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Author Topic: Community-Led Development of Bitcointalk?  (Read 226 times)
Thekool1s
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September 04, 2018, 01:16:14 AM
 #1

Since Theymos has recently said that he is short-handed, I think its about time this should be discussed. Should Community-Led development of bitcointalk be a thing? There have been many great suggestions in the "Community generated suggestions" thread. Many of these ideas/suggestions would take years to get implemented at the current development pace, No Offence. What I want to propose here is to allow the community developers to offer a helping hand to theymos.

There are certain pros and cons to this. The biggest con is making bitcointalk's code open to the public. Which would mean if there are any loose ends in the code, a rogue developer could exploit them. Obviously, these developers won't work on the 'live' version of bitcointalk. The code written by them will be first published to a GitHub Repository where 'theymos' and other developers would validate it before implementing on the live version.

Another con would be, We will see Copies of bitcointalk pop-up everywhere, making phishing easier for hackers.

The biggest Pro is the obvious one i.e Rapid Development of new features. Personally, I don't know whether this one 'Pro' will outweigh all the cons which community-led development may bring. But I would like to hear your opinion on this. Should something like this take place? Or Theymos should consider hiring new people to work on the development of bitcointalk with him. Also, Theymos has yet to explain us why he hasn't been hiring staff for the development of bitcointalk. Funding doesn't seems to be an issue here, Is 'trust' really the major factor behind not hiring people? Or is there something else which is preventing him for not working with people outside of his 'inner circle'. Whatever the reason may be, I think its about time we as a community get some answers.

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September 04, 2018, 04:21:51 AM
 #2

It's a great idea and should have been done time ago already, I'm sure there would be a lot of people willing to give a hand. About the cons, I don't really see any unless you think open source doesn't work, and a part from that, simple machine forum it's already open source, which imply anyone can already make a copy of bitcointalk.




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September 04, 2018, 04:50:22 AM
 #3

The problem is and he already have said that in one of his posts ! 

He would but it all has to do with 100% Trust , if you get hiring new people to work on the development !


             
                           
                     
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September 04, 2018, 05:02:40 AM
 #4

The problem is and he already have said that in one of his posts ! 

He would but it all has to do with 100% Trust , if you get hiring new people to work on the development !

Doesn't make any sense, you can open the code and then review the commit anybody want to make, it's all there visible to everyone, there is no need to trust anyone for that.

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September 04, 2018, 09:54:09 AM
 #5

The problem is and he already have said that in one of his posts ! 

He would but it all has to do with 100% Trust , if you get hiring new people to work on the development !

Doesn't make any sense, you can open the code and then review the commit anybody want to make, it's all there visible to everyone, there is no need to trust anyone for that.

Trust is main factor to start a good relationship between both parties, Having a handful of codes let's say to review will be a challenge based from the cons provided by OP plus this is now somehow a business generating information and Yes, trust really plays a major role.
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September 04, 2018, 10:02:26 AM
 #6

The problem isn't the forum structure, but in its application. Without posting restrictions and controls, and the suppression of spammer signups, you are going to have to pay for increased moderation.

Another area that needs attention in my opinion, is the restriction of some classes of advertising.

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September 04, 2018, 10:27:14 AM
 #7

Or Theymos should consider hiring new people to work on the development of bitcointalk with him. Also, Theymos has yet to explain us why he hasn't been hiring staff for the development of bitcointalk. Funding doesn't seems to be an issue here, Is 'trust' really the major factor behind not hiring people? Or is there something else which is preventing him for not working with people outside of his 'inner circle'.

Theymos mentioned somethings that are relevant recently here:

Money is not a problem. If I could throw $100k at the problem and make it go away, I would do so. But in the real world, there is no magic wishing well where you can throw money and make things happen. You give people money and they don't do what you want, or the people you hire turn out not to be trustworthy

I acknowledge that the current situation is very bad, and we have some plans for fixing it. I hope to have manual account reviews going smoothly again before the end of the year at the latest.

He did hire someone to develop the forum (Slickage I believe), but looks like they weren't up to the job in whatever capacity (maybe theymos can elaborate on what actually happened to them) and that's probably why theymos is now coding the forum. I don't think it would be a bad idea to actually try hire someone trusted and reputable with previous history to code the new forum so theymos can spend more time on the issues we currently have on this board, but maybe he just feels he's the best man to do the job and can at least trust himself to do what needs doing properly. That's a lot for one man to take on though and this board is suffering in the meantime with things like account recoveries not happening and other suggestions being put on the back-burner. 

