Time for a countdown clock?

In my opinion, over the last few months of reading the forum and viewing the open JIRA tasks, the indication is that alpha 3 (Fleming) is close, or at least defined enough within the walls of MaidSafe to share.

I think it would be sensible to use the marketing tool of ’ Building up anticipation’ by committing to a release date. If you think you’ll be done by Christmas, then setting a release date of March 28th gives you plenty of room for manoeuvre and you can use that time to post on medium about upcoming features like ‘Test SafeCoin’. The marketing itself will have a lot more impact because there is a delivery date. It’s like when you see presents under a Christmas tree, the waiting is part of the fun.

I can see by calling a branch Fleming, you are basically suggesting you are heading in this direction. Subtle clues may get noticed here, but aren’t going to be picked up by outsiders. You need to be more public, like putting a massive countdown clock on ‘https://safenetwork.tech’ would be much more effective approach.

I’ve seen over 4 years that attracting attension is not the MaidSafe way, but I fear Alpha 3 will arrive and become nothing more than a footnote. You need to attract fresh eyes to critique your product at this interactive and early stage of development. MaidSafe has had the luxury of never setting deadlines, and you can still have that. If Fleming is intended to be a surprise Christmas present, please consider not launching, and making everyone wait a little longer.

In my opinion alpha 3 isn’t simply the delivery of the code for an early-stage test network, its also about getting noticed for the delivery of a viable alternative to blockchain technology that’s scalable and secure. It will be a monumentous achievement equivalent to Bitcoin itself. If you are as close as I think you are. You really should begin shouting about it.


While on the surface this sounds like a good idea it might not be such a great one as first thought.

If you’ve seen over 4 years then you would also seen what happens when the dev team set target dates for things that are not within a couple of weeks.

Need I say more?


Lots of projects give launch dates and fail to deliver, repeating the process multiple times giving excuses. The difference is MaidSafe haven’t done that ever. If they already have a product ready for release, making us wait while they run through the pre-scheduled marketing campaign for the sole purpose of attracting attention and reaffirming the release date in each post, keeps the level of excitement up longer. Allows for the potential for larger news sites like BBC technology to pick up on it.

If alpha 3 intents to demonstrate an alternative to blockchain, it’s a moment to be proud of and run with the excitement. I fear they will have the mindset of its going to be so good it will advertise itself. While over time as the network matures that might be true. This initial we are the ‘next evolution of blockchain’ is an event which is better positioned as a run up to the release of alpha 3 and not afterwards.


I would almost be biased to waiting until alpha3 works in the wild. The worst thing would be to stamp it with ‘10 years and still doesn’t work’. There will be a significant community of testers, and once the most basic bugs are ironed out then it will be something to point at. Underpromise.


You said you’ve read for 4 years and never saw what happened??

OK then I can understand why you think this is a good idea. Perhaps go back and read some of the projections Maidsafe made in 2014 and the negative response from all that


This is exact behaviour that should be avoided, remember to be human is to fail. If we attract huge attention now, after the project progresses to launch the upside is now it’s been battled tested. If a flaw is found in alpha or beta, then brilliant! MaidSafe releases an offical statement of how they intend to stop it recurring.


I can definitely see this line of reasoning. However, I also see it as highly risky to expose a new consensus algorithm to the wild with tons of publicity. There is a LOT of invested money in crypto that would have their raison-d-etre undermined if/when SAFE works. My gut says better to do the best possible job of bulletproofing it before exposing it… One alternative would be to start the countdown to alpha4… if alpha3 works, then we can be almost certain that alpha4 will too… and it will have the ‘actually decentralized in all aspects’ cachet as well.

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Explain how a surprise launch would be better? subtle hints are low risk, but also provide little community growth.

Everyone here understands how important alpha 3 is, everyone outside needs to be told how important alpha 3 is. Those few months of constant medium posts and explanations and upcoming features, explaining how they work. That should be factored into this next release.

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Thats one thing that can be done. But to put a release date on a alpha that noone can really use for anything does not make any sense at all. Let alone the negativity that comes with missed deadlines.

You say many do it and survive, but they have to deal with all the negativity and expend a lot of energy to regain lost ground because of that.

No one here is even suggesting that. Please don’t assume that no specified release data for alpha 3 equals that. That is dishonest discussions


You would simply be kicking the can down the road, when it gets too alpha4 you’ll again be too scared to attract two much attention as you provide more polish.

I’m saying they will already have the product ready before they start the countdown. So they can’t miss the deadline, they are simply marketing something they are capable of releasing.

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FWIW, I’ve upvoted the whole discussion. In the end, I have good faith in the SAFE team to do what is best, knowing what they know.

I would be significantly less hesitant to spend lots of effort to advertise a working, second phase a3 (the release should be of course news like the others), and possibly a countdown or roadmap to a4, which has many fewer deep technical risks. Like I’ve said, a4 will have decentralized storage too… and avoid the (I’ve seen it online) complaint that ‘it’s just fluff around a centralized architecture’. They’ve spent so much time making sure the details are right that it seems a bit off to throw caution out the window for an all too typical hype/what-now cycle.

