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Author Topic: A very simple blockchain explorer.  (Read 7302 times)
tobasco
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June 12, 2016, 10:57:00 AM
 #1

Update: 24 January 2017

learnmebitcoin.com Blockchain Browser - New Version

Hey, spent some time improving the block explorer. Here's an overview:

  • Node
    • Shows you how many transactions are in the memory pool, how many of those have been selected for inclusion in a candidate block, and the current difficulty (how hard it is to mine it on to the blockchain).

  • Blockchain
    • View blocks in the blockchain at any part of the chain, along with each block's; size, number of transactions, and fees collected.
    • Example:  The first 10 blocks in the blockchain.
    • Tip: Entering a negative value in the height field will take you that many blocks from the top.

  • Block
    • See the order of transactions in a block, along with the block header data.
    • Example:  The block of the last block reward halving.
    • Tip: Hovering over the "bits" field in the block header will show you the target value for the block (so you can see how much "under" this block's hash was).



Extras

  • Memory Pool - See the latest transactions, and which ones have been selected for inclusion in a candidate block (hovering over a transaction tells you the fee per byte, which is the metric used to determine which transactions are selected).
  • Candidate Block - This is actually trying to be mined on to the blockchain. It refreshes every 20 seconds to include the transactions with the highest fees. (The lowest fee-per-byte transactions tend to be at the bottom of the block, so by hovering over the bottom one, you can work out the minimum fee-per-byte needed to be included in the next block in the blockchain.)




Original Post:

Hey,

I've been working on making a simple bitcoin blockchain explorer. This is what I've got so far:

http://learnmeabitcoin.com/browser/

There are a number of things that I'd like to add/improve (such as getting the data to update live on the page), so I know it's not finished yet. But I've been working on this in the dark for so long that I thought it would be a good idea to share what I've got so far, and could do with some opinions.

So yeah, hope it's useful. Tell me what you think.

Greg.

Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
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June 12, 2016, 11:29:12 AM
 #2

Hey,

I've been working on making a simple bitcoin blockchain explorer. This is what I've got so far:

http://learnmeabitcoin.com/explorer/blockchain/

There are a number of things that I'd like to add/improve (such as getting the data to update live on the page), so I know it's not finished yet. But I've been working on this in the dark for so long that I thought it would be a good idea to share what I've got so far, and could do with some opinions.

So yeah, hope it's useful. Tell me what you think.

Greg.

Nice site, pretty easy to navigate and straight forward.

Just saw that you attend my event (CoinFestUK) and met Matt (He's an awesome guy and look forward to having at all future CoinFestUK events!!)

Fallen down the crypto rabbithole!
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June 13, 2016, 11:21:27 AM
 #3

Wow ... this looks very cool. I like the retro look ! A search feature would be very helpful too

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June 13, 2016, 10:27:56 PM
 #4

Nice work, congratulations!
But, what's the use of this? You made something different from what already exists, and that's great, but I don't understand towards what end.

Read more from me and follow me on Steemit: https://steemit.com/@countryfree
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June 14, 2016, 12:49:45 AM
 #5

2 thumbs up man.  I dig the design and hella impressed with your page load times...this puppy snaps! Keep it up

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tobasco
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June 14, 2016, 09:09:51 PM
 #6

Wow ... this looks very cool. I like the retro look ! A search feature would be very helpful too

Thanks! Glad I'm not the only one who enjoys the "classic" look. Although I dare say my lack of front-end skill does force my hand somewhat.

Can you go in to more detail about the search feature you mentioned?

Nice work, congratulations!
But, what's the use of this? You made something different from what already exists, and that's great, but I don't understand towards what end.

Good question.

The primary goal with this website was to explain how bitcoin works in a way that's easy to understand. I started with the written guide, but after finishing it I realised that it would make things easier if I could show how it works, so that's why I started the blockchain explorer.

So the secondary goal has been making a blockchain explorer that anyone can understand. I think the existing blockchain explorers are difficult to use for anyone who is new to bitcoin, so I'm making something that's easy.

In the end, I think a good blockchain explorer will help get more people in to bitcoin.

tl;dr I thought I could make something better than blockchain.info

2 thumbs up man.  I dig the design and hella impressed with your page load times...this puppy snaps! Keep it up

Thank you sir Cheesy

I created the site from scratch using PHP, so I've tried to make the pages load as quick as possible (although some parts of the explorer are going to be sluggish until I figure some things out). Nonetheless, my hope is that faster page loads will distract from my god-awful web design skills.

Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
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June 14, 2016, 09:24:16 PM
 #7

Amazing stuff there! Loved the way you have organised everything into flowcharts with pictorial representations.Guide is short and simple,very informative.What I would like to be added next is fetch the transaction details from a particular address.I couldn't figure out how'd we do that.

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June 14, 2016, 09:52:32 PM
 #8

Pretty nifty... how long have you been working on it?  i like the representation of the memory pool and transactions getting added to the next block.  That's something that I haven't visually seen before on another block explorer...
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June 15, 2016, 12:46:02 PM
 #9

Nice work, congratulations!
But, what's the use of this? You made something different from what already exists, and that's great, but I don't understand towards what end.


You realize what you sound like?
"Nice grocery store, there's already a grocery store down the street, so why have this one too?"

To OP: Nice project man! Also I noticed you included me in your Thanks, so thanks for the thanks Wink Keep up the good work!


