I’ll review the content to see if there is any reason it should remain restricted. It was probably caught up in the cleanup after release.
I would be interested in hearing ways staying closed source would hurt us in the short term, say 3 months, while we get the Android wallet and burn option sorted.
I fully expect that this will take some time to pass. Until we have a formal motion that can be voted on, we cannot begin to move forward with any changes.
I think there’s far more benefit to going open source than there is in staying closed.
Translations. Open source projects are allowed free use on websites such as transifex.com and getlocalization.com. We want Nu to be an easy to use application for anyone and that means localizing the client to their preferred language. Right now the client is using outdated or butchered translations from the Peercoin base. This is terrible for growth, and as NuBits becomes more known in mainstream crypto circles we should do our best to remove any impediments for adoption. Our target audience is the entire world. Not just English speakers.
Trust. We want people to trust the software. Bitcoin is trusted because it’s open, uses signed binaries, and has discussions about technical direction of the software on publicly accessible mediums. We want to encourage the same trust in Nu. The only way compete in that area is to follow suit.
Developers. Developers. Developers. We need them. Going open source is how you get them. Microsoft has recently open sourced .NET in a move that significantly shows that times are changing. If you want developers involved in your ecosystem you need to make the code available to them. NuBits is extremely attractive in that we’re not just another clone coin. We have tools in place (such as the motion system we’re using here) to allow anyone with a computer to help drive NuBits towards a successful future. Whether that means donating their time to assist in code audits, bug fixes, features additions, or any other tasks - the first step to growing our developer community is by embracing the FOSS model.
Which leads me into my next point. Ancillary services. We’ve been terribly lucky to have so many people from the Peercoin community join us. Without Johny adapting his Peercoin block explorer for Nu much of what we already have would not be possible. We could not be listed on coinmarketcap.com and development testing would be negatively impacted as well . By going open source we enable the developers we attract to create an entire ecosystem of tools and services to complement Nu. The coinomi.com app developer approached us with interest to add NuBits into their wallet. He was met by resistance because we’re closed source. By embracing the open source development community we allow creative engineers and thinkers to not only help NuBits, but also help themselves by enabling them to develop complementary services without gatekeepers. NuBippy was an awesome tool released by @woolly_sammoth immediately after launch. This was only possible because he worked closely with someone who had access to the source code. Thanks to Bitcoin and all the other altcoins much of what is out there simply would need to be adapted. It would probably be much faster for NuBits services to pop up because so many tools and services already exist within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
We need help. If we want NuBits to become what we think it can be with all the grand ideas discussed on this forum it will take everything I’ve discussed. It will take an application and services that can that be used by anyone regardless of their preferred language. It will take developers that feel they can impact the future of the network by understanding how it works, which allows them to contribute their expertise and ideas. It will take those developers improvements and ancillary applications to make NuBits easier to use and more widely distributed. We cannot achieve our goals by acting as a private company.
It’s the right thing to do. Bitcoin open source software allowed for Peercoin to exist. Peercoin open source software allowed for Peershares. Peershares allowed for Nu. If people fork Nu it shows that what we’ve created is desirable.
I don’t see drawbacks to going open source. I see new challenges. By opening the source we allow more people to help us tackle these challenges. Once the source is released it does not mean a door will open to a land of green grass and rainbows with unicorns that puke your favorite ice cream. We will have to continue to prove that NuNet is a worthwhile solution for consumers, businesses, and developers to invest time and money into.
I’m confident that our solution, team, brand, and community will allow for that to happen. I’ll probably have more thoughts on the issue as this discussion evolves but I wanted to jot down a few points that immediately came to mind.
i agree. open source is the best way. even if other nubits clones exist there have to use a system like peershares if not peershares itself. also there could be a healthy competition between nubit clones in park and shares area. more people will come aware of “stable” coins and more great minds ofcourse. it could be the start or the real deal
If Nu is based on Peershares then the common part of Nu is already open source. Is it difficult to put most part of Nu to Peershares and only leave some key functions close source?
