Despite the popular opinion supporting invites, I have to express my disappointment in this strategy (although I do understand the motive).
Applying the word ‘attack’ to the action of filling the network is premature and needlessly dramatic. There’s no indication of the intent behind it, nor whether it would be repeated.
Being invite only creates a perception directly opposite to what SAFE stands for. It’s not just cosmetic or temporary; people-in-passing will hear safe is now ‘controlled’ and ‘trackable’ and this can form a lasting impression which misrepresents this great project.
My main opposition to invite only is it’s a knee-jerk reaction to a valid use of the network. The filling activity engaged a valid and difficult-to-produce state (the error seen when the network is full). As far as I know, this had not previously been triggered. Presumably this is the test working as intended, right?
If any activity taken during the last testnet is seen as ‘not testing’ then I feel the test network serves no purpose any longer and it may as well be private testnets. Filling the network is a totally valid use of the test network. It’s there to be used. Developing stop-gap features which detract from time developing the actual network is a bit backwards to me.
It’s amazing Alpha 1 lasted as long as it did without this sort of activity. Alpha 2 certainly will be exposed to occasional heavy use and I feel it should not be released until it can sustain that (even if that’s months away). I feel that invite only in alpha would be a disaster, leading to reduced testing and damaged reputation.
I would rather see testnets continue to be released without invites and continue to fill up, supplemented by private testnets when required.
As a compromise, perhaps the network configuration for the next testnet can be released only to a certain class of forum members for a week, then released publicly after that. This negates the need for developing an invitation system and still achieves the ‘open testing’ that testnets seem so valuable for.