Steemit vs Priorities

in steemit •  last year

While browsing for development news on Steemit's Github page, I stumbled on the Projects section https://github.com/steemit/steem/projects.

projects.png

Steem 0.19.X doesn't have much project activity. Other than the two minor updates so far (we're up to 0.19.2), this fork seems to run pretty stable and smooth. With a lot of things already done.

projects-hf19.png

Steem 0.20.0 (Hardfork 20) was announced 4 months ago. It proposed improvements to the sign-up process. However, a little later, those implementations were postponed in favor of enhancing the application framework by implementing multi-threading to allow a better scalability in the future. This was announced two months ago. HF20 is very exciting. However, the project doesn't have much activity, only one thing on the to-do list, and nothing in progress, needs testing, ready to merge, or done!

projects-hf20.png

A few weeks ago, @ned announced SMTs. Many of your already heard about that, it made the headlines on Steemit's trending page. In the following days, the price of STEEM soared from $1 to $1.66... before losing steam and dropping back to $1. The Smart Media Tokens white paper was released https://smt.steem.io/ to describe the plans for this audacious project. Personally, I'm not very enthusiastic about SMTs. In a nutshell, they will allow users to create their own tokens, just like with Ethereum. In other words, we'll have a booming economy of ICO scams and more shitcoins. To me, it's a double-edged sword that may harm the platform more than help it. With the surging spams, scams, and phishing schemes on Steemit, do we want ICO's and shitcoins adding to that mix of tarnishing the platform's reputation???

At first, I figured it was just a SMT white paper sprinkling some hype onto the market, and it's still far from any concrete development. Or is it?

Enter Steem 0.21.0 (Hardfork 21). From the looks of it, this project is already in effect, although HF21 wasn't even announced anywhere to my knowledge. And yet here it is, bustling with SMT activity.

projects-hf21.png


Meanwhile... on distant blue planet filled with Steemians...

meanwhile.jpg

The Steemit.com website was under DDoS attack two weeks ago (https://steemit.com/steemit/@sneak/steemit-com-is-experiencing-a-DDoS-attack). It's funny, because DDoS attacks do not last for weeks. Those dreaded 502/503/504 page web page errors were happening (and still are) before there was any mention of DDoS. Very practical when you're in the middle of doing important money transactions, writing a post for hours and losing it, and so forth. Can you smell the sarcasm? Also, there was some leaked information and rumors on the chats that there was no DDoS at all, but that it was an internal f*ckup.

farihelp lost a 4h work.png

It seems to me that STINC (Steemit Inc) has lost its sense of priorities, or may not have any to begin with. They should be focusing on more important things before embarking on fancy projects like SMTs, by building a solid 100% working platform first.

As a Steem witness, it is my duty to underline those matters and bring awareness. Here are some of my thoughts on how to improve the current state of things:

  • Secure the website and protect it from DDoS (obviously).
  • Do something about the RPC node, it's been extremely flaky and unreliable for weeks, and that's no DDoS!
  • Improve the web user interface (can't get that damned feed notification to work properly for months now!!!). Everyone I have chatted with has complained about the UI.
  • Organize the road map and achieve each goal one by one while giving each goal 110% dedication, instead of spreading developer resources on a ton of projects at the same time, while jumping over other projects requiring more urgency. Are we going to see HF21 finish before HF20? Does Microsoft inspire Steemit to skip versions now? 🤔
  • Deploy a team for user support on the chat and for account recovery. With the recent phishing scams, many users have waited days or even week without any feedback about their stolen accounts! Needless to say, this is unacceptable.
  • Be more transparent, communicate with the users, throw some site announcements on the website navigation bar, instead of writing posts that only a few hundred users will read. Think big, think volume, think wide audience. The lack of transparency and the shrouding secrecy is causing confusion, speculation and most importantly a loss of trust.



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You've piqued my interest @drakos, thank you for the write up and what you've noticed happening to Steemit. I wanted to provide my input and perception of these events as well.

Steemit flirting with it's own token system will no doubt stir the begining of a greater number of phishing scams and fake ICO schemes, but when looking at other coins i.e. Etherium implimenting tokens into their blockchain, this move could be very well be the huge step leading into Steemit's mass adoption.

First things first though. Steemit needs to also have the full functionality of being able to stop and otherwise thwart these efforts, and in the big picture, I can agree that right now this doesn't look like the case. However I can imagine that these are already being looked into ask we speak.

Providing strong security in the back-end is an essential step that cannot be overlooked when working on a project of this scale, teeming with vulnerability. From the front-end being just another user, I can see notifications being buggy, but fortunately, have not have a post or comment be swallowed and unrecoverable.

This makes me think that device compatibility is actually being worked on more than we can speculate at this moment. In all of my experiences, even when Steemit goes down (or slows), the things I write get frozen but have all been automatically saved when I refresh the page. I've lost more posts on Facebook than the zero I had on Steemit. This shows me that the developers aren't fucking around as much as we sometimes believe.

