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Author Topic: [PULL] remove GUI 'Generate Coins' option  (Read 6398 times)
jgarzik
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April 03, 2011, 06:44:50 PM
 #1

URL: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/142

Description:

Hide this capability from GUI users, who are unlikely to understand upon first contact that they will waste electricity for year(s), before possibly generating a single block.

This patch does not remove generation, which remains available via a command line option.  It only removes the ability to select coin generation from the GUI.

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April 03, 2011, 10:08:19 PM
 #2

Quoting IRC conversation...

<tcatm> jgarzik: how could a GUI user disable the miner after upgrading to a version with that patch?

<jgarzik> tcatm: good point...

<tcatm> I'd say move the setting to the options dialog and rename it

<jgarzik> tcatm: I'd rather just disable at startup, if (GUI && wallet_generation_enabled)
<jgarzik> tcatm: command line can [override this behavior]

<tcatm> jgarzik: sounds good, too

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April 04, 2011, 03:15:18 AM
 #3

Could just rename the (internal) setting name, and have it default to off...

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April 05, 2011, 05:57:06 AM
 #4

URL: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/142

Description:

Hide this capability from GUI users, who are unlikely to understand upon first contact that they will waste electricity for year(s), before possibly generating a single block.

This patch does not remove generation, which remains available via a command line option.  It only removes the ability to select coin generation from the GUI.


Agreed.

There is absolutely no need to piss of any new subscribers by tricking them into thinking they can generate bitcoins using their CPU anymore.

The minute they get their $100+ extra electricity bill and inquire as to "why"... they will stop using bitcoin and bitch about us to everyone they know immediately. I would. If I were that dumb.
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April 18, 2011, 07:14:13 PM
 #5

<jgarzik> tcatm: I'd rather just disable at startup, if (GUI && wallet_generation_enabled)

Branch updated to ignore fGenerateBitcoins stored wallet setting (see forum thread) in GUI version of bitcoin.

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May 02, 2011, 08:51:19 PM
 #6

Is there anyone objecting to this?

aka sipa, core dev team

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May 02, 2011, 09:07:13 PM
 #7

I do not object. remove the cpu support in the main client.
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May 03, 2011, 06:20:59 AM
 #8

Yep, remove it. IMO, the client doesn't need to have a miner built in at all, but removing the option is a good step forward.

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May 03, 2011, 06:01:01 PM
 #9

Please remove it. The built-in generator is worthless now anyway.

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May 03, 2011, 06:26:27 PM
 #10

Pulled, closed, done.  Thanks Gavin.
https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/commit/b99c23af4092395b47f5b0491c46dd9ead435d3b

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May 15, 2011, 03:08:21 PM
 #11

I think I disagree with this decision and here is my reasoning:

Mining is comparable to mining for gold.  Personally, I am a gold miner and have access to gold claims.  I started mining for gold with a gold pan.  I remember going to rivers and panning for gold but I didn't find any gold.  The gold pan was what I started off with and it sort of gave me "gold fever".  In fact, many gold miners start off with basic tools but when one tool was not sufficient then upgrades were necessary.

I think the "Generate Coins" in the menu is similar to the basic plastic gold pan because it give people a glimpse of what mining is.  It is what starts off the "gold fever" (aka "bitcoin fever").  Gold fever is real and I believe bitcoin fever is very similar.  Just Google "gold fever" and you will see thousands and thousands of hits.

The "Generate Coins" may frustrate people but it gives more value to bitcoins by introducing people to mining.  The reason why you guys want to get rid of it is because you are already old timers and have upgraded all your equipment to sluice boxes, dump trucks, and heavy machinery.  For the newbies it gives them a chance to have the same feeling and thus attract more people to the bitcoin community.

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May 15, 2011, 03:37:17 PM
 #12

I was just thinking...maybe we can re-add the "Generate Coins" in the menu but also put in "Estimated Time to find coins" somewhere so people don't get as frustrated.

Don't take out "Generate Coins"!
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May 15, 2011, 03:42:01 PM
 #13

Sorry, but the consensus was, by quite a margin, to remove it.  Its too late.

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May 15, 2011, 04:46:50 PM
 #14

I think I disagree with this decision and here is my reasoning:

Mining is comparable to mining for gold.  Personally, I am a gold miner and have access to gold claims.  I started mining for gold with a gold pan.  I remember going to rivers and panning for gold but I didn't find any gold.  The gold pan was what I started off with and it sort of gave me "gold fever".  In fact, many gold miners start off with basic tools but when one tool was not sufficient then upgrades were necessary.

So because of personal nostalgic memories of panning for gold and not finding any, therefore keep "Generate Coins" option.

Quote
I think the "Generate Coins" in the menu is similar to the basic plastic gold pan because it give people a glimpse of what mining is.  It is what starts off the "gold fever" (aka "bitcoin fever").  Gold fever is real and I believe bitcoin fever is very similar.  Just Google "gold fever" and you will see thousands and thousands of hits.

So in order to encourage unrealistic optimism about a newbies' CPU mining capabilities, keep "Generate Coins" option.

