On Sep 21, 2020, at 9:21 AM, Christopher King <ch...@cking.me> wrote:
On Sep 21, 2020, at 6:31 AM, Christopher King <ch...@cking.me> wrote:
Read you loud and clear Chris. We're in the early stages of opening up development to the community more intentionally and really appreciate the feedback.Regarding hosting, we'll do our best to ensure that urbit.org (the website) is not opinionated about hosting providers. To that end, it would be great to present https://www.geturbitid.com/ on our public documentation. I can think of one place off the top of my head where this should go: https://urbit.org/using/install/ > Setting up a planet > Choose to host or run your ship locallyIf you submit a PR to the urbit.org repo, we'd be happy to get it listed. When Tlon launches its own hosting service, we'll list it there as well, I'd think.
First, a disclaimer - I don't work for tlon, I've never really been part of any inner circle (except for maybe just sticking around for a while), and while I've had my issues with OTAs breaking my shit, urbit is open enough to figure stuff out for yourself. I've gotten pretty far with that. I've never taken a hoon course (though technically i signed up and just ended up being a guide), I've spent hours and hours figuring out esoteric code that changed the next day, and my interaction with tlon engineers at a deep technical level has been /relatively/ non-existent, but mostly because i just like doing things myself. Yet I have never felt any semblance of elitism or unwillingness to be as open as possible - in fact, in both urbit-dev and many of the channels, I've seen a consistent and compulsive effort to be incredibly transparent on what is going on. ~palfun made a change recently that broke srrs, and i figured it out, mentioned it, and a couple of hours later had a response from him about making sure to announce breaking changes. Sure enough, there is a breaking change section in the OTA emails now. I've made plenty of PRs that have gotten immediate responses, and with so many 'nonners' contributing i don't see how anyone could get the impression that tlon is being anything less than what they're claiming.
Secondly, just as an example of how much space there is for hosting providers - I'm working on a project that allows you to associate and authenticate gaming profiles with your Urbit ID. One of the components in making this happen will most likely require a 'server ship', run by the host of a particular game, that will at first play the role of a login server. This alone already creates a clear demarcation between a vanilla hosting service - they might just want a pre-configured server ship. Even if they are willing to set one up themselves, if you're in the business of blindly hosting anyone who can pay up, there is a good chance that a company looking to build a game supporting Urbit IDs may not want to use your services, and players may find that buying cheap planets might prevent them from playing their favorite game. Companies can't afford to purchase a planet from a provider that may be selling planets cheaply in bulk to gold sellers (then you're stuck trying to switch sponsors who might not want you or just back to banning ips, which we know doesn't work, and becomes a dealbreaker for players). They may even invest in a full star, which brings up a whole new differentiating factor as an avenue for crowdfunding games. People love getting "Founder" rewards - what if they were etched into your digital identity, a status symbol that no one can ever take from you? And you get an OS, not just an ephemeral promise that maybe you'll get the thing?
And de-incentives for botting and gold scammers is the tip of the iceberg. Private torrent groups with server owned moons anonymizing traffic and auditing torrent activity, location based ala nextdoor but with the ability to curate your local feed, hell maybe someone will build a salesforce / insperity to sell as an HR solution for enterprise. I specifically want to see an education based provider that contracts with schools, because what kids are dealing with right now is borderline abusive, failing because the systems are so inflexible and buggy that half your answers could be erased after submitting a test, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
I don't think you could find a clearer demonstration of how the sponsorship hierarchy can become the foundational aspect of an emergent and clearly enforceable reputation based system.This won't be an AWS vs GoDaddy vs DO - providers will evolve according to the needs of various communities, the reputational level at which they're willing to operate, and the extent to which their handling of bad actors maintains that reputation. A provider focused on gaming could provide anti-bot support through a scalable set of moons that communicate with the game's server ship (an agent is a user programmable database, no?), look for suspicious player activity, maintain a list of botters/scammers/, and send that information back in a form that is agnostic to the specific game. Can't afford that? Fine, find a cheaper provider. Maybe they do those things, but just a bit worse. Both hosting and planet providers will have to do deal with an incredibly fragmented landscape, and that's to their benefit. I wouldn't even be surprised if tlon's hosting becomes the linux desktop of the provider ecosystem, with the less techy preferring whatever caters most to their needs.
Last point, and apologies if this comes off dickish. This complaint that tlon has an unfair hosting position reads like the government just built a bunch of subsidized housing and they have an advantage because people trust the government and won't buy my slightly cheaper and equally boring housing. This misses the point - urbit is about building, it's anti slumlord, and complaints centering on name recognition and assertions about what tlon's proper role should be invoke the same 'ugh field' as a 15 year old jumping into a mcdonald's ball pit right when you get to that perfect depth. You have land. Great. But it's Kansas farm land with no particular advantage over the 800 acre ranch 50 miles from you, and if you're annoyed that they've decided to parcel it up and sell it I think you're losing sight of what problem urbit is trying to solve. I'm sure we all would like it to grow, but we don't want a Titusville and god forbid if we ever get an Ida Tarbell.
Hit me up at ~littel-wolfur if you're interested in discussing this, or just want to call me an asshole. But this whole thing sounds like bitterness wrapped in a complaint that might've been relevant 5 months ago, but certainly has no merit now. It's a hosting service - anyone with a star has probably thought about making a quick buck and selling some planets, and while useful, probably the most uninspired idea you could come up with w.r.t what you could do with your stars. There have been many discussions on opening up the development process, but just tracking commits on github gives you 99% of what you're after.
Urbit has been my happy place for a while now, and a lot of it is because everyone builds stuff and doesn't complain. I don't want to see tlon's diplomatic attitude towards criticisms like this turn into bitterness towards users. And just to offset all this white knighting - tell me how to make fucking dynamic tiles again! i miss seeing review counts on srrs :'(
On Sep 25, 2020, at 8:46 AM, Christopher King <ch...@cking.me> wrote: