jesta witness update - 2016-11-11steemCreated with Sketch.

in witness-category •  2 years ago

I think I'm planning on sticking to these updates at bi-weekly rate for now, since last week I didn't have much interesting to report and was pretty busy. This week, with next week's upcoming changes, I felt it was a good time to chime in.

1. Accomplished the week of 2016-11-11:

  • Upgraded all the steem servers to 0.15.0
  • I've started migrating steemdb to a better server, and it will now use it's own private steem instance for increased speed.
  • The new website is now running on an optimized setup of reprint. It's no where near finished in terms of layout/design/pages, but I'm almost at the point where I can say the server infrastructure is good and will scale well.
  • I have started slowly talking to a few people who want reprint websites, and plan on using these sites as our proof of concept. We also have our own slack now to specifically keep topics on track for greymass/reprint.
  • Fixed an issue with how proxy votes were tallied on steemdb (thanks @abit!)
  • Added global witness voting history to steemdb.
  • Explored Google/AWS/Docker/Kubernetes versions of container solutions for use within a large multi-site reprint installation.
  • Lots of discussions about the upcoming inflation changes (I'll go into my thoughts below)

2. Upcoming projects/goals

  • Right now I'm working on a steemdb plugin for reprint. This plugin will allow anyone with a reprint site to pull data via a plugin/api in ways the blockchain currently doesn't allow for (optimally).
  • Expand the steemphp library to include more different types of information.
  • Continue development of reprint, and launch the site as something I'm happy with.
  • A day or two will be set aside for the 0.16.0 fork coming soon. Currently I have 8-10 steemd servers running at any given moment, and I discovered this week that upgrading all of these servers takes a bit of time!

3. Thoughts from this week

Major changes on the horizon in terms of the steem economy, and I for one am glad we're seeing some progress. However, I don't like the fact that there are so many unrelated changes all being bundled into a single update. This sentiment has been mirrored by many witnesses I've spoken with. It will be interesting to see if we actually end up delaying this update because of this bundled approach.

Point by point, here's where my thoughts are...

  1. Reduce inflation to 9.5%/year: I'm on board. The 9.5% might be low, but I think it'll be great to swing from one extreme to the other for a while.
  2. Allocate 75% of the created Steem to the Reward Fund: Agreed.
  3. Allocate 15% of the created Steem to the Vesting Fund as interest on Steem Power: Agreed.
  4. Allocate 10% of the created Steem to the Witnesses: Agreed. Though I do think the reduction in witness pay might cause financial danger to the project's witnesses (myself included) support. If that means alternate financing must be sought, so be it. Reducing the amount of inflation is more important.
  5. Increase backup witness's pay: Neutral. If you look at it from the infrastructure point of view, backup witnesses aren't as important for block production simply because they don't produce as much. Beyond just producing blocks, I do believe there are people outside of the 19 that deserve funding. The mentality right now seems to be that witness funding isn't meant for funding projects (which I also disagree with). Overall - increasing the amount backup witnesses get paid, while decreasing the amount primary witnesses receive seems counter intuitive. I won't stand in the way of this change though, I just don't know what it solves.
  6. Increase miner's pay: Currently against. The mining queue is dominated by 2 people because they aren't sharing the software, and that doesn't add much value to the network. Mining is about decentralization, and two miners isn't decentralized. I will support an increase in mining rewards if we change to a more open algorithm where everyone can GPU mine (Equihash?).
  7. Witnesses and miners would be paid in STEEM rather than Steem Power: Current against for miners, due to the same reasons above. I am willing to support this shift once we have a better POW system. Overall though, I do like the idea of mining/witness rewards being paid in a liquid fund, it just doesn't make sense now.
  8. Votes for witnesses would expire after 3 months: Against, it doesn't solve any problems. If this happens, I'm just going to setup a bot to renew my votes... which in turn will just create excess traffic on the blockchain. It solves nothing, as anyone with significant vote weight will likely do the same.
  9. Reducing the Steem Power holding period to a minimum of 3 months: Agreed, and almost the exact same thoughts as I wrote in #1. It might be a little too short, but I'm willing to see how it plays out and adjust accordingly. From what I understand is this will be a witness parameter, which means it'll be easy enough to change.
  10. Reduce the SBD delay from 7 days to 3 (or 3.5) days: Agreed.

Most of my objections right now involve the mining queue, simply because the changes benefit two people specifically (rabbit/supercomputing). I don't know why we would make a change that benefits them, and no one else. I'd go so far as to say I agree with @joseph, and I wouldn't even mind if POW mining was removed until a more decentralized solution was put in place.

Overall, these are a great set of changes to alter the rate of inflation and hopefully create some confidence in the economy. It'll be an interesting few weeks as we all continue discussing these changes and the impact they have for steem!

4. Previous week's update

Update for the week ending 2016-10-30

Finally, don't forget to vote for witnesses here.