I still back up my posts on notepad and hackmd.io just in case. This is a major issue that needs the utmost attention right now though. If people cannot normally access the site or use it properly without enormous effort, then we are going to see use decline, and lose all appeal for new users altogether.

I would love to see the big announcements, acknoledgement of the issues, and hard fork updates being actually stickied to the top of our feeds because we are still beta and this is the time where everything needs to be ironed out before the public release.

I see frustration on the rise, and being transparent on what is happening and what's being done can definitely help the userbase we already have grow stronger and raise the confidence of posting and interacting more often.

More people need to see this. Resteemed.

This is a very well informed post which is actually quite refreshing. Usually we have those that only highlight the good parts of steemit.com and steem instead of being truthful and transparent to the whole platform. For instance I read & watch Jerry youtube vids (who is actually the guy that introduced me to steemit) but makes me wonder what is his main almost obsessive goal? Theres NEVER criticism about steemit so I think this type of one sided support is too misleading for all but especially new users.
Steemit beta is far from being perfect although what platforms are?. Lately these so-called DDoS attacks are becoming more problematic and frustrating to users that there can only be so much expectation from STINC for the users to just lose all trust and support to the whole platform. We have enough anti-steemit critics within cryptocurenccy that the lacking of transparentcy from STINC just fuels the whole scam/pyramid scheme theories.
Please we only ask for more information and transparncey about what really is going on, instead of the BS advertising, cult like support that-" steemit is the BEST THING SINCE H2O"

I don't know if I missed the announcement. Did anyone from STInc posted an update regarding this past days of intermittent and dead page website at steemit.com?

@drakos thank you for sharing your insights, as always helpful to the community.

Like yourself as Witness, we want to see this platform dependable, reliable, secure and accessible at all time.

Last week, I introduced Steemit.com to other co-workers and friends but it is not loading. Basically, dead on spot and no go. Still I am very optimistic and hopefully we see better plan in the future to address issues mention above.

Please VOTE @yehey for Witness, go to https://steemit.com/~witnesses and vote for yehey.

Follow me @Yehey,
Thank you.

you are reflecting my sentiments exactly, its foolish to add features before there is stability.

Love this post. Steemit did an announcement on FB that I saw yesterday and it was inundated with comments from people with broken account requests. People waiting over a month to get an account in a lot of cases. They really need to work on that before doing anything else. People are being discouraged and are turning away. No f&#king good at all.

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Yup, we deal with such cases everyday on steemit.chat.

@drakos, thanks for the link to Steemit's Github Projects section

When I first started exploring the project, I did it through reading the code of the current master branch inside my local clone of steemit/steem.

That got me started, but when I wanted to find more, I first looked through the things published on the steem blockchain. Did not find much that way.

After some time, I found http://docs.bitshares.org. A very good entry point, even if not directly into the steem's core technology as it is today.

At the end, the only source of truth and documentation that I can rely on is steemit/steem source code itself. And that is fine as long as I am interested only in HF19.

That again brings us to the link you shared. Even if the Projects section is not updated, I found a lot of info inside the discussions around the commits, their pull requests, connected issues, and the different branches.

Things ware not hidden, I just couldn't find them because of my lack of understanding of the development process.

These issues and the lack of communication 🤐 from the team is probably also causing a loss of user base.

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loss of base, loss of new members... loss and more loss

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very informative and impressive post. followed and upvoted! @drakos

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Also, there was some leaked information and rumors on the chats that there was no DDoS at all, but that it was an internal f*ckup.

Repeating inaccurate FUD isn’t big and isn’t clever. It harms only your own credibility.

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While we are discussing credibility:

One respected tool for shutting down speculation and FUD is to communicate honest, straight facts.

The act of sharing knowledge and information builds trust and creditability.

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@sneak could you give us an update on what happened? Was it a DDOS? Without compromising the counter measures, what are you doing to prevent it. Maybe show us some traffic figures. Is there something we can do to help you?

I am sure your team is fully at work and competent in handling the situation. Having some kind of incident report would still be good. Good examples for this are:

They have a team handling the problem while giving out small blips of information. Here are some examples you could post:

  • We experience a DDOS and are all hands on deck to mitigate it
  • The DDOS is still there, we are working on it
  • We restored service for X time, but now it is on it again
  • While the website is working, our RPC nodes are swamped, transactions could be lost
  • There was no internal f*ckup, here is some stats to show the DDOS is real
  • Here is an option to switch RPC nodes should ours be down
  • Here are other interfaces while we are down (best for a 5XX page)

I think most users want to give you the benefit of the doubt but it is really hard when there is no communication at all while you have the time to tell us all information we have is FUD.

Don't worth fighting the dark when there is no light

Example of how communication can be done without actually giving out any security relevant information:

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That's what the rumors say. If they're not true, then please explain why the RPC and the website have been unstable and unreliable for weeks... Besides, I'm not spreading FUD at all, on the contrary, while people on the chats ARE worried, we keep reassuring them that the Steem blockchain is fine, and that's it's the Steemit website which is having trouble. Both facts. And finally, I was expecting you would flag this post. It's sad to see this happen. I'm not going to cry about it, instead, I will invite you to spend one day in the help channel and other chat rooms, take notes of what people are saying, and address those issues face to face. If none of Steemit's staff is willing to do that, the FUD will continue, not by me, but by the whole community.

