Hi, I’ve been following MaidSafe for a year+ now, and am devoted to the vision of the project. But I’m not a developer, and so reading through the updates, I often get lost in the details and realize I don’t have a “big picture” understanding of where development is atm. An ELI5 would be appreciated - thanks in advance.
Testnets so far have shown
- Decentralised nodes with basic data types
- Self authentication
- Early API for developers to build decentralised apps
- Devs already creating apps that are surprising us all with the capability.
Then moved on to show
- Autonomous network, working from homes as it should (with limitations due to security, but to show the design works)
We are now doing a large step to mutable data, this is in essence the new API we believe is more powerful and easier to use for devs. Also this includes a mechanism where users can have a single download and run app (authenticator). This is one large part of the work that is almost completed now, Already usable for devs in a local setting via mock interfaces (a dummy network if you like)
The next part is split in two
Data chains part 1 - Secure the autonomous network .
This is the options listed in the update recently, option A and option B. We did a lot of work on A and now are testing B via simulations and better definitions of the “rules” there. This part is producing resuls and we are happy enough there, but until it’s completed to our satisfaction, we will all be nervous
Data chains part 2, Record valid network data
This allows data republish by a node and is very important for network restarts, recovery of data etc. It is not as tough as part 1 as we pretty much already know how this works and have tested this with code. At least we anticipate it won’t be as hard at all.
These are the three items that bring us to a stable secured network and completing these will mean the team are finalising features, which everyone will see as rapid progress, but it’s much simpler than the current workload, which is quite intense and is core to the whole thing running securely and autonomous.
I hope this makes sense, it’s always harder pre launch as after launch people can just say “hey who cares how it does it, it works, see”, (although security people will need to know how and provide faith for those who cannot work that out) right now we sort of need to explain what we are doing and why. It makes it more technical really.
As always David your explanation of complex matters is brilliantly simple. I know I speak for many, Thank You!
That’s a brilliant summary David. I think including that as an intro /status summary in every weekly update would help people a lot (edited to reflect latest status).
Is the next test net just waiting for tweaks to mutable data & API, or will it follow on from parts 1 & 2?
Yes this should be the case, we hope not too much longer with that one.
Agree entirely. A dumbed down translation not only for us but also for media etc would be good.
Wow, I didn’t know we were that close. Amazing. Great work everyone! Thanks for the explanation David. Even as a developer, it helps to have a simple and concise explanation such as that.
Okay I have a question. What part of that process do you introduce safecoin and messenging?
I want to revive this topic after alpha 2. How much of a challenge is alpha 3 and if possible what is alpha 3’s goal, in ELI5 format.
Through some research I found out alpha 3 will be a routing layer(or nodes) security test. Where other developers try to find a fault.
But I don’t quite understand what can go wrong. To my understanding data only leaves your computer encrypted and only arrives your computer encrypted.So stealing data isn’t a possibility, inserting data would only end up as a corrupted file. So what can a routing security error can do? (I may be wrong in some or all parts above.As I am not confident in my understanding of computers nor maidsafe yet. But that is why I am asking in ELI5 format so please be kind )
If there is a group takeover the data can be lost, deleted, corrupted or even new data created (like safecoin). So the security tests are very important. Just imagine if the network was full of crooks that you give data to, they probably would not keep it safe.
So Alpha3 shows the group consensus and the protections in place to ensure that crooks cannot take over sections of the network. It will do a lot more but that is the basic thing.
Wow thanks for the quick response, that surprised me. So if I understand right by controlling the routing nodes (hacking) they can create their own close group (And reach close group consensus) much easier than just owning most of the nodes?(Sorry for wasting your time, trying to wrap my head around this and you guys are creating an awesome and complicated thing so its hard )
Alpha3 is to be resistant against all such attacks. If there was a close group attack then we would need to know and make sure it is rendered infeasible. I wont go into all the possible ways and how they are avoided, it would take me all night and I would never get any work done at all.
Thanks. Its good to see security is one of the major concerns even before release. I think I understand it a little bit better now.