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June 15, 2016, 07:17:06 PM
 #10

Very nice! I like that simple and practical design, unlike modern javascript beasts, so nice
I just plunged into exploration for 15 minutes haha  Grin
Will probably bookmark it for a future use, thanks!
tobasco
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June 16, 2016, 11:23:44 PM
 #11

Amazing stuff there! Loved the way you have organised everything into flowcharts with pictorial representations.Guide is short and simple,very informative.What I would like to be added next is fetch the transaction details from a particular address.I couldn't figure out how'd we do that.

Thanks Joel Smiley

Yeah I agree; showing the transactions for an address would be very useful, but I haven't figured out how to do that just yet. Thanks for bringing that up though.

Pretty nifty... how long have you been working on it?  i like the representation of the memory pool and transactions getting added to the next block.  That's something that I haven't visually seen before on another block explorer...

Been working on the explorer for about 4 months in total, but not 4 months straight. Probably could have been done in about a month, but I've been learning things as I go along.

And thanks... I've been trying to lay things out in a way that make the most sense in my head.

Nice project man! Also I noticed you included me in your Thanks, so thanks for the thanks Wink Keep up the good work!

Your websocket tutorial saved my brain.

Very nice! I like that simple and practical design, unlike modern javascript beasts, so nice
I just plunged into exploration for 15 minutes haha  Grin
Will probably bookmark it for a future use, thanks!

Ha, perfect.

And yeah, I don't love javascript, so I'm glad there are still people out there who are cool with webpages that don't have shit flying everywhere.

Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
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June 17, 2016, 08:32:23 AM
 #12

I'm getting "Couldn't connect to bitcoin Sad" when I click on a block for some reasons ?  Huh

tobasco
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June 17, 2016, 09:06:02 AM
 #13

I'm getting "Couldn't connect to bitcoin Sad" when I click on a block for some reasons ?  Huh

Had to restart bitcoind. Thanks for letting me know.

Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
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June 17, 2016, 05:06:18 PM
 #14

Nice work.  Is this open source?  (Not saying that you should make it so - just wondering).

There's a lot of competition out there (bitcoin-abe, iquidus and insight.is).  I like the block visualization in this one though.
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June 17, 2016, 10:34:44 PM
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Nice work.  Is this open source?  (Not saying that you should make it so - just wondering).

There's a lot of competition out there (bitcoin-abe, iquidus and insight.is).  I like the block visualization in this one though.

I think this would make a pretty nice open source project. Please link us to the github if it is.
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June 21, 2016, 03:36:22 PM
 #16

Nice work.  Is this open source?  (Not saying that you should make it so - just wondering).

Not just yet.

I am using Mercurial and pushing to BitBucket, but I haven't shared a link to the repository. It will be open-source, but it's a bit premature at the moment.


Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
tobasco
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June 24, 2016, 11:56:44 AM
 #17

The memory pool now highlights transactions that have been selected for inclusion in the candidate block:

http://learnmeabitcoin.com/explorer/node/memorypool/

Note:

The candidate block on this node/website re-populates every 20 seconds (or when a new block arrives), using the default getblocktemplate command to select transactions from the memory pool.

This may be different to other nodes, who may rebuild their candidate block less frequently, and select transactions differently. So just because you can see your transaction has been included in the candidate block on this node, it doesn't mean that your transaction will definitely make it in to the blockchain when the next block gets mined.

http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/32892/how-often-do-miners-update-their-block-transaction-list

Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
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June 24, 2016, 12:57:24 PM
 #18

The memory pool now highlights transactions that have been selected for inclusion in the candidate block:

http://learnmeabitcoin.com/explorer/node/memorypool/

Note:

The candidate block on this node/website re-populates every 20 seconds (or when a new block arrives), using the default getblocktemplate command to select transactions from the memory pool.

This may be different to other nodes, who may rebuild their candidate block less frequently, and select transactions differently. So just because you can see your transaction has been included in the candidate block on this node, it doesn't mean that your transaction will definitely make it in to the blockchain when the next block gets mined.

http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/32892/how-often-do-miners-update-their-block-transaction-list

Fantastic update, that's pretty cool. To save on some screen space, you could shorten that screen up or represent the transaction in the mempool screen by some kind of visual token or something like ▒▒. 
tobasco
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June 25, 2016, 12:57:30 AM
 #19

Fantastic update, that's pretty cool. To save on some screen space, you could shorten that screen up or represent the transaction in the mempool screen by some kind of visual token or something like ▒▒. 

Thank you cloverme Smiley

I'm interested in your idea, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Is the idea to replace each Transaction ID with a symbol?

Bitcoin Video Tutorials: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3093713.msg31934254

http://learnmeabitcoin.com
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June 25, 2016, 01:01:21 PM
 #20

Fantastic update, that's pretty cool. To save on some screen space, you could shorten that screen up or represent the transaction in the mempool screen by some kind of visual token or something like ▒▒. 

Thank you cloverme Smiley

I'm interested in your idea, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Is the idea to replace each Transaction ID with a symbol?

Yeah, on your page http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/1389/how-are-public-private-keys-in-an-address-created

Since it is just pages and pages of numbers, so it loses some contextual meaning. If you have a a symbol represent the number, it would shorten up the page and make it easier to look at. You could always tooltip the txid so that if you hovered the mouse over the block, the tx would appear or the other data you have on it. It's cool either way even if you leave it untouched.
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