend will have no company backing it or imposing it's interests on it's users in any way. I will not put ads anywhere on my frontend.

Love it! :) I will be happy to help you and I may bring some quality traffic to your profile in the future. Will keep following you :)

Hope that helped you understand more what I'm going for and why it seems less centralized to me.

It really did. Full respect for taking the time and putting so much effort to share your knowledge with me.

Yours
Piotr

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No worries about a late reply. I'm in no rush, and since I'm creating software for Steem I think it's safe to say I'll be sticking around a good while.

I'll keep that tip about the memo link in mind. Many thanks for the offer! It may be a bit longer until I post anything substantial about development progress however. I'm shooting for my next post about it to be from the front-end itself. I'm also going to unveil whichever name I pick, and the logo. Once that's all underway development pace will probably pick up as my motivation waxes and since I'll have what I estimate to be the most technically complex part out of the way, transaction signatures. After that, it's smooth sailing, and I'll definitely be taking you up on that offer!

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Dear @a-non-e-moose

since I'm creating software for Steem I think it's safe to say I'll be sticking around a good while.

That's fantastic. I will keep following your progress whenever I can :)

After that, it's smooth sailing, and I'll definitely be taking you up on that offer!

hopefully it will be just a smooth sailing :) fingers crossed for that
Piotr

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Dear @a-non-e-moose

It's me again :)

I would like to ask you for small favor:

Good friend of mine posted lately interesting publication: "Bitcoin was NOT in a bubble ...". I got to know him personally and Im doing my best to help him get some exposure and promote his quality work.

Perhaps you could show your support and drop some valuable comment? :) I would appreciate.

Link: https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@majes.tytyty/bitcoin-was-not-in-a-bubble-the-2017-rise-and-the-2018-consolidation-chaos-monitaur-34

Yours
Piotr

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Sure, I can take a peek and write up a comment iff I'm so inspired.

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appreciate :) I love how responsive you are buddy

Yours
Piotr