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Author Topic: My suggestions on how to make a decent client  (Read 2400 times)
Gabi
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December 21, 2011, 02:50:10 PM
 #1

The problem is, the bitcoin client SUCKS. It sucked 6 months ago, it sucks even more today with version 5 (congratulations, you managed to make it suckier... the impossible made possible)

When someone install it, it find a software that work... more by magic than else

Let me explain what i find fail and some suggestion on how to fix it:

So you start the client and it automatically create the wallet. You don't even know what a wallet is or where it is, but it already exist, you use it and of course a newbie risk to lose it.
Why it is automatically created instead of asking me that when i start the client?
Why the ONLY name of the wallet must be wallet.dat? Is it impossible to make the client work with any name, like any decent software? Like you clic "create wallet" and you put a name, and if you already have it, you clic "Load wallet". But nothing, it's impossible
Why the only possible path is roaming/bitcoin? Or better, i know there is the parameter thing -setthepathyoudesire but well 1990 called and want it back. Is it so hard to put a button in the client that say "Set bitcoin path" or something like that?
Same about the -rescan thing, is it so hard to put a RESCAN button in the client??
And why the client NEED a wallet.dat? If you rename or remove it, it create one when you start it again, it seems it really love it. So you end up having different wallets (the wallet.dat is of course a FAKE wallet, cause any sane person keep the real wallet, the one with a lot of bitcoins, encrypted and with another name) and then you are like "ok now i close bitcoin, i rename wallet.dat in walletfake.dat and i put in the real wallet and rename it in wallet.dat, start bitcoin, spend my money then rinse and repeat..."

And well same apply for blockchain, you should be able to set a path for it directly from the client, and make it's path indipendent from the wallet.

I don't think doing this is hard, and would make the client easier to use.
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Gabi
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December 21, 2011, 02:57:38 PM
 #2

No one gave me a over 9000 btc bounty

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December 21, 2011, 02:59:37 PM
 #3

I think 0.5.1 is great, personally.  I miss the 0.4.0 layout though, not many reasons to upgrade.  My opinion?  Make an update button in the GUI so people can upgrade their version with 1 click.

Gabi
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December 21, 2011, 03:05:15 PM
 #4

This thread is the result of all the "why the f... there isn't a button to do that" moments i had while using the client.

And about "do it yourself": someone wasted time doing the 5.0, i think they can very well find enough time to implement something USEFUL
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December 21, 2011, 03:27:08 PM
 #5

I think 0.5.1 is great, personally.  I miss the 0.4.0 layout though, not many reasons to upgrade.  My opinion?  Make an update button in the GUI so people can upgrade their version with 1 click.

i tried 0.5.1 for a few days, but then decided to upgrade to 0.4.1.1.

There's a 0.4.1.1?  I thought it was just 0.4.1..

Gavin Andresen
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December 21, 2011, 03:52:40 PM
 #6

The problem is, the bitcoin client SUCKS. It sucked 6 months ago, it sucks even more today with version 5 (congratulations, you managed to make it suckier... the impossible made possible)

If I thought that downloading and installing software onto your computer is the way to go then I'd be helping make it better.

I don't. I think 90-something-percent of future Bitcoin users will be using it on an iPad or mobile phone or on their computer in a web browser.

I'm sorry you think 0.5 is worse than 0.4, but you're in the (vocal) minority. Nobody stepped up to support the 0.4 wxWidgets-based GUI, and we've got several people working on the 0.5 Qt-based GUI, so I'm confident switching was the right decision.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
jimbobway
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December 21, 2011, 09:01:12 PM
 #7

I'm starting to like .5.  Does the job.

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jimrandomh
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December 21, 2011, 10:00:51 PM
 #8

I don't. I think 90-something-percent of future Bitcoin users will be using it on an iPad or mobile phone or on their computer in a web browser.

What!? Nonono, that would be a bad outcome, to be avoided if at all possible! There are lots of threats against browser-based programs that don't apply to desktop apps. And if there's 2-device authentication, then it's much easier to compromise a matching pair if both clients are in a browser; they're more likely to have vulnerabilities in common. For example, someone could steal an SSL certificate, and MITM traffic on the internet connection that both devices share, replacing both clients with malicious software.

