Safenet progress questions

Building the Safenetwork is like building an airplane in mid flight and learning to fly the thing at the same time.


I don´t go all along with @FollowTheCycles but there is some truth in the complaint that criticism is often deflected, frequently in an unfriendly manner and sometimes ad hominem (I personally find “MaidSafe apologists” ad hominem by itself, but as far as I see it was written in quotation marks that have been removed in the reaction - maybe not the best move to propagate a hard-headed debate). At one hand people appear to be expecting a very close release, on the other hand they discard requests for a roadmap with the argument that project SAFE is digging in the dark. Which one is it?

To me the whole rebuttal of the request for timeline doesn´t make any sense: even if SAFE was “rocket science”, do you seriously believe that rocket scientists don´t have timelines? There is ANY serious project I know that doesn´t work with timelines and you can bet that Musk and Jobs had timelines even when it comes to flying to Mars. Every PhD student works with timelines, even though you never know if you can match them when you do your research. I said it and will repeat it over again: timelines are not there to predict the future - they are used to communicate the process of development and allow others to get an idea of how you are working internally. They are not at all about the final date, but about the logic of the process.

I really appreciate the weekly updates, but they have anything to do with roadmaps. You cannot argue how cool it would be if Tesla have weekly updates - you know very well, that these companies work silently for the same reason, they don´t use GitHub.

In the end all comes down to the question whether this is research and experimental or close to release. If it´s experimental I wouldn´t expect anything substantial in the next 5 years. If it´s close to release it should be easy to define all steps to the final one. In both cases you can have a roadmap, even though it will look very differently and have a different level of accuracy.

I personally doubt that there is an elaborated roadmap, because it is MaidSafe philosophy to be open and transparent. I believe we are at a highly experimental state and I don´t expect a release of a stable product in this year and neither in the next year. I´d love to be proven wrong, but that was my feeling one year ago and it is my feeling right now. It is certainly an unsettling feeling and I guess the own uncertainity is the main reason why people sometimes react so harsh.

P.S.: Sorry if the comment sounds like a rant. I have any problems with waiting for the SAFE release, in fact you can look up my former comments on estimation sand you´ll see that I´ve always been rather conservative with regard to expectations people on the forum had and even said in 2015 that I wouldn´t have a problem with a release in 2017 - what I have a problem with is the discrepant rhethoric.

If the dev team is not willing to do time lines, then… What is the list of things that still need to be done. And out of that list of things to be done, what has been figured out and just needs to be coded and what still needs to be figured out.

Edit: I’m asking specifically about decentralized vaults.

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Yes, that sounds like a better way to do it, better than dates. I think the roadmap is a good first step in that direction

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I agree 100% with you if it were a typical project. Typical projects are ones where they can plan out the work like constructing an airport or building. But you would sink very quickly on a R & D project. I’ve been involved in well managed R&D projects, have done project management myself (& done the courses too) and you seem to have a basic view of project management for typical projects. Gnat charts are very useful for both set timeframes and not set ones.

In fact you can fully manage R&D projects and handle the lack of set time frames in a road map.

Hint: R&D projects are managed differently to a construction project and the manager has to be experienced so that the development team are not building a rolls royce version where a scooter does what is needed. They have to manage the research team so they remain focused on the research at hand. Times for these projects are usually not set in dates and can change day by day. This is why it is impossible to put any dates on a roadmap unless you set massive dates in the future.

MAIDSAFE followed your advise in years past and it only brought grief because it was the wrong approach to managing the project. And now you want them to go back to that???

EDIT: here is what happened a few decades ago to microsoft

[quote]The very first version of Microsoft Word for Windows was considered a “death march” project. It took forever. It kept slipping. The whole team was working ridiculous hours, the project was delayed again, and again, and again, and the stress was incredible. When the dang thing finally shipped, years late, Microsoft sent the whole team off to Cancun for a vacation, then sat down for some serious soul-searching.

What they realized was that the project managers had been so insistent on keeping to the “schedule” that programmers simply rushed through the coding process, writing extremely bad code, [/quote]

By setting dates they actually DELAYED the project and caused bad code. I remember Word in the early day and I can tell you it was very very badly written. Why anyone would have use it is beyond me.

That is an example of trying to use traditional project management on a development project that had just a touch of research. SAFE network has a lot of research.