Quote
The "Generate Coins" may frustrate people but it gives more value to bitcoins by introducing people to mining.  The reason why you guys want to get rid of it is because you are already old timers and have upgraded all your equipment to sluice boxes, dump trucks, and heavy machinery.  For the newbies it gives them a chance to have the same feeling and thus attract more people to the bitcoin community.

So in order to perpetuate the belief that the point of bitcoin is mining (not trading), keep "Generate Coins" option.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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May 15, 2011, 05:45:21 PM
 #15

I think I disagree with this decision and here is my reasoning:

Mining is comparable to mining for gold.  Personally, I am a gold miner and have access to gold claims.  I started mining for gold with a gold pan.  I remember going to rivers and panning for gold but I didn't find any gold.  The gold pan was what I started off with and it sort of gave me "gold fever".  In fact, many gold miners start off with basic tools but when one tool was not sufficient then upgrades were necessary.

So because of personal nostalgic memories of panning for gold and not finding any, therefore keep "Generate Coins" option.

Quote
I think the "Generate Coins" in the menu is similar to the basic plastic gold pan because it give people a glimpse of what mining is.  It is what starts off the "gold fever" (aka "bitcoin fever").  Gold fever is real and I believe bitcoin fever is very similar.  Just Google "gold fever" and you will see thousands and thousands of hits.

So in order to encourage unrealistic optimism about a newbies' CPU mining capabilities, keep "Generate Coins" option.

Quote
The "Generate Coins" may frustrate people but it gives more value to bitcoins by introducing people to mining.  The reason why you guys want to get rid of it is because you are already old timers and have upgraded all your equipment to sluice boxes, dump trucks, and heavy machinery.  For the newbies it gives them a chance to have the same feeling and thus attract more people to the bitcoin community.

So in order to perpetuate the belief that the point of bitcoin is mining (not trading), keep "Generate Coins" option.

I think satoshi tried to emulate the aspects of gold.  He did compare gold mining and bitcoin mining. Bitcoin is worth as much as people think it is worth. If people understand that it is hard to make bitcoins then it will give value to bitcoins.
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May 17, 2011, 03:50:18 AM
 #16


I think satoshi tried to emulate the aspects of gold.  He did compare gold mining and bitcoin mining. Bitcoin is worth as much as people think it is worth. If people understand that it is hard to make bitcoins then it will give value to bitcoins.

Back when metals were standard currency, ordinary people didn't bother mining.  Nor should people of the future have to even bother to think about generating bitcoins.  Yes, I like how satoshi emulates the aspects of gold and mining with bitcoin.  But trade something for an ounce of silver, I do not need to bother to think about how silver mining works and how there is a limited amount of silver.  I simply perform the transaction, and just see the silver as a unit of money.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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May 17, 2011, 09:09:35 AM
 #17

I think the consensus is that the main client should not contain anything like specific implementations of mining code, that is best left to dedicated mining software. I believe the idea is to leave a reference implementation of a miner, but that's it. I agree with this sentiment.
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May 17, 2011, 09:16:38 AM
 #18

Well, what's this "consensus" based upon?

My logic is simple:

   More users generating => Better system protection => Make it easier to generate => Don't remove generation from the client, rather improve it.

At which step my thinking failed me? Smiley

At the fact that 10000 users running a CPU miner would only result in a few % increased total hash rate. Mining is a business, the economics of which make it profitable only for those with the most efficient hardware. Don't give users false hope that it is otherwise. If they are persistent that they still want to mine on a CPU, they can run a CPU miner, which has better algorithms too.

aka sipa, core dev team

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May 17, 2011, 09:18:50 AM
 #19

you might be able to improve generation some... but generation works by specification, not generalization. So how do you propose creating a general hasher that is good enough that some one might actually make a block any time soon?
all it will do is increase the difficulty :p really doesnt matter much, but its a pointless effort for every one of those clients.
just wastes electricity.

ZOMG Moo!
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May 17, 2011, 09:33:40 AM
 #20

a) Why can't the client be improved to the point where it is at least comparable with big miners? 1 coin per month is Ok. If user's system doesn't support GPU code - don't use CPU for that or warn him.
GPU mining code in the default client is an incredible mess. There are many algorithms tuned for different cards, and one has to support different versions of OpenCL and CUDA for different operating systems, making it unmaintainable and pulling in tons of dependencies. This is much better done in specialized packages, those will be better at it anyway.

1 BTC / month currently corresponds to 256 Mhash/s. There are no CPU's that can do that, and only a few GPU's can.

b) Isn't coin generation random? So there is a chance, however small, that an ordinary user will generate new coins?
Yes, but at some point it's just not worth it.

c) Isn't several big miners, instead of numerous independent clients, pose a greater risk and can manipulate and control bitcoin? What if in the nearest future there will be like 2-3 really big guys, like VISA and MasterCard and they will control 95% of block generation? Wouldn't this make bitcoin a new PayPal, instead of truly independent currency?
Maybe, but that does not mean we want tons of people burning electricity for almost no additional strength to the network.

aka sipa, core dev team

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