Please, reconsider. The future of Bitcoin depends on there not being any more MyBitcoins or Allinvains. I wrote that online wallet services are an invitation to fraud and theft, a month before the MyBitcoin fiasco. That is still true. Don't encourage people to use them, or there will be more disasters.
ThomasV
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December 21, 2011, 10:09:16 PM
 #9

I don't. I think 90-something-percent of future Bitcoin users will be using it on an iPad or mobile phone or on their computer in a web browser.

What!? Nonono, that would be a bad outcome, to be avoided if at all possible! There are lots of threats against browser-based programs that don't apply to desktop apps. And if there's 2-device authentication, then it's much easier to compromise a matching pair if both clients are in a browser; they're more likely to have vulnerabilities in common. For example, someone could steal an SSL certificate, and MITM traffic on the internet connection that both devices share, replacing both clients with malicious software.

Please, reconsider. The future of Bitcoin depends on there not being any more MyBitcoins or Allinvains. I wrote that online wallet services are an invitation to fraud and theft, a month before the MyBitcoin fiasco. That is still true. Don't encourage people to use them, or there will be more disasters.

There is a middle ground between a full bitcoin client and an online wallet: thin clients.
I can even imagine a thin client integrated into the web browser, as an extension; I guess this is what Gavin had in mind.

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Gabi
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December 22, 2011, 07:19:12 PM
 #10

I doubt a lot of ppl will use it from mobile. You use mobile if you are forced to, so if you use bitcoin at restaurants or shops etc... but i think that for a long time we will use btc mainly to buy online, so you can use them via a normal computer.

So, let me resume what i would like

1)A "load/open" button to load a wallet and use it as i wish
2)A "Rescan" button
3)A button to change the path of the blockchain
4)Reverse the modify from 5.0 regarding showing numbers of blocks downloaded and connections. Ok i know, you can still see them via tooltip but why hide them? Make no sense, the client has to show so few things, that there is no point in hiding them
5)What about adding some statistics? Like telling me how big is the blockchain directly from the client, also telling me the upload and download speed

Pieter Wuille
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December 23, 2011, 03:10:46 PM
 #11

I think you have a point. The current client hides many things from the user, which is probably a good thing for many people, but the fast that it hides the wallet concept completely creates confusion.

aka sipa, core dev team

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cypherdoc
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December 23, 2011, 04:56:24 PM
 #12

I doubt a lot of ppl will use it from mobile. You use mobile if you are forced to, so if you use bitcoin at restaurants or shops etc... but i think that for a long time we will use btc mainly to buy online, so you can use them via a normal computer.

So, let me resume what i would like

1)A "load/open" button to load a wallet and use it as i wish
2)A "Rescan" button
3)A button to change the path of the blockchain
4)Reverse the modify from 5.0 regarding showing numbers of blocks downloaded and connections. Ok i know, you can still see them via tooltip but why hide them? Make no sense, the client has to show so few things, that there is no point in hiding them
5)What about adding some statistics? Like telling me how big is the blockchain directly from the client, also telling me the upload and download speed



these are not bad suggestions.
netrin
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December 23, 2011, 05:24:22 PM
 #13

The problem is, the bitcoin client SUCKS. It sucked 6 months ago, it sucks even more today with version 5 (congratulations, you managed to make it suckier... the impossible made possible)

Dude. You are out of line. It is clear you dislike the changes, but you should be humble and grateful. The client is a gift from the developers to you. Oh, you have some suggestions? Great. Share your opinions.


I think 90-something-percent of future Bitcoin users will be using it on an iPad or mobile phone or on their computer in a web browser.

This may be true, but it is not the dumb-device network-edge masses that drive innovation. I believe you are a Linux user and are therefor familiar with the fiasco of Unity and Gnome 3 Shell? While building an UI that caters to the masses is important, alienating the power users is project revolt and stagnation. However, I don't see any radical UI changes from 4 to 5 and I look forward to new the new features in 6 and beyond. All in all, I'm happy with the direction of the reference and alternate clients.