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September 04, 2018, 10:40:59 AM
 #8

Opening software up to public after it has been an on-going closed project for years is extremely challenging.
First off, if the project was not designed to be open from the beginning, the inner development will have taken the advantages of a small developer team, and probably the shortcuts too that would not be present in an open architecture design (i.e. everything may be tightly coupled and not designed in a modular fashion).
Functional and technical documentation are likely to be far from up-to-date, and that is key in letting others in to the project over an open environment (even on a closed environment really, but there you can be alongside the development team and resolve any conceptual/technical issue much faster).
Even if it were to be done, it would still overkill a single person managed project (theymos), just with the documentation, Q/As resolution and testing, with potentially many changes being proposed.

On an on-going project, the best approach right now would be to hire coders with sound experience in the underlying programming language and database. Better still if there is some good project management/technical design people there too to take some of the workload. Nevertheless, even this kind of step is very time consuming, since you need to spend a lot of time alongside the team explaining the where, how and why to it all. Again, very good up-to-date functional/technical documentation may ease the task, but it just may not be in the best shape.

This often happens in projects: you start-off with a decent team structure, then some drop out and you assimilate their tasks until eventually sometimes you end-up being the last guy there, with all the knowledge, and little to cero time to shift the burden off to someone else you hire and may jump the ship sooner than later. Then you’re back to being the solo captain and end up having difficulties to hire and trust others to manage a tangle of code that works, but that is delicate and complex to manage.
I've often faced situations in which you end up getting too involved in the coding and feel that you can only delegate simple stuff, but the hardcore backbone stays on your sholders. It's normally not a question of being capable of delegating, but finding the right people combined with a complex, delicate and cumbersom code.

On top of that, a new software is on the (lengthy) roadmap, so the resources that one would designate no the current project would normally be to cover essentials and quick-win RADs.

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September 04, 2018, 04:45:47 PM
 #9

I think Theymos is not trusting any body else apart from him in this forum for the access of "Admin rights" in this forum. When he says that he is only Sys Admin for this forum, he never meant that he is not finding competent sysadmins or he do not have budget to hire some new sys admins.
He actually implied he only trusting himself as a sys admin of this forum.

It will be much easier for theymos to track few individual instead of opening the code to the community where overhead to check so many people will become too large.

PS: Actually whatever the trust list of Theymos say but in reality he is not trusting anybody. Otherwise we can really have in house development team as forum is neither lacking in money nor in talent. I think some third party consulting company can be hired if individuals are not able to deliver. Atleast he should open a job opening in this forum for this task.
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September 04, 2018, 08:25:31 PM
 #10

As it was already mentioned the trust problem, I'll focus on another solution.
How about we concentrate on thinks which we as a community can change, like tagging the bounty managers allowing spam. We have to find alternative ways which does not required any actions from theymos to deal with the problems we currently have.

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September 04, 2018, 08:36:45 PM
 #11

Implementing a blockchain and allowing a fair democracy on Bitcointalk would be ideal. Each member may only vote through the amount of MERIT tokens they own.
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September 04, 2018, 08:44:28 PM
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Few weeks ago, I already ran similar idea to Vod for an Artificial Intelligence based Analytics tools which I can develop for BTT. Basically ideas is we can have API using which we can track fake accounts and see the spam posts made only for Activities. This insights ( NOT data) could be sould to traders and institutions from which BTT can generate revenue model and become self sustained.

So in short idea is to first make BTT better by removing s**t posting and spams. Then think on using that data for further insights.

Data is not Oil if not used.

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I want to learn about how to fork the network & create similar Chain
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September 05, 2018, 11:33:56 AM
 #13

@DdmrDdmr

I agree with your statement, But we can't assume things at this stage. It's better if theymos responds himself, The Code could be well documented for all we know. I don't think theymos is one of those guys who won't comment/ document out the code.

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You give people money and they don't do what you want, or the people you hire turn out not to be trustworthy

This is a perfect example of failed Project management. SMF is already an open source web app. Asking people to develop certain features on something which is already public shouldn't be an issue. As I said, Instead of coding all things. He can spend his time reviewing the code. This way he doesn't has to trust the live version of bitcointalk to anyone. Features will get developed and the forum will stay safe in his hands.

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September 05, 2018, 12:00:44 PM
 #14


Theymos mentioned somethings that are relevant recently here:

Money is not a problem. If I could throw $100k at the problem and make it go away, I would do so. But in the real world, there is no magic wishing well where you can throw money and make things happen. You give people money and they don't do what you want, or the people you hire turn out not to be trustworthy

I acknowledge that the current situation is very bad, and we have some plans for fixing it. I hope to have manual account reviews going smoothly again before the end of the year at the latest.


Is it known how much of the new forum is completed? as far as i know work has been on going for few years now.  Again, considering there is a new forum coming up soon™ is it worth / good idea spending time on this one?

In any case the community driven development could work, if well organized. i'm sure there are more than competent people around here which could help out.



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