Having to maintain two code bases in parallel, while evolving them, is a major burden.
Context shifting will slow down development and mistakes will inevitably be made.
I thought Peershares is upstream of Nu so that if properly refactored usually the devs only need to change either in Peershares or in Nu ?
It is, but it still requires back porting of the refactored code. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, just that it is an extra effort if the requirement is to sanitize portions of the code before pushing it upstream.
@CoinGame Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts. You’ve raised some excellent points that I agree with.
What is the prevailing opinion among Nu core developers and the QA team about open-sourcing? I am inclined to support the majority consensus of that group, as they will have the best idea of challenges and opportunities that are in front of us.
However, I did want to touch on your statement
Do you not agree with the two risks I identified in my post above? I’m certain that other major projects have noticed the trading volume we’ve managed in our first two months and made a mental note that the Nu design would be worth replicating, rather than contributing to.
I think imitation is flattering and competition is good. Peercoin still imports lots of code from the Bitcoin repo. If others fork our code and build something better we can merge it into our system. If they choose to remain closed source they’ll have the same problems as us right now. I see it as an ongoing challenge. There is far greater risk in shutting out developers from our project. Stable crypo-assets will become the new standard eventually, and we want those developers to help us in building Nu related projects. Open sourcing the code invites them to the table.
If others fail trying to use our design while we succeed it speaks volumes to the implementation of our solution, the team, the brand, and our community. Over 500 altcoins exist and more than half of which bring nothing innovative to the table. They have not hurt Bitcoin very much. There are plenty of failures and clones to list out. In fact I would say their failures have strengthened Bitcoin’s brand.
Had to think about this for a while and good discussion here BTW. I’m still on the fence on the short term, but may jump in shortly especially because of the reasons @coingame quoted in his post above.
The reason which stops me from voting now is the risk of a copycat with a lot of money. Therefore I’m still a proponent of publishing deliberately changed code, so it can’t be compiled and turned to live by each kid with a bit of time. This can be just a copy frozen in time taken at a certain date (fork) while further development continues closed source, which mitigates maintaining two libraries ongoing for the devs but opens it up for development. Full open sourcing can be postponed a bit longer e.g. 2-3 months till the community and product have further matured.
TL ; DR not yet. I believe we should include in the motion a checklist of things that must be completed before release the source, or we risk harming the project.
Here is why :
Personally, I will vote for scheduled open source. IMHO it should be properly planned together with the marketing road map.
I believe we now have some momentum, but we need some extra time to build other things : merchant adoption, bot stability, more custodians, more tools.
At the moment, with 5 custodians, 0 merchant adoption, no mobile app, no Web stats, little to no tools and one block Explorer, we risk to be overtaken quickly by any well funded organization with a community.
I don’t need to quote but there are probably literally hundreds of people waiting for this, since it’s a huge opportunity. It’s not another altcoin, is a possible Nobel prize solution for many of digital currency problems.
99% of crypto community didn’t had the chance to try NuBits yet. We haven’t been covered by any major newspaper or magazine. six months after releasing the code there will be several 1usd coins. Which one was NuBits? Ah, the first one, but who cares. I wasn’t there to try that. People will be confused and will go with the one that paid a review on coin desk.
We have only one product and we are not quite ready for a second. I am still dreaming of inflation adjusted NuBits. I don’t want someone else doing it from day one using 8 months of our work.
Last but not least, I want to hear Jordan. Remember we are a public company sort of, and that we received an initial investment. Without that we will not be here discussing this, so I want to make sure our investor are happy with it.
This is my opinion and people can or cannot share my view.
I would personally write a open source motion where we draw a checklist that must be respected before opening it, and some of the points of the list you can already find above.
Edit : also, being closed source did not created visible trust problems so far. Mobile wallet is one and we handled it probably better than just leave repository open and tell people ‘read the code’. We guided the dev through it.
We did not have many people waiting for the code either, or they have been very silent. Are there many tweets about us being not trusted because of that? I am not following social media lately.
And, as a side note, do not think that open source will bring a lot of free volunteers. (nubot is open source did not received a single comment on it, not to mention PR , and it features API wrappers that normally are paid in the order of thousands $) .
How do we plan to manage paid developer together with free contributors? We don’t have a bounty platform yet.
Moreover, which open source government model do we want to adopt? If we get to the point where we have developers, we need to define processes (NIP?) . Those will probably take time and resources.
The only times I’ve personally heard anyone talk ill of Nu being closed source was the Bitshares hate thread and the ranking on CoinGecko. I really like the checklist idea. Mobile wallet, improved custodian tools, multiple dividends paid out, these are all things that will be accomplished in a few months. In that time we could greatly increase interest and followers.
Are there realistically other parties out there with enough muscle and an already established community who can overtake Nu at it’s own game?
I am very new to this community, but it seems that Nu needs to scrap and fight its way to the spotlight in all the coin clutter whatever way it can. Otherwise, it will be overtaken by the crypto community at large. The reasons to wait until Nu has hit development milestones could be negated by the potential for those milestones to be reached faster by going open source. A goal reached sooner is inherently more valuable.
I just don’t believe they will actually be reached faster. Some of the major goals are already in development and will be finished within months without any outside help.
Thank you @Ben for having started this discussion!
…I can remember the discussion from September, but I can’t access the topic as well…
The points from @CoinGame, @desrever and @Yurizhai sum up what my position to open sourcing the Nu code is.
While I second @CoinGame’s arguments (for making the source open) here (some more, others less), I share @desrever’s concerns regarding the point of time for doing that.
And the reason why I tend to keep a conservative position was nailed down by @Yurizhai:
So my opinion is:
the reasons for making Nu open source by @CoinGame are valid, (to do or not to do?),
but the arguments for choosing a later point of time for this action (when?) by @desrever are valid as well.
I don’t want to side track this discussion by starting to talk about incentives and altruism, but we should try to think of incentives for using the Nu code (other parties) once it’s open as well as the incentives for open sourcing it (NuShares holders).
There are for sure some incentives for other parties to use the Nu code for the benefit of Nu.
But there are incentives for other parties to use Nu code for the disadvantage of Nu as well.
I haven’t heard many complaints about Nu not being open source. I bet they will arise once Nu’s adoption has grown. And I agree that having open source code helps to create trust.
There are basically 2 user groups for the Nu client:
- people who hold NuShares
- people who want to pay with NBT (or want to park them)
The first group seems to be totally not impressed by Nu not being open source.
And the second group doesn’t seem to complain much.
(it seems that the castigators are mainly the competitors which seem to be neither part of group 1 nor group 2…)
I might be wrong, but in addition to using NBT as a vehicle to hedge and do arbitrage at exchanges, being able to execute payments with the smarthones might turn out as one of the “killer features” of NBT.
I mean, that was one of the main purposes to have a stable crypto coin, right?
We shouldn’t overestimate the “closed source” effect for the average Joe.
For using NBT with a smartphone I expect the vast majority of users not to ask whether Nu is open source or not.
And we shouldn’t overestimate the effect for the Nu development once it’s open source.
just like @desrever said: the Android wallet seems to be on its way - without having open sourced the code!
If NuBits keep their promise (of being stable in value) they will be more regarded like a serious payment method than anything else.
Apples iPay, Paypal, etc. are all closed source but that seems to be no reason for the average Joe not to use them (ok, iPay is still new, but…).
I hope an Apple app follows the Android app. Considering Apple’s overall attitude towards crypto coins and furthermore taking into consideration Apples iPay which would be threatened by a NBT IOS app I don’t see that coming soon…
Even the Android app needs merchant adoption and a more scalable custodian structure to really work well.