The current client hides many things from the user, which is probably a good thing for many people, but the fact that it hides the wallet concept completely creates confusion.

Yes! There are many concepts that are difficult to grasp. But by assuming they are ungraspable we guarantee that users remain stupid. While this problem will solve itself with new clients, I believe the client evolution has been a bit backwards. The client could have been more transparent, modular, and simpler and we would have learned much from the experimentation and even mistakes of early adopters who are typically quite tech-savvy. But I believe that's the past. The code is getting cleaner, there are several libraries, alt clients, and web services available or in development. The future is bright!

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istar
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December 23, 2011, 08:52:35 PM
 #14

I agree about the wallet.

The client needs to be able to load and save/merge/handle wallets with different names.

But that does not mean the client sucks, its very nice work.


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December 23, 2011, 09:19:51 PM
 #15

The old client code sucked. The new code is great. This is a good switch that will pay off in the long run by making it more sustainable to develop satoshi bitcoin.
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December 23, 2011, 09:59:21 PM
 #16

The 0.5 satoshi client is better than the 0.4 client, but there is still room for improvement.  The wallet point is a good one as well.

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December 23, 2011, 11:54:41 PM
 #17

The wallet point is a good one as well.

Open/Close/Rescan wallet functionality would have a side effect of enabling the client to run without an open wallet, which would make it easier to manipulate the wallet with external tools, among other things.
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December 25, 2011, 05:29:52 AM
 #18

I'm grateful that the devs are listening to suggestions even when they're offered in imperfect ways.

I'm grateful that imperfect people are offering suggestions.

I'm grateful that many people are attempting to discover where their energy is best spent to advance bitcoin.

I'm grateful that someone I'll never meet was greedy enough to change the course of history for the better.

I'm grateful that that person was smart enough to trick lots of people into being greedy enough to change the course of history for the better.


My two cents is for a client that's as modular as possible. Let GUI-folk fight the GUI wars.

I'm continually impressed with the decisions and attitudes of the core developers. I hope you're fully vested, because bitcoin is going places.

Happy Holidays.

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Gabi
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December 25, 2011, 02:01:23 PM
 #19

Please note that my critics on the 5.0 version aren't related to my other suggestion. I criticized 5.0 because i see it as wasted effort that could be used to implement more useful things. And because hiding the block and connections numbers is not an improvement in my opinion.

Guys, if i tell a new guy about Bitcoin i feel embarassed to give him the standard client, and then "the client doesn't show my btc, what should i do?" "Well you need to run it with the -rescan parameter" or "i wanna move the path from roaming/bitcoin to elsewhere, how to?" "well you need...wait let me check forum, i don't remember how to... oh yes, put as parameter..."
The things i suggest are mostly things that already exists but lack GUI buttons that would make them much simpler to use.
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December 25, 2011, 02:45:22 PM
 #20

Please note that my critics on the 5.0 version aren't related to my other suggestion. I criticized 5.0 because i see it as wasted effort that could be used to implement more useful things. And because hiding the block and connections numbers is not an improvement in my opinion.

afaik the gui was developed by someone who - at that point - didnt directly participate in the development of the client. so the "wasted effort" was only in the final integration into the original client and was mostly done because the wxwidgets gui was practically abandoned.
what info is visible or not is a minor thing and can be changed at any point without much work. imho, most people dont care about the specifics. especially the precise number of connections is of no value to the average user, as long as its "enough".

Quote
Guys, if i tell a new guy about Bitcoin i feel embarassed to give him the standard client, and then "the client doesn't show my btc, what should i do?" "Well you need to run it with the -rescan parameter" or "i wanna move the path from roaming/bitcoin to elsewhere, how to?" "well you need...wait let me check forum, i don't remember how to... oh yes, put as parameter..."
The things i suggest are mostly things that already exists but lack GUI buttons that would make them much simpler to use.

that however i can second. on the other hand i can totally understand why the developers chose to gave the bip 11/12/13 higher priority. it will change the whole network and gives developers of other clients the chance to implement those powerful features too, while wallet management and moving functionality to the gui only improves the original client itself.
so its a good plan for overall long term development, at the cost of alienating some users right now who dont like or have trouble using the client.

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