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Author Topic: [ANNOUNCE] Abe 0.7: Open Source Block Explorer Knockoff  (Read 175721 times)
John Tobey
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June 26, 2011, 02:00:58 PM
 #1

!!! Announcing Abe, the open-source block chain browser !!!

Newbies post here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=51139.0

While theymos' Bitcoin Block Explorer has served us well, there are benefits that can only be had by an open-source version of this critical Bitcoin infrastructure.

  • Privacy: you can view information without revealing your interest in it.
  • Extensibility: you can add features that you want.
  • Trust: you can audit the source code.
  • Reliability: you can run it on your own server free of charge.

Abe provides much of Block Explorer's interface, including the list of recent blocks, a search tool, and detailed block, transaction, and address history pages.  Abe can also present multiple currencies such as Bitcoin, Namecoin, Tenebrix, and whatever FooCoin tomorrow may bring.  Abe lets you page back and forth in the block list and presents some new statistics like Average Coin Age.

Abe's interactive performance approaches Block Explorer's, though it is untested under BBE loads.  Abe supports a subset of Block Explorer's API.

Source code on Github: https://github.com/bitcoin-abe/bitcoin-abe
Demonstration site: http://abe.john-edwin-tobey.org/ (a 512MB VPS, can't handle heavy loads)
Requirements: Python and an RDBMS; tested with PostgreSQL, SQLite, MySQL, Oracle, ODBC, and DB2.
Donations: 1PWC7PNHL1SgvZaN7xEtygenKjWobWsCuf (BTC) and NJ3MSELK1cWnqUa6xhF2wUYAnz3RSrWXcK (NMC).

Enjoy!

December 6, 2012: Version 0.7.2 released.
August 31, 2011: Version 0.6 released.
August 16, 2011: Version 0.5 released.
July 15, 2011: See changes since July 4.

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
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June 26, 2011, 03:34:20 PM
 #2

Following this thread.

Like my post(s)? 12TSXLa5Tu6ag4PNYCwKKSiZsaSCpAjzpu Smiley
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June 26, 2011, 07:25:50 PM
 #3

Nice, a valuable tool.

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June 26, 2011, 07:30:20 PM
 #4

great, i wanted to do one in php but now theres one Smiley

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June 26, 2011, 07:31:48 PM
 #5

Nice work!

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June 27, 2011, 09:18:38 PM
 #6

I've used Abe data to find some addresses that have had both BTC and NMC balances.  Example:

http://john-edwin-tobey.org:2750/address/128CYpCqrg9iWYLciBmV1FiQmS3bsPz3Jv

The Namecoin address with the same public key is MwhZkThpn4FH35b7z164DmsKVfSetrdwKe, but Abe shows the history of both at the above URL.  I consider this a "feature" not a "bug" though others may disagree  Grin

Found in a database with BTC, NMC, and no other currencies using:
Code:
create table dup_pubkey as
  select distinct pubkey_id
    from txout
    join block_tx using (tx_id)
    join chain_candidate cc using (block_id)
   group by pubkey_id
  having count(distinct cc.chain_id) > 1;
select pubkey_hash from dup_pubkey join pubkey using (pubkey_id);

And used BlockExplorer's hashtoaddress function.  (Block Explorer is still good for some things... Cheesy)

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
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June 28, 2011, 02:23:33 AM
 #7

This is the start of something that will be standard.

Bitcoin offers little room for non open source solutions imo.

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June 28, 2011, 02:30:51 AM
 #8

Agreed.

Judging by this post [ http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=23340.0 ] it looks like blockexplorer won't be open source any time soon.
I'm starting to trust it less and less especially once it ends up on other servers where it can easily be modified but you have no option of just running your own.

ABE is starting to look very attractive.
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June 28, 2011, 04:00:33 AM
 #9

Good luck with the project. I think this will be very useful.

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June 28, 2011, 04:08:12 AM
 #10

AGPL? Shit. Guess I'll go back to coding my own.

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June 28, 2011, 05:05:18 AM
 #11

What is your policy regarding keeping history? I've heard here a few times about how using logs from an online block explorer it's possible to identify who owns what if they don't use a proxy. If you are the only one to check an address then *chances* are it's probably the owner!  Wink

*Next Draw Feb 1*  BitLotto: monthly raffle (0.25 BTC per ticket) Completely transparent and impossible to manipulate who wins. TOR
TOR2WEB
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June 28, 2011, 05:10:09 AM
 #12

AGPL? Shit. Guess I'll go back to coding my own.
I'm curious what your main complaints are about AGPL? It does guarantee is will be free forever but does limit the code it can be integrated in...if he keeps all the copyright I'm sure if someone gave him the right price he'd offer it under different terms while keeping the community one as is!  Wink