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Rock on, Jesta. Good to hear your thoughts on the upcoming changes.

thank you jesta for the updates! My thoughts are mostly aligned with yours on upcoming hardfork changes.

As a minnow I don't understand half of what you said.
What I think I understand I think I agree with.
I'm not sure about the miners.


It's a weird mess right now basically - and yet for some reason we might increase the rewards.

"I have started slowly talking to a few people who want reprint websites, and plan on using these sites as our proof of concept. We also have our own slack now to specifically keep topics on track for greymass/reprint."

does this mean people who have their own domain name blog type website can have put on steemit?

Is that what that is? If so how do I get involved?


Yeah, pretty much. Basically people who are using things like wordpress/medium to run websites, and would rather run a site powered by the steem blockchain.

We have very limited resources at the moment, but to get involved, just start up a conversation with us and let us know! We have #reprint on, and you're free to reach out to us at This first set of sites/version is going to be very feature light (no authoring, no gui), so it's just a matter of determining if we can meet your needs initially :)

Keep up the good work.
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Thanks for sharing your report, and for sharing your thoughts on the proposed changes.

Thanks for your report and opinions. These are valid as always.

Are you familiar with @beyondbitcoin and


Yep, I've talked with fuzzy and faddat a few times about what they're up to. They are fundamentally different projects at heart, ours being homebrew and built on steem, and beyondbitcoin's being build on top of wordpress.


Thanks for the reply. Do I get this right:

  1. your system is running on top of a steem node
  2. their system is pumping steem node's data into mysql wordpress database

Or am I way off? :)

HW requirements could be very much different. OK, it all depends on how you set up the whole environment and which part is doing most of the job. I suppose that majority of the work falls on getting / transforming steem node data. I might be wrong...


Yep, you got it!

I don't want to get into the HW requirements for wordpress, but reprint really depend on whether or not you're going for performance.

Right now with a reprint installation using the public node, page loads are around 700ms. The pages themselves only consume about 4mb of RAM and barely any CPU usage though, so you could run it easily on a $5 VPS. The plan for this budget implementation (and to improve performance) is to implement a caching layer (like wpsupercache or whatever). It will limit the requests to steemd to prevent that bottleneck from occurring on every page load. It would make for a very cheap installation, much like wordpress.

On the flip side, I have a reprint installation also running on a server with 48G of RAM. 40G of the RAM is being used by 2x load-balanced steemd nodes with the remaining 8 is used by nginx/php-fpm. This server is capable of handing thousands of requests/sec to the blog, with each page load ~60ms.

The last scenario I have yet to play out is a cheap reprint instance running in the same datacenter as a steemd node, connecting using private networking. This would end up being a happy middle ground and I'm going to assume the pageloads would be around ~150ms.

The majority of the work is indeed in just parsing the data as it comes out of the blockchain. I started steemphp to handle that, and basically act as an ORM for the data coming in (much like piston does). From there, it's using twig to create blog templates and building the website however you'd like :)

I actually was tinkering earlier and came up with a prototype steem blog just by taking their existing styles and writing some html templates. I think it turned out pretty sweet ;)


Thanks again. You replies are much longer and more to the point that are my questions :)

Prototype looks great. Load times are great too, in any configuration.

It would be interesting to try out the setup with the public node since I am already paying for the Wordpress hosting. This hosting is heavily wp oriented. In fact you can't install anything else. Is it possible to add reprint functionality be to the 'usual' wp setup? I guess it is :) Maybe I would have to convince my hosting provider to open up some ports ...?


If it's a WP-only host, you might have a hard time convincing them to run anything else. Technically it would run on any server that runs PHP though :)

If you don't mind me asking, what do you consider to be a fair price for hosting like that? Once we get everything up off the ground, we're planning on offering hosting as part of our business model to fund future development :)


Reply depth limit reached :)

It is a WP-only host and yes, there can be issues with convincing them to allow something more. It probably depends on how much burden this more represents.

As for the prices. I am currently using two shared hosting solutions.

One, more open, in Germany for around 9 € per month. I-don't-know-how-many domains and databases included :) Apparently more that enough for my needs.

Second in Canada, WP-only, for around $20 monthly. This price is actually the whole package of knowledge base, community, instructions, ... and web hosting. Again, practically unlimited domains.

I guess that the price someplace around these numbers would be OK. Let's say between $10 and $20? With some discounts for yearly deals, beta participants, ...

Why shared hosting, you might ask? I've run my own serves in collocation for many years but got fed with sysadmin work :) It is easier this way if your demands are reasonably low.

Yes, this was before the cloud era.

Thanks for letting us know the update. It's always great hearing from witnesses on what they are up to..

I also disagree heavily with the 3 month witness vote expiry, if this gets implemented I will be writing lots of complaint posts.

See my post for my reasoning:

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