P.S. Telling us this is FUD and flagging this post (and others too) still doesn't convince me. We need more communication.

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The bigger harm to credibility is someone takes the time to post about a problem that Steemit INC has FAILED to communicate about and a principle employee of Steemit Inc downvotes it over a very minor comment.

Do some communicating and people would have zero cause to share questionable information.

Nice to know you have so much time to screw with users rather than getting the site working smoothly.

It very interesting that the witnesses are doing so much more to keep us informed than STinc. I have exactly the same thoughts @drakos and its not good for a company to be so radio silent when things are not all well with the site. It seems that they dont take their own site seriously and want to let others like Busy take over as a way to interact with the blockchain.

There's a ton of fear going around about the future of Steemit. I have to admit, I've been hit with it too... I just started a power down for the first time, and am cashing out 250 of my 350 sp. I'm hoping to play the market a bit and come back with more, but if things don't improve over the coming months, at least I'll have my money...

You are 100% right . Dare to say. Thats Why i voted you for witness. I am a beginning witness myself

Nice I have been away from steemit for a while so I havent even read much into the tokens. Also I noticed you told someone to refresh and the text would appear that doesnt always work if there was no draft saved or the server on the webpage couldnt be accessed refreshing would actually clear all forms. it would be better to hit back or forward if possible.

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The refresh sometimes works, sometimes it doesn't. I always recommend that people write their posts in a text file and save it. When ready to post, paste into steemit's editor.

Good work as always my man! The "we're still in beta" excuse is getting old. And I think I used it twice today in comments!

Some "official" communication would work wonders for consumer confidence. After all. Are we not all investors in steemit?

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We are investors indeed, that's a good point. We demand more communication.

I am with you 100% and thanks for standing up and posting all your important thoughts. I have been blogging about this as well, but I'm not informed like you are so thanks for laying it all out. Unfortunately the best way to describe things the last 3 weeks is "chaos". Your bullet points are excellent. Upvoted / Resteemed / Peace !!!

Thanks@drakos, I'm giving you my first ever vote for witness, it takes courage to stand up and speak the truth, especially when we know that some people will condemn us , I can only wish and imagine that I was so technologically informed as you, I'm most concerned for the well-being of humanity, always skeptical of the promises big egos (stealit scams ) make to all Us Little Fishies , it's nice to know there's someone else here that's not afraid of no big bad wolf! You keep writing and I'll keep reading thanks again. Play till u Pray

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Thank you for your support and confidence :)

Thanks for the info.

So @sneak is trying to hide all criticism and exposure of his team's failure with no explanation yet again. The way its being handled the platform won't attract investors; at this rate it wont even attract scammers. If you don't know how to manage projects professionally, hire (in a competitive manner) an educated, experienced project manager to support STINC.

Yeah, those are some good pointers @drakos. It's almost like having a broken leg and wanting to run a marathon. Best to fix some of the major issue on the website then do anything else.

Great insightful post @drakos . In my opinion, Steemit should be focusing on upgrading the platform such that it is not prone to attacks. It should digress from focusing on allowing users tp create their own tokens in form of new ICO and shit coins which would further tarnish the image of crypto currencies. Upvoted and following u as always.
Regards Nainaz
#thealliance

To me, it's a double-edged sword that may harm the platform more than help it. With the surging spams, scams, and phishing schemes on Steemit

I think Steemit will be one of the best platforms to push away the scammy ones. Remember what happened to matttrainer?

Comparing it to other coin announcement forums and platforms, here the scammy ones will have a much harder time to bloom with censorship resistant comments/votes and this might make the good projects get a much better start than on other places and strengthen the name of Steem.

...well for me the damn thing still doesn't work as it should. :) I'll bear through it...but so annoying yes.

This is what I want in a witness. Thank you.

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🙇

You are soo right! No one can run.before learning.to walk! I.hope they get their priorities fixed and focus. I really like this platform and can't invite friends if it is like this u.u

Btw atopy's art!!! She is everywhere!n.n

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@atopy is one of my favorites.

DDoS

Fry1.png

The apparent lack of regard for the users here, is worrying (is there any, in fact?)
I have never seen this kind lack of respect with the 'customers' of a site.

https://steemit.com/blog/@lucylin/why-is-there-no-information-coming-from-steemit

This post has received a 5.88 % upvote from @sleeplesswhale thanks to: @steem-buzz.

That direct message was painful to read.

I know that hurt.

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I felt so bad for the guy. And he's not the only one who lost work.

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I, too, have lost a post to Steemit.

Fool me once, though...

It reminds me of this one time that I raged out at Synthesia for deleting all my arranged music...I angrily emailed the founder, told him the software had practically eaten my baby, and got a refund out of him.

...3 days later I'm buying it, again, tail between my legs.