Both will not be achieved in a short amount of time. And both are necessary to make NBT attractive for paying stuff - not only for the mobile payment success, but for being able to pay at lots of places with NBT in general.
And here I see one of the greatest dangers for open sourcing it too soon:
the community and the development team of Nu are great and have brought Nu to where it is right now.
I just want to save from underestimating the competitors (already existing ones and those that may arise).
There are other impressive communities as well as good developers. Being able to use the Nu source code to create a copy easily a big part of investment is not needed for creating code and can be used for other purposes.
Merchants can be ensnared by investing money (that has been saved by copying instead of having developed the code…) in “merchant adoption programs” (e.g. discounts for using this new payment method).
This can lead to a quick adoption of a copied version of Nu, it could very well lead to a bad end for Nu as well. This end can be prevented by postponing the opening of the source code.
And I wouldn’t even want to have an outdated source code available. Every Dollar that can be saved by copying code that is already available can be spent for merchandise, paying developers, merchants, giveaways etc.
The discussion is forked into the question whether or not to open source Nu.
And the “pro open source” fork needs to detail the circumstances of doing that (license, timeline, milestones, etc.)
I’m all for open sourcing Nu!
…but I’m completely against open sourcing Nu until some important milestones have been reached.
I try to focus on the milestones from now on (as I have made my point clear, I guess), but that might be something for one of the next posts.
In the original thread Ben said
The important parts of Nu are the Shareholders, the extended Community, and the multi-disciplinary skills and product vision of the development team. Those cannot easily be recreated.
I don’t fully agree. With our highly visionary and skillful team Nu has been created for all the World to try. Those who didn’t have the vision can see; those who didn’t have the development skill set and resources can copy if it’s open source; those who didn’t have Peercoin/Nu community, well, don’t really need or even want it.
There isn’t a clear road map for Nu yet. I don’t have a clear idea who will pay for running NuNet in, say, 2017. To an outsider, the bottom line of why trusting Nu is that the shareholders’ interest is aligned with maintaining the $1 peg. That alignment can be easily re-created. It’s automatic with Nu, almost out of the box. Someone can assemble a group of shareholders and put famous “I guarantee it” name and mega business on the line to bolster credibility, and the public will believe it.
I support open source but only when we know where we are going and we are confident that we can get there. Also don’t we need the nod from the early investors (they paid for the development, no? ) ?
I’m glad to see the thoughtful debate that is going on here. The comments of desrever, CoinGame, TomJoad and masterofDisaster have been especially enlightening to me.
First, I have no doubt now is the right time to finalize the content of a motion on opening the source code. This way the public knows we are serious about opening it up and everyone can observe the changing level of support for doing so. Thanks Ben for taking the initiative on this.
Whether it is the right time to pass the motion is a different matter. The points that have been made on both sides of the argument are quite insightful and comprehensive, so I don’t need to say much. However, I’d like to expand on this thought from desrever:
We have only one product and we are not quite ready for a second. I am
still dreaming of inflation adjusted NuBits. I don’t want someone else
doing it from day one using 8 months of our work.
While supporting multiple currencies does not require tremendous code changes, practically speaking it does require us to have data feeds working well (currently scheduled for a partial implementation in version 0.5.3), as managing liquidity for multiple currencies is too much to ask shareholders to do on an individual basis.
However, if we open the source code some other group can create an inflation adjusted currency with ZERO code changes, without data feeds implemented. They don’t have to support multiple currencies as we do to implement an inflation adjusted currency. They can omit the dollar pegged currency and start with an inflation adjusted currency. This outcome seems likely if we open the source now and there is a lot of demand for that product.
For this reason, among the other reasons articulated by previous posters above, I am inclined to wait to open the source at least until we have launched our inflation adjusted currency.
We do not need explicit support, because the system was designed to work without it. What we will need is Shareholder consensus, through a formal vote.
The initial investor(s) have only as much say in the direction that Nu takes as the amount of votes that their shares allow them to cast. The same as any other Shareholder.