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Author Topic: Proposal: bitcoin.org "clients" page should distinctly list "bitcoind"  (Read 1667 times)
casascius
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September 12, 2012, 03:35:03 PM
 #1

I would like to propose that the clients page on Bitcoin.org (http://bitcoin.org/clients.html) list "bitcoind" as a distinct bitcoin client, separate from "bitcoin-qt" which it's obviously a part of.  When I propose this, I do so in the shoes of a prospective user who may be actively looking for a command-line bitcoin client (such as to involve with scripts or web development) and who might prematurely conclude that that's not really an option.

A description I would offer for "bitcoind" would go as follows:

bitcoind

The command-line Bitcoin client, evolved from the original software written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the project's founder, and maintained by the core Bitcoin development team.  This Bitcoin client is the full reference implementation for the Bitcoin network and protocol, and is the foundation of several of the other Bitcoin clients, including bitcoin-qt, the graphical user interface (GUI) Bitcoin client also maintained by the core Bitcoin development team.  The command-line bitcoind client is intended for expert computer users, miners, as well as developers of other applications and websites that interact with the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network.  The bitcoind executable runs in two modes: a "daemon" mode that establishes and maintains connections to other peers on the network as a full network citizen and is controlled locally through a JSON-RPC API, as well as a "client" mode that feeds commands from the command line to a running daemon through its API, such as for the benefit of scripts.

Since that description takes a little bit away from bitcoin-qt, I would revise bitcoin-qt as follows:

Bitcoin-Qt

The GUI version of the reference software, also started by the project's founder and maintained by the Bitcoin development team. This application is a peer-to-peer client that builds the backbone of the Bitcoin network. It is suited for enthusiasts, merchants, miners, developers and people who want to help support the project.  Bitcoin-Qt is built on bitcoind, and therefore people who run Bitcoin-Qt are first class network citizens and have the highest levels of security, privacy and stability. However, it can be very resource intensive and you should be willing to leave it running in the background so other computers can connect to yours.  Because this is based on reference software that takes the most conservative approach to acquiring and verifying data from other nodes, upon first use, this software will need to download several gigabytes of "block chain" data from other peers, save it to your hard drive, and consume a significant quantity of CPU time in a process that will take several hours.  If your internet connection cannot sustain this, or if your computer is low powered or you aren't willing to tolerate a 8-hour+ initial start time, you should consider other clients.  You may be able to download and install a "block chain" file directly from another person you trust in order to shortcut the process.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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September 12, 2012, 03:36:05 PM
 #2

I'll second this proposal.
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September 12, 2012, 03:38:30 PM
 #3

Yea that be good! +1

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September 12, 2012, 03:51:18 PM
 #4

I agree.  It is useful to clarify that the the download package actually contains two clients.  In time it is possible that bitcoind will be offered as a seperate download.  I would prefer the GUI be renamed but that is a battle for another day.
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September 12, 2012, 07:01:14 PM
 #5

+1

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September 12, 2012, 09:25:05 PM
 #6

You guys must take a look at libcoin (https://github.com/ceptacle/libcoin)

The bitcoind can be only a "blockchain deamon", running as user "blockchain" or even "root" and, bitcoin-qt will be just the client of it (connecting to it through unix sockets or net).

For instance, I think it does not work like that but, it is close to it!

Also, a new Bitcoin CLI will born, called "bitcoin", since bitcoind is now the "blockchain daemon"...

So, for each system user, will be only a bitcoin-qt/bitcoin running, with just wallet support built into it...

Libcoin is close to Bitcoin itself...

Cheers!
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September 13, 2012, 05:24:46 AM
 #7

The GUI version of the reference software, also started by the project's founder and maintained by the Bitcoin development team.
This story is not correct. Bitcoin-Qt was started as a separate project by me, based on the bitcoind core. For 0.4.0 it was merged as the "official" GUI, replacing wxbitcoin, because it was better maintained, structured more robustly, and had more features. It still shares the Satoshi core, but that's all that it has in common with the original GUI.

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September 13, 2012, 05:46:30 AM
 #8

The GUI version of the reference software, also started by the project's founder and maintained by the Bitcoin development team.
This story is not correct. Bitcoin-Qt was started as a separate project by me, based on the bitcoind core. For 0.4.0 it was merged as the "official" GUI, replacing wxbitcoin, because it was better maintained, structured more robustly, and had more features. It still shares the Satoshi core, but that's all that it has in common with the original GUI.

Very well, I added a strikeout to the OP.  Thanks.  And you're right, now that I remember it, the original used something else.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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September 13, 2012, 06:00:09 AM
 #9

one big problem with bitcoin is the lack of information / documentation regarding its iner-workings, all the info is scattered through out this forum

this proposal is a no-brainier

do it!  Cheesy

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September 18, 2012, 01:50:02 PM
 #10

RE: listing bitcoind separately on the clients page:  good idea.  casascius, do you know (or are you willing to teach yourself) enough git to submit a pull request to the https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.org  repository?

I think we should remove the direct download links from the bitcoin.org (and wiki) homepage, too, and instead just link to the clients page.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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September 18, 2012, 04:47:52 PM
 #11

I think we should remove the direct download links from the bitcoin.org (and wiki) homepage, too, and instead just link to the clients page.


Anything that would help getting the more laymen users to use other clients beside the satoshi client is a plus IMHO because I have this sneaky suspicion a lot of people get turned off once they start waiting for the blockchain to download. Of course I can't substantiate this suspicion with any evidence.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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September 18, 2012, 06:34:13 PM
 #12

RE: listing bitcoind separately on the clients page:  good idea.  casascius, do you know (or are you willing to teach yourself) enough git to submit a pull request to the https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.org  repository?

I think we should remove the direct download links from the bitcoin.org (and wiki) homepage, too, and instead just link to the clients page.


I never realized that bitcoin.org was a git repository, but since I have a habit of spouting off ideas but relying on others to actually construct and submit the results, getting familiar with that would probably be well within my best interests.  Thanks for the suggestion.

I would also consider BlockChain.info to be a relatively worthy web "client" that people should be sent to, while understanding and sharing the reservations that any external website will always be under somebody else's control and could unexpectedly be replaced (whether by the operators or intruders) with malicious content at any time.

I would have that reservation less if BlockChain.info were designed to encourage users to keep their funds on paper wallets at all times except while transacting, and encouraged users to print paper wallets with a standalone program instead of within BlockChain.info.  Possibly better or alternatively, if such a site leveraged multisig and paper keys together so there was no possibility of an intruder taking coins beyond those being transacted at a single moment.  It's worth point out that BlockChain.info already has a Flash-based QR code scanner (via webcam) and this greatly enhances the ability for users to protect themselves with paper-based wallets/keyparts.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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September 18, 2012, 06:38:39 PM
 #13

I think we should remove the direct download links from the bitcoin.org (and wiki) homepage, too, and instead just link to the clients page.


Anything that would help getting the more laymen users to use other clients beside the satoshi client is a plus IMHO because I have this sneaky suspicion a lot of people get turned off once they start waiting for the blockchain to download. Of course I can't substantiate this suspicion with any evidence.

I would have this strong suspicion as well.  Having users download the application without telling them well in advance that they'll need to wait till tomorrow to use it suggests to them that we're out of touch with their need for their money to be convenient and usable in a rapid fashion like cash, paypal, and credit cards.  I know lots of people who would love to own some bitcoins if only they knew how to get in and out of them easily and how to trade them (and you can bet not very many people are saying "download the client from bitcoin.org" to any of them).

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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September 18, 2012, 07:10:40 PM
 #14

(and you can bet not very many people are saying "download the client from bitcoin.org" to any of them).

lol, yep I certainly don't.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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September 19, 2012, 03:29:40 AM
 #15

The level of trust for any website -- be it mtgox, blockchain.info or whatever -- is surely lower than a decentralized client or paper wallet.  blockchain.info seems as much a SPOF as the infamous MyBitcoin web wallet.  (note: not accusing the site owner, just noting its vulnerability and untested nature)

None of the other websites are as attack-hardened as mtgox, but even then, the recommendation for people storing large amounts of bitcoins (> 500 BTC) should be a decentralized solution.

Yes, websites are easier for Aunt Tillie right now, as we've seen with MyBitcoin and Bitcoinica, storing large amounts of bitcoins there for extended periods can lead to large thefts.

Be your own deposit insurance.


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September 19, 2012, 03:33:34 AM
 #16

I think we should remove the direct download links from the bitcoin.org (and wiki) homepage, too, and instead just link to the clients page.


Anything that would help getting the more laymen users to use other clients beside the satoshi client is a plus IMHO because I have this sneaky suspicion a lot of people get turned off once they start waiting for the blockchain to download. Of course I can't substantiate this suspicion with any evidence.

I would have this strong suspicion as well.  Having users download the application without telling them well in advance that they'll need to wait till tomorrow to use it suggests to them that we're out of touch with their need for their money to be convenient and usable in a rapid fashion like cash, paypal, and credit cards.  I know lots of people who would love to own some bitcoins if only they knew how to get in and out of them easily and how to trade them (and you can bet not very many people are saying "download the client from bitcoin.org" to any of them).

I would love to know where you are getting credit cards faster than you can download the blockchain.

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