If you noticed in the past they did that for alpha 2, announced it before any release. But they had it ready.

If alpha 3 is ready then by all means announce a release date and build excitement.

BUT you said If they think it will be ready sometime in the future then announce a release date. And that is not the same as what you just said. SO what do you really mean???

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I’m simply worried that MaidSafe maybe thinking a surprise launch is a good marketing tool. And what I’ve seen recently (in my opinion), makes it a real possibility.

So if they think they will be done by Christmas, I would rather they hold back the release and set a public countdown of March 28th, then actually make alpha 3 available to the community. I would rather wait, and have them use it as a marketing tool then miss out on the community growth.

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I am not sure what is worrying you here? If you can elaborate perhaps it would help?

The problem though is that alpha 3 is an essential testing tool that is required to run prior to some of the further development. So to delay it any more than a couple of weeks is to set the project back those 3 1/2 months you are suggesting.

That was assuming your suggestion of alpha 3 being ready and they do your suggested delay of nearly 3 1/2 months

The language used in the JIRA tickets, tone of the dev updates. Its of course all assumptions, please feel free to write a guarantee of no surprise launches,

A few thousand community members? have to wait a few extra months, we’ve been waiting years, we will survive. The upside of attracting a few hundred thousand more, some being developers, means a lot more testing, and potentially more developers playing around with the API’s and feedback. It could easily make the wait well worth it.

A surprise launch might work for the likes of Apple, but they have a HUGE following. MaidSafe need time to tell everyone why what they have just spent over a decade working on a product and why it’s worth their attention. Alpha 3 is a perfect opportunity to do that.

Ah I see.

:smiley: I do feel free, but guarantees and things like saying impossible are not stuff I get involved with.

If these are not positive and progressive, then I have issues as we really want a motivated squad, but not one that makes false promises or assertions. So it is a balance we must maintain, positive, forward moving gritty determination. It should all be OK if we all face the same direction though. I would not worry about this.


WHAT and I say again what??? Its not about us, but about getting the essential testing done with a large group and not delay it by 3 months so you can have a 3 month announcement time for an alpha that is useless to showcase the safenetwork.

Alpha 3 is an essential test network that requires the community to test for the dev team so they can then resolve any issues. This means that parts of the development cannot proceed until that is tested and proven.

So you want to have the development of parts of the network delayed by 3 months? You are on top of any delays and not you propose a 3 month delay, I really don’t understand. I could be real cynical and say you are after a coin pump using the 3 month announcement of alpha 3, its the only thing that makes sense to me.

I feel you are missing my point. It’s not just some code that needs testing, its a disruptive technology, at the point of alpha 3, it’s not just a theory anymore. In the 3 month announcement time, marketing can focus on explaining the key important aspects of what the safe network solves for humanity, and its visions for the future.

MaidSafe have a real opportunity to grow this community and strengthen the future security of the network with the upcoming Fleming launch. They can keep making references to it in dev updates and making medium posts about what’s coming at some unknown date in the future. It will never have the same amount of impact of as saying you’ll have test safe coin in 12 weeks. Here are some cool features of SafeCoin etc.

If it did get released in a surprise, I’ll guarantee the marketing will be considered a massive disappointment.

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And you have totally ignored what was said. And ignored the very important purpose of alpha networks.

Can I make this simplier

If say for instance we use your xmas time that alpha 3 is ready and have 3 1/2 moths announcement (March end)

Then for large portions of development.

xmas ready - end march release

  • crucial testing phase takes about 3 weeks (say to the end of April because of holidays)
  • large portions of development is put on hold till end of April.
  • By then many developers are looking for things to get onto and have to learn other areas to help out.
  • Other areas come to a stop too by about end of feb because they need development done in the areas delayed

xmas ready and 2 weeks till release

  • crucial testing phase takes about 3 weeks - end of January
  • Some staff can take leave since they are in a slack period.
  • delayed portions continue development from start Feb
  • other areas are not delayed because they have enough to do till end of feb and no need to wait for the areas delayed till alpha 3 crucial test phase finished.

BUT you want to delay the project by 1 to 3 months so you can have a wonderful time announcing a alpha test network.

It makes no sense. except what I said previously

What do you think alpha 3 is? Some sort of network that people will go “WOW” lets go SAFEnetwork!!!

Its not even as exciting as alpha 2 was where people could actually do stuff and make sites etc.

Alpha 4 is the next exciting alpha test network.

Oh and to put your mind to rest over the surprise announcement

  • Its never happened with any of the other alphas
  • There are always plenty of test networks that herald the coming of the next alpha
  • There has been 2 or more weeks before the release that we know its being released.

Again the only advantage in delaying the project to have a long 3 month announcement for a boring (excitement wise) alpha test network is so you can ride the typical coin pump that other projects usually do with their drawn out announcement cycles.