BTW this is not apologising for MAIDSAFE but rather using my experience over 4 decades of computing


If you have several decades of experience, you should know that roadmaps are not necessarily about setting dates, they are about documenting the process.

I don´t get the reference to research, seriously. I have been working in research for years: 1. literally EVERYONE uses roadmaps, otherwise there wouldn´t be any way to communicate with supervisors, financiers and administration and 2. if we were close (i.e. ~24 months) to a stable release, which is a very common rhetoric here on the forum, you cannot refer to the process as “research”. Also I believe that you underestimate the process of constructing airports & buildings. It isn´t as straightforward as people believe and yes, people still use roadmaps.

I personally can´t see how you are not apologising the status quo. The example of Microsoft Word you use is rather the consequence of not having a proper roadmap and reminds me a lot of how it has been handled here: instead of saying “we need at least two years to develop a stable version” the process has been document in weekly updates and repeated hints that something will happen in the next few months. THIS combined with the expectations here on the forum is what drives pressure. Just have a look at this thread from 2014:

What I saw was that whenever a roadmap discussion came up the developers referred to the stress they are in and putting on themselves. That´s never a good sign, because it will lead to premature decisions. Quite the opposite, the discussion of a roadmap, handled properly, shouldn´t put pressure on the developers but provide them with the space they need to finalize the project. Maybe the whole team should take one month in a retreat without looking onto the code, Sometimes that is better than pushing hard every single day (#burnout).

And if it´s seriously a research project the roadmap should include several years before we start talking about releases. But that doesn´t mean there can´t be a roadmap.

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I am for roadmaps.

Worked with the project manager for the international airport build here and learnt quite a lot there.

They had their roadmap, gnat charts and so on. They tried to keep to a schedule of dates that did not account for he tiny amount of research (how to achieve that which has not been done before) needed and normal development uncertainty.

The management process has certainly changed over time and one reason they removed the schedule of dates milestones

And I’ve said before roadmaps are OK. My reference to milestones was dates, not progress “milestone” (see the context of milestone use in my post)

There is a lot to do with project management and schedule of dates has to be taken in context of the project type and time can be measured in more ways than a simple schedule of dates. Even a construction project has its schedule of dates and it schedule of dates/slippage/subprojects that can slip against other subprojects, target dates, critical dates, datelines. I am talking of putting fixed dates to a roadmap of milestones.

Didnt aspect so many reply’s i can agree with some but mostly they are not true aswell.

Every company got ETA’s, cause thats were they focus on themself, just they feel comfortable not telling them in case of delays. Thats why diffrent project approaches might be choosen think about Agile were things are beeing delivered in chunks, But to say maidsafe is diffrent is not true aswell, many company are diffrent they just dont wanna fail delivering on the ETA. And People dont forget ETA’s can also change its for example when they changed to Rust.
But i dont think its a strange thing that people invested in your coin or equity wanna know were we at and whats the future.

Im working also on a R&D project building one of the worlds biggest ships and ETA’s are not easy to give
but they are needed to keep people happy on the otherside, people that invested, banks, future clients.
We made something that was never done before, and what people also said cant be dont. But its build now
and just succesfully finished its first job.

This can even be discribed without a ETA.

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Let’s all agree to disagree. Fact is that MaidSafe decided not to use specific deadlines. No one from MaidSafe will jump on one of these threads to give us any specific dates, weeks, months for TEST, alpha, beta, MVP or a final product.

Now people may not like this, they may think it’s bad project management and they may think that by not doing so there’s not going to be a working network ever. Fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. These repetitive discussions are just a waste of everyone’s energy. If you believe in SAFE despite of there not being any deadlines then focus your energy on things that contribute. If you don’t believe in SAFE because of there not being any deadlines then it’s best to focus your energy on something else.


Nobody asked you to come here and waiste your time! Its a discussion topic, and indeed you get two sides people.
Also no one said they dont believe the project will fail cause of ETA’s beeing given or not. Eta’s are usefull to see the way through the forrest if your not technical there is no way thats a easy task.

Welcome to a forum were things can be asked.

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Still the devs are not going to do this

The timetables, if any, are in the dev updates. This is the purpose of @frabrunelle posting the dev updates, to inform us of where the devs are up to and if there are any forward dates available.

The decision was made a while back to not attempt at giving dates for the road map milestones, so asking the devs to do so will not result in any being given.