*Next Draw Feb 1*  BitLotto: monthly raffle (0.25 BTC per ticket) Completely transparent and impossible to manipulate who wins. TOR
TOR2WEB
Donations to: 1JQdiQsjhV2uJ4Y8HFtdqteJsZhv835a8J are appreciated.
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June 28, 2011, 05:14:49 AM
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AGPL? Shit. Guess I'll go back to coding my own.
I'm curious what your main complaints are about AGPL? It does guarantee is will be free forever but does limit the code it can be integrated in...if he keeps all the copyright I'm sure if someone gave him the right price he'd offer it under different terms while keeping the community one as is!  Wink

With the software as is, it means (among other things) that I have to publish the source code to any changes made to it, such as changes to the site design. I'm not concerned about publishing any changes I make that fix bugs or add features; these I would just send in a pull request anyway even if it wasn't AGPL. But the license requires me to have a whole source code publishing infrastructure if I change a single byte, which is unavoidable.

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June 28, 2011, 05:29:06 AM
 #14

Got an error trying to clone the git repo, any idea?



EDIT: Never mind, it worked on the 2nd try, just need to restart the whole import process.

Thanks.
patvarilly
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June 28, 2011, 06:33:53 AM
 #15

It would be extremely useful if at some point, ABE could get requests for (a) the merkle branch of a particular transaction, and (b) a list of all transactions involving a certain address (or some similar pattern matching).  These are the two main things that an SPV client would need to confirm the transactions that the user has sent, and become aware of transactions where other people send the user Bitcoins.  It sounds like you have almost all the infrastructure set up for this, and having a known place where these queries can be made, without needing to modify the Bitcoin protocol, would help catalyze the development of lightweight SPV clients (clients based on BitcoinJ, for instance, still have to download the whole blockchain, as far as I understand, which is a nonstarter in resource-poor environments like cellphones).
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June 28, 2011, 07:13:05 AM
 #16

Following this thread.

I know this because Tyler knows this.
John Tobey
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June 28, 2011, 10:38:17 AM
 #17

It [AGPL] does guarantee is will be free forever but does limit the code it can be integrated in...if he keeps all the copyright I'm sure if someone gave him the right price he'd offer it under different terms while keeping the community one as is!  Wink

Correct.  The last thing I'd want is for Abe features to start showing up on a site like Block Explorer and growing closed-source enhancements.  But if someone will pay me for all the time I've put in, I will happily release it under a permissive license.  Or for a bit less, under an exclusive one.

For the sake of concreteness, as soon as 600BTC turn up at 1PWC7PNHL1SgvZaN7xEtygenKjWobWsCuf with 6 confirmations at difficulty over 1,000,000, you may have the current commit (8bd1c8609cab296174c68c7df06c60367c7b84c6) under the same license as bitcointools, bct-LICENSE.txt with my copyright next to Gavin's.  There are currently 0.05BTC, thanks to whoever.

With the software as is, it means (among other things) that I have to publish the source code to any changes made to it, such as changes to the site design.

Good point, and I should figure out which parts don't need AGPL protection, such as donation addresses and logos.

It would be extremely useful if at some point, ABE could get requests for (a) the merkle branch of a particular transaction, and (b) a list of all transactions involving a certain address (or some similar pattern matching).

Added to the to-do list, thanks.  Please note that the database will also need optimising before it can support uses like SPV on any scale.  I have ideas for how to optimise it, but they are not at the top of my list yet.

What is your policy regarding keeping history? I've heard here a few times about how using logs from an online block explorer it's possible to identify who owns what if they don't use a proxy. If you are the only one to check an address then *chances* are it's probably the owner!  Wink

My policy is that I sometimes look at my log files and get curious.  Cheesy  As for the software, it prints requested URLs to the standard output along with other information.  You may save or discard the output.

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
John Tobey
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June 28, 2011, 04:16:28 PM
 #18

I've just rebranded the project "Abe" (formerly "ABE") so as to reduce any chance of confusion with the original "BBE" (theymos' Bitcoin Block Explorer).

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
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June 28, 2011, 10:52:28 PM
 #19

Looks good, can't wait for a more complete API, are you going to match block explorer's urls?

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John Tobey
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June 29, 2011, 12:56:40 AM
 #20

Looks good, can't wait for a more complete API, are you going to match block explorer's urls?

I'll do my best to match them.  /block, /tx, and /address are compatible, apart from some differences in output format and content.  /b doesn't work yet, because Abe currently lacks a notion of "default currency", and /b/NUMBER could be ambiguous.  (/chain/Bitcoin/b/NUMBER gives the equivalent.)  Other URLs could match BBE but aren't implemented yet.

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
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