jesta witness update - 2016-09-16

What an awesome, unexpected, crazy week of activities. Last Sunday I broke into the top 19 witnesses while I was working on a feature for steemdb. At first I thought "wait, what?", and figured that I broke something or corrupted my local database. After double checking the live version of steemdb and steemd, confirming the change, my priorities for the week shifted slightly.

My focus has very much been on fortifying and improving the witness infrastructure I manage.

As a result, I now have dual witness nodes running in different data centers to provide redundancy and protect against outages. I also have spent a large chunk of the small amount of time I have at night working on tools to help me keep an eye on these servers. With how busy life's been recently, I needed the new tools to help me ensure their stability.

I'm honored to be voted into the top 19 and will continue contributing to the best of my ability. Thank you all for the votes and encouragement.

1. Accomplished the week of 2016-09-16:

  • Finished and published my proposal for the steem bounty system. I haven't touched the concept since, but the work I've been doing on custom comment transactions may lead to further developments on additional features for this program.
  • Created a python script to monitor witnesses that are missing blocks. I've also configured it to post messages to, and am awaiting the creation of a channel so I can direct it there. If any mods could give me a hand creating a channel (#witness-blocks), I'd appreciate it!
  • Started working on a python/piston script for automated hot swapping of witness signing keys after missing a certain number of blocks. This is yet incomplete, as the witness_update operation isn't supported by piston yet. I have the operation written for piston, but need to figure out how to properly integrate it into python-steemlib. You can see my journey in #piston on if you'd like to help.
  • Started working on additional operation types for piston that allow for custom transactions (like you see with the "100% SP Rewards" option on posts).
  • Setup a second witness node as a hotswap backup with a different signing key.
  • Updated my witness node to 0.14.1 for 24 hours of testing, have since reverted to 0.13.0 in anticipation of 0.14.2 being released soon. Managed to miss 2 blocks the first time I tried the hot swapping of nodes, whoops.
  • Spent Sunday/Monday working with my business partner on our business plan. We have a ton of solid documentation thus far, and a pretty great narrative. I'm getting really excited to share it all.
  • [steemdb] Witnesses row colors now change red if the price feed is older than a week.
  • [steemdb] Improved load time by optimizing some of the calls to steemd.
  • [steemdb] Added cli_wallet commands for voting/replying to each post on the site.
  • Nagged my business partner yet again to introduce himself. I'm going to start making up funny reasons from week to week now for every week he doesn't. Fair warning good sir.

2. Upcoming projects/goals

  • I've had a few requests for APIs on steemdb for some other peoples projects. It's my #1 feature request right now and I plan on getting them deployed live and announcing them soon. They'll be available for everyone to use how they see fit.
  • Being ready for the potential HF on the 20th, ready to test 0.14.2 over the weekend, and help get everything ready as much as I can.
  • I found a basic boilerplate (thanks to @fabien) to get started with react, as well as examples from his code to get me started. I plan on spending some time getting an initial project setup for what could potentially be the next
  • I've been thinking more and more about steempress and how exactly I could add additional methods of control to the engine using the blockchain. I've got some ideas using a few of the new features coming down the pipe for steem, I'm planning on investigating these options further.
  • Implement the witness_update operation into piston/python-steemlib so that I can finish my new failover script.
  • SMS Messaging is getting added to my missing block script, as a further enhancement to my witnessing efforts. By this time next week, anytime I miss a block, failover triggers, or my server goes down - I'll receive an SMS message to give me a heads up. Finally, a way to get away from my computer for more than just sleep.
  • One more week of contract work remaining, home stretch!

3. Thoughts from this week

We got a new feature on this week, the option to receive 100% of your post rewards in Steem Power. I've been thinking a lot about this new found ability and really trying to find uses for it.

My initial reaction was that we should be highlighting whenever someone makes a post with this option enabled. An icon, a color change, something to let you know that the author of a post has enabled this option. Why? Because I feel there's an additional sense of trust that's conveyed by authors who choose this option. This likely isn't someone who is going to write a few posts this week, take the SBD, cash out and leave. It's someone who is willing to spend their time on steemit and take a long term investment instead of an immediate payout.

Now - I've heard the counter argument that "money is still money", and "you shouldn't trust someone more because they refuse liquidity", but I feel there's still something noble to this feature. I'm not sure where I fall on people using this feature, but it's something I'm going to try and pay attention to.

What do you think about the new 100% payout in SP option?

4. Previous week's update

Update for the week ending 2016-09-09

Finally, don't forget to cast your vote for witnesses here

Edit - Grr.. I meant to check the "100% Payout in SP" for this post to try it out. Figured witness updates might be a very good use case for them. Unfortunately you can't go back and change this after you've posted :(

$ 170.972 SBD