If you feel that project management cannot accommodate this then we personally will disagree on the matter.

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I think everyone can decide on his*her own what is or is not a waste of energy. Anyone including the developers is forced to participate in this conversation.

Roadmaps are great, but you have to know something about the roads to be able to map them.

Columbus proposes sailing West to discover to discover the East Indies and the Spanish Crown funds it…

Spanish Crown: Oi Chris, when you gonna be back? We’ll throw a party for your return; we can’t wait to have all the wonderful things you’ll bring back with you to enrich all of our lives. We’re funding your trip though, give us some more details, it’s quite reasonable for us to want them.

Chris: Well, I’m not sure really. I mean, I know where I’m headed and why, but I have no idea what the waters or roads will be like on my way there, or whether my route will be straight or take me round many new lands. This is all completely uncharted territory, so it could take me months or years off any time I might predict.

Crown: Yeah Ok, but I’ve never heard of a voyage that didn’t at least give an approximate time frame. Come on, there are loads of other boats out there, they all give ETAs. Sure, some get delayed by storms and beset by pirates, but they all give you some kind of steer. We can’t invest in your voyage if we have no idea if or when you might get home.

Chris: Well, are any of those other voyages travelling epic distances to somewhere no one has ever been before, taking a route no one has ever travelled, with no idea what lies on it? And why exactly do you want a date? If it can’t be accurate then what use could it have for you?

Crown: No, I suppose this voyage is unusual, but how can we plan the welcome home party, or prepare for our own futures? We need to know when the world will be transformed by your return and revelations and treasures your voyage will uncover? At least give us some kind of vague date.

Chris: It would be irresponsible of me to give you any information that you might use to plan any kind of party or orientate any of your life-plans around. If I give you a date it will be wrong, so it will not help you with any of the things you want it to help you with. For all I know I’ll be eaten by cannibals on the first island I stop at. Or the naysayers might be right and the earth might be flat, I might sail right off the edge of it (lol @ dally’s laws of physics arguments ;))! The point is I’m going to try and I have good reason to believe I might succeed. If I do, you will be rich and the world will be a much smaller place with many new wonders in it. Now wish me luck and let me get on with risking my neck for the chance of success for you.

N.B. I’m not actually a fan of Columbus and I know he’s not the ‘great man’ posterity likes to paint him as. I just ran with the theme because it sounded good in my head lol :wink:


Yes, but it gets a bit old to see the same question being asked over and over. Just because people don’t like the answer it doesn’t mean that asking it over and over again will make the next answer any different.

So you are admitting that people are forced to participate? :joy:

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I guess you got my point. If you feel annoyed by the question, I see no reason why you should participate. And I think it is absolutely fine to dicuss this issue over and over again at different times - at least as long the project develops. I think we are still at a very social level of conversation, but sometimes the response to critical issues like these sound bit like “shut up”.

Yes, my point here is that the consequence is counterproductive. If the repeated reference to stress that the team puts on itself doesn´t raise a red flag, I believe it´s time to reconsider. I find this a pretty theoretical debate. As I said, it seems to me that a majority of active users expect a completion/stable version rather soon (<12-24 months), on the other hand (partwise the same) people frame it as unpredictable research. It cannot be both.

When was the last time this was said. Not talking of normal stress that comes with any creative project, but the “destructive” kind you quoted

Yeah of course I got your point, but I couldn’t take a pass on pointing out your small mistake :innocent:

Anyway I’ve made my point and I’ve decided that to me it’s a waste of energy to put more time in to this thread. The sun is shining so time to work on that vitamin D shortage :grin:


I don´t know when it was said the last time, I only know it has been said on many different occasions. It was usually said when people asked for results. If I find some time I can look it up.

Oh, that´s absolutely fine, I thought I said something entirely incomprehensible. I´m always up to improve my English :wink:

It has changed since they stopped with the dates they never could keep. The accusations and hamming the team got when another date passed was a lot of the stress. I don’t know personally the management process in MAIDSAFE, but i DO KNOW that good project management can proceed without set dates for milestones in the needed roadmap

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It seems to me like most can agree that a roadmap without timeframes would be good? But besides, they sometimes even give timeframes, like how many dev tutorials per timeframe, etc. So more like short-term timeframes, which is great I think.

/edit lol, my post needs timeframe deduplication

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