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User-friendly witness information to encourage communication

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blockchainstudio
69
4 months agoBusy4 min read

Repository

https://github.com/steemit/steem

Components

https://steemit.com/~witnesses which shows not much information except for often outdated witness thread link.

Witnesses are crucial on the Steem blockchain. Communication is very important in Steem and more generally in any DPoS system, but many users also feel the lack of communication between witnesses and users. There should be more user-friendly information about witnesses activities, which also encourage witnesses to do more active communication with users.

Proposal Description

I propose that on steemd.com, for instance, there should be at least two more information:

  • Ratio of miss to request (request = miss + produce)
  • Last post time
  • In addition, terms should also be explained briefly, which can be easily done by tooltips, see Mockup.)
Ratio of miss to request

While many users expect witnesses do many things, the most important role is to produce a block.

On the Steem blockchain, witnesses serve a role of validating signatures and timestamping transactions by including them in blocks.
https://steemd.com/witnesses

However, all the information that normal users can get is just https://steemd.com/witnesses, showing only miss, which is the total number of missed block so far.

https://steemd.com/witnesses the only information about quality of block producing is miss, which isn't informative at all.

However, miss only isn't informative. Each witness became a witness at different times. Also, some may just become top20, and some may temporarily disable their role. That is, the number of blocks they should've produced can be quite different from each other.

Thus, # of blocks produced, or more simply, the ratio of miss to request (for past 1 month, for instance) should be shown together, as shown in the mockup.

Last (root) post time

Well, most users expect more from witnesses. In fact, steemd also says,

Witnesses are generally expected to manage a reliable block producing node, implement a failover system, maintain a public seed node, tune blockchain operating parameters, publish correct price feeds, author/discuss improvement proposals, review code changes, and to be active. Some contribute to core repositories such as steemd. Some fund the development of other apps and infrastructure projects.

I believe that to be active is very important. Of course, they can quietly work very hard behind the scene. Many top witnesses are running some valuable services or dapps. However, it'd be much better if they could fill some gap between STINC and users. Even for them to get witness vote, witnesses should communicate more often with users. Thus, showing last post time information would give them some incentive to update more frequently. I don't wanna point out some specific witnesses, but there are several witnesses who don't update for quite a long time, like more than a couple of months.

Mockups / Examples

Ratio of miss to request

  • Miss and ratio should be shown together. (Note that ratios are fake numbers for illustration purpose only.)
  • Each column should be explained briefly. Tooltip would be enough.
Last (root) post time

  • If last (root) post time is shown, I believe that more witnesses do more frequent updates.

I believe most users are not demanding. Personally I think 1-2 updates per month would be enough.

Benefits

  • Improvement of the quality of block producing.
    If the miss ratio is shown, witnesses cannot help but doing their best to achieve lower miss ratio.
  • Voters can also get more information about witness's block producing quality.
    Currently, there is no easy way for normal users to know which witness is doing a better job on block producing. Current miss is not informative at all.
  • Improvement of communication between witnesses and users
    If last post date is shown, witnesses will do more frequent update. This naturally makes witnesses do more communication with users, I hope.
    I believe that no explanation about the column names of the witness table (on steemd.com/witnesses) shows many things. Out of 14 columns, I believe, normal users may only understand 3 columns, approval, feed, and version. This kind of pages should be much more user friendly. Even simply adding tooltips can make a huge difference.
  • Witness's role as a bridge between STINC and users
    Realistically, it's almost impossible for most users to communicate with STINC directly, and I believe witnesses should play the bridge role between them. To do this, witnesses first communicate with users!

GitHub Account

https://github.com/economicstudio

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