Friday, January 24, 2014

NxtMyths 4: Source Code

Why isn't Nxt open-source?

Eventually, it will be.  At the moment, some of the code is still private because it is still being hammered out.  The development community released all of the base source code on January 3, 2014, and source code for additional features (the "secret sauce") will be released in the spring of 2014.   The developers have introduced three security flaws into the source code to prevent people from creating copies of Nxt by simply taking the source code and re-using it.  People who discovered the security holes claimed rewards for finding them.  Two of three implemented security flaws had already been found.

As BCNext said, anyone could join the development after the release of the source code.  So Jean-Luc joined the dev team and started with refactoring the source code. Also the Klee’s crew is working on the source code reviewing.

What did experts say about Nxt’s source code and about inventor BCNext?

“BCNext knew that Java binaries could be easily decompiled, everything in Nxt is made on purpose. U'll get most of the answers in the last part of BCNext's plan...”
“I noticed the same things, the code is written in back-to-90s style. The author definitely used to code in Assembler. But I wouldn't say that this is bad. U can buy "Java for dummies" book and in 3 weeks u'll be writing code full of comments like "// Now we set A to B plus C", declarations like "static final int ONE = 1;", Optional<T> from Guava that requires 3rd party libraries, methods that r called once... the list goes on. I'd rather trust to code written in assembler style. Script kiddies shouldn't write financial software.”

“NXT's beauty is in the algorithms and maths that have brought forward the state-of-the-art.  I seriously doubt the creator cares about keeping tidy with the code.  In fact, I know quite a few genius computer scientists who produce really ugly, stupid code.  However, that doesn't matter one iota when the algorithms are groundbreakingly better than anything that's come before.
Our investment is in the extremely clever people behind the NXT project.  Computer science and software engineering, though related, are different things.  I am glad the NXT has a computer scientist like BCNext behind it who actually has new ideas and can bring them to life, no matter how messy the code may be.  New capabilities are something that has been missing from every other alt coin that has come before NXT.
As I said, some really great computer scientists do not follow great software engineering principles, but their code does things no one else's can.  And that, my friend, is the point.
Bcnext is a freaking genius. I worked so hard to try to figure something out like this myself to no avail. What i proposed in my thread is a far cry from this much better solution.”
That we are not investing in source code, we are investing in the algorithms, the big ideas (BCNext) and the huge community supporting NXT.
Computer science and software engineering, though related, are different things.  I am glad the NXT has a computer scientist like BCNext behind it who actually has new ideas and can bring them to life, no matter how messy the code may be.  New capabilities are something that has been missing from every other alt coin that has come before NXT.

I know that this is about fees and not generating currency, but the concept of adjusting system metrics, based off daily transactional statistics is something I've looked at and thought about for a loooooong time.  I think we could do the same type of thing here.

This is the real-world dude, not an algorithm found in a textbook
You have to give the creator credit for implementing the first version bitcoin-era crytocurrency in Java. I am sure a lot of time and effort were invested in this.

I am amazed how motivated, innovative, and intelligent (sometimes I only understand half of the tech talk in the main thread the community behind NXT is!

If you'd read all of BCNext's posts (which I did) you'd see that lots of people wanted to give him more coins, and not just one at the most, which he put the cap on. But he wasn't motivated by that he just wanted to get the coin out there, he could have taken alot more of people's money, hell if I hadn't have come late to the party I would have jumped on in there and taken a punt on him. But he actually only wanted 21 BTC's so that it mirrored satoshi's 21 million BTC's! He's kinda of kooky and probably a bit of a genius (used lightly). But I liked his enthusiasm and paranoid personality. (He got a call on Skype from someone saying that they were the police and then stopped posting).

Source code appears to be the work of a super-genius with a strange formatting style.

Asian Prepper:
I can totally see the words "genius" & "masterpiece" being used to describe Satoshi but lets wait for some solid proof & evidence first before we use those words to describe BCnext. Right now we have lots of hype n "sizzle" but I dont see any solid "steak" yet to show for the Nxt hype yet. Right now, from an early adopter & Nxt investor perspective, all I see is another copy cat programmer attempting to copy satoshi's shroud of anonymity, idea of a public ledger,  etc.
Being "original" is genius. Being "different" is NOT genius.
Keep in mind that Satoshi created BTC to take power away from the 1% on wall street  n give it back to the 99% on Main Street while BCnext created Nxt for personal financial gains. Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with doing some thing for personal financial gains but I would hesitate to compare or place an unproven coder on the genius level of Satoshi.
I invested in Nxt because it was the first copy cat coin to make an attempt to come up with its own source code instead of being lazy n copying Satoshi's code. Is it possible that BCnext is another genius like Satoshi?  Of course its possible... I hope BCnext is able to produce the code that he claims n provide proof of his genius. .. Until there is proof... BCnext is just another wanna be copy cat... once proof is clearly available. .. I will be the first to promote the genius of BCnext's.

It takes a historical perspective to know what kind of contributions BCNext would make so I agree that at this point over-hype is premature. But in my personal observations, he has shown some signs of a genius in the making in some levels. There are technical innovations such as POS, transparent forging, however what I see the most valuable in his works is a coherent vision of what a decentralized network could be. It's similar to the way Steve Job designs the first Iphone. There are technical improvements compared to earlier smartphones in the first Iphone, but much more important innovation is the way everything is brought together to define what a smartphone should be. NXT decentralized network could be the same. It will succeed not on a specific feature but on the way all the different features are bought together in a coherent framework; plus all that hi-techs are accompanied with strong message of decentralization and community involvement. That the whole package together imho is the novel contribution.    
Satoshi has paved the way with his blockchain original idea. But without a written evidences, I doubt Satoshi has such a strong vision of how a decentralized network based on blockchain technology could be. So in a sense, BCNext extends Satoshi's original idea.
We still need to wait for the actual implementation of NXT decentralized network and there are still much uncertainty ahead. But the only reason I has devoted so much my time to this venture is because I has a conviction in my above judgement. I believe in NXT success and the validation of BCNext's ideas.


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