“I am really, really, angry about this situation,” Afri Schoedon of Parity said in a devs call this Friday following the revelation of a private meeting between a number of eth devs during devcon.
It was an ad-hoc meeting, Alexey Akhunov (pictured) said. How do you get Joseph Lubin and Vitalik Buterin in the same room in an ad-hoc manner, Schoedon retorted.
They didn’t have to be there and maybe next time they should not be there, Akhunov said. “It doesn’t matter who is there, it matters who is not there,” Schoedon replied.
An entire devs call was spent on this matter. It appears Greg Colvin, who calls himself an advisor to ethereum’s community but as far as we’re aware is involved with Syscoin, “leaked” the minutes of a meeting. Akhunov says:
“It was an ad-hoc meeting in Prague, that is why it was not announced. Nothing substantial happened there, so there is not much to discuss yet. I was actually one of the people who asked not to publicise this before we actually do any work.
As you might have seen in the doc, the idea is to iterate private->public->private. I personally have a feeling that performing all discussion in public (like core calls) leads to very passive meetings…
There were people who wanted everything to be public from the start. I understand that lots of people would feel excluded, but believe me, you don’t want to discuss the same things that were discussed hundred times before, without someone actually going and doing some data analysis, research, prototypes.
Some intermediate results we could be uncomfortable to share, because we doubt ourselves if they were correct.”
“I vehemently disagree,” Schoedon said, with the main – if not perhaps sole – reason for disagreeing seemingly being because he appears to feel he wasn’t invited. Peter Szilagyi, an eth dev, says:
“The first secret meeting was an ewasm catchup with totally random people sitting on the floor in devcon in one of the public rooms (Fredrik was there too), where we talked whether ewasm could help Ethereum get a bit more performant. That devolved into me telling people about ideas I’ve been sitting on for data reduction, and all the complications why it’s hard. Alexey [a]lso had some ideas he’s been sitting on. We agreed to follow up.
[The second secret meeting was Me, Felix and Martin discussing ideas at dinner that day.]
The 3rd secret meeting was actually organized by the research team to talk on the Ethereum 2.0 progress Parity and Pantheon has been making, and how to motivate it. Hence why Joe was there. Fredrik was again there. I hijacked that meeting and told people that Eth 2.0 is nice and all, but can we try to do something while 2.0 arrives so that 1.0 gets better and doesn’t just survive? The meeting wasn’t organized to talk about these things. Ihijackedthemeeting**
We totally ran out of time (had 1h), so agreed to pick it up the next day, when we were kicked out again from the building, so we delayed again and had our 5th “secret” meeting at 9am the next day. Since we couldn’t figure out anything meaningful, we agree to try to dream up some EIPs, but since it’s a lot of work for a single person, we figured we can form groups to pop ideas back and forth. That’s what’s been “decided”, to draft up an initial idea to publish publicly.
The last secret meeting was a handful of us sitting in the “food court” at devcon (where everybody else was, ate, etc) and talked about how we could solve some problems.
That’s your conspiracy theory.”
His conspiracy theory is obviously that he wasn’t invited. The background to that might be Parity’s plans to launch their own blockchain which effectively competes with ethereum.
Obviously none of them will say so – and we don’t know so – with them all kind of indirectly arguing it regarding whether there should be such private meetings at all.
Szilagyi said he wants to be free to be candid without the media potentially misrepresenting him. Akhunov effectively said that there may be some statements that are better said privately because if they are stated publicly there would be a witch hunt.
They implicitly criticized the public dev calls, as have others, for being… well effectively useless. Or too gentle and so on, too slow. Too aware of the “show.”
Eth devs’ “inability” to communicate, co-ordinate, or organize, moreover, has become quite apparent this year. The Metropolis guys, for example, kind of have no clue – or so it appears/d – of what the eth2.0 guys were doing or the casper guys/gals and so on.
Lane Rettig, an eth dev, had previously stated that ethereum needed to learn/borrow from the “science” of project management.
That appears to be exactly what they are doing, looking from the outside in, but obviously it doesn’t come without difficult tradeoffs.
Inclusivity is one. The cousin to it is eco chamber thinking. The benefit is speed. Striking a balance is very difficult.
Obviously none of this has to do with what code your node runs. That’s especially the case in eth where difficulty adjusts by the block and it costs almost nothing to fork off as ETC has shown.
It is more to do with how you organize the proposal of new code in a competitive environment where kind of everyone has their own opinion and where kind of everyone’s opinion sort of matters.
Or in more familiar terms, it is kind of like exchanges realizing they don’t have to tell everyone they got hacked if they can cover the hack from their profits.
It’s maturing, perhaps, and if it gets them to deliver the first phase of sharding by 2020, then fine. Apparently the “bones” for the Beacon Chain might be finalized this year. Initial tests maybe in March. Summer, perhaps, is when it all starts.