Re: Hyperledger Besu Proposal is Live

Jonathan Levi

... "It is ashame that we meet [ONLY] in other events, no the Hyperledger ones anymore", I meant.

(Typing from and old and dusty mobile)

On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 7:26 AM, Jonathan Levi (HACERA)
<jonathan@...> wrote:
Hi everybody,

While I am obviously in support of this proposal, being the first sponsor in the list after Consensys, I have had a LOT of conversations about this "move" and I hope tgat today Goes Well * (defined below).

Personally, I started to help, code and build one of the best Permissioned Blockchain framework (Fabric) AFTER working on Ethereum in 2015 and Bitcoin years before that. At first, I received a lot of criticism from some in the Ethereum community, while I kept on helping Ethereum, with advise, participating (and winning) in some impactful hackathons (Interoperability, Sharing, Confidentiality, Scaling) and help judge in many others. So I am glad that ConsenSys invested in a permissioned version (in addition to the amazing work that the Quorum team is constantly delivering).

Professionally, I would really like the TSC to think about "where do we go from here". 

I’m joining the disagreement with Vipin, I didn’t like the tone nor the accusations/blaming that people are not judging this proposal technically, or that people hold Besu to a different standard. I also don't think that this  is "diverse" as the project and code is provided by a single vendor (right now). Last, it is not clear at this point that this will get Hyperledger close to the EEA, as the EEA is set on supporting Quorum. With the specification effort (version 4 will be released during Ethereum DevCon 5), and they are welcoming other implementations, but to jump and declare "success" just by having one more project in Hyperledger, does not make us all friends. I am looking for a much more collaboration than competition here.


I raised the question of whether we would like all projects to fit well in Hyperledger and we have a lot of discussions around "who is going to do all this or that". Shawn and Chris addressed it, as indeed "the code won't write itself", and I agree with Arnaud, we are young and have to continue redefine and adapt.

I would like to quicky define what I mean by hoping that the vote today "Goes Well". I think we made a big mistake to not prevent the in-fighting in Hyperledger. Fabric was an investment of many many man years, and without breaching too many NDAs, it was worth many 100s of millions of dollars, especially in 2017.

How did we get there? TOGETHER.

In 2016 we had R3 who worked night and day so close to banking and the financial sector who kept on feeding us with super valuable feedback, Digital Asset - constantly provided us with requirements and I will never forget how much Intel (Mic B and others) set down with the Fabric team and literally worked out with the Fabric leading maintainers some major issues that we missed at the time with the genesis block with channels.

In 2018, we have lost a.lot of market momentum due to all these fights over Grid, over the pluggable consensus (I would have LOVED) to have PoET in Fabric, which I believe would have helped Intel a lot, given the fact that we already have 7 cloud providers who invested so much in having Fabric support. I think the fights and fragmentation is not helpful and a lot of innovation in 2018 is happening elsewhere.

Trying to remedy and bridge, HACERA and IBM have representatives (soon to be maintainers, more likely) of Hyperledger Transact, so that we can bridge the Fabric-Sawtooth gap when it comes to contracts and I would have loved it if Sabres (the WASM work) will be reusable outside Sawtooth, and HACERA can probably help with it this year.


What am I asking? I want people to be very honest with their vote. If we don't want to work with Ethereum, Pantheon or Besu - just say so and let's move on.

But if we do, or are willing to try, then let's welcome their code and their team, and work out what we can do together. Again: TOGETHER ;-)

And Richard G. Brown - of course your participation in any of these discussions is highly welcome. It is a shame that we meet in other events, but please do chime in.

Thanks again everyone.

Jonathan Levi

On Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 10:00 AM Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...> wrote:
Hi all,

I find myself largely in agreement with the sentiment expressed by Shawn and Chris. I find it rather unfortunate that attempts to understand how Besu will fit in and what its addition means to be interpreted as a vote against it. I think it is the TSC's job to take a serious look at every proposal and understand what the implications are. These shouldn't necessarily be seen as a pushback as much as an interest in looking after the well being of Hyperledger.

It has been said that we are making new rules as we go and I think that's a fair point but I for one don't think that's really by choice nor a bad thing. Hyperledger is still a very young organization and it should be expected that it goes through some transformation as it grows. Our charter states that our missing is to "create an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and code base" [1]. So, as a matter of fact, we've literally been making new rules all along since we accepted developing in parallel more than one dlt. Why should anyone be then surprised we keep doing so?

Anyway, I trust that with time we will get our act together. I understand the board is looking into updating our charter, which seems to be a good start. What's important to me, in line with what Chris stated and what I put in my TSC nomination pitch, is that we do a better job at documenting how the different projects compare and relate to one another, so that people in the community out there no longer get utterly confused when they come to our website in search for where to start they journey.


Arnaud  Le Hors - Senior Technical Staff Member, Blockchain & Web Open Technologies - IBM

From:        "Christopher Ferris" <chris.ferris@...>
To:        Shawn Amundson <amundson@...>
Cc:        VIPIN BHARATHAN <vip@...>, "vipinsun@..." <vipinsun@...>, Silas Davis <silas@...>, "jon.geater@..." <jon.geater@...>, "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Date:        08/27/2019 03:14 PM
Subject:        [EXTERNAL] Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Hyperledger Besu Proposal is Live
Sent by:        tsc@...

comments in-lined, below.

On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 2:11 AM Shawn Amundson <amundson@...> wrote:
On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 7:43 AM VIPIN BHARATHAN <vip@...> wrote:
Hi Jon,
Thanks for the thoughtful response.
  • Pluggable consensus has been in active discussion in the Architecture working group. Unfortunately participation in such cross dlt architectural conversations has dropped, at least under the aegis of the AWG. We have had conversations of how to reboot the WGs and you should join the conversation.
We already have really good pluggable consensus within Hyperledger that supports both voting and lottery style consensus that is very close to being suitable for cross-project use. The next step is packaging that up into a library that can be reused by the various projects, reconciling the code from the various projects, and refining the rough edges. I think there is substantial interest, but it is a lot of work to accomplish. If the Architecture WG activity in this area is deep consideration of the pluggable consensus API, with an eye towards documenting potential enhancements, there are certainly maintainers that would be interested in joining and participating.

I would agree with Shawn, here. There could be a bit more alignment, across projects but we do have plug-able consensus. However, I will remind people that code doesn't write itself, and no one ever shipped an architecture diagram/paper into production. Hyperledger is, all being said, an open source community. I would really love to see people diving in and working out the "how" and then rolling up sleeves to help drive the implementation of their thinking.
  • There has been no support to bring "consistent technical principles". Working Groups and other cross-dlt areas where such work should take place are languishing and there are many actively campaigning against WGs. However this again has nothing to do with whether we should approve Besu or not.
The presumption that WGs are where "such work should take place" could only hold true if the WGs produce artifacts that can be used as input into project development. I've not seen an active campaign against WGs, and would love to see useful design documents come out of them.

Agree, no one is campaigning against WGs, per se. The discussion of WGs is more about making WGs *more relevant* to the projects so that the project contributors and maintainers might pay them more attention and participate, meaningfully to the benefit of the projects and the broader community.
  • HL is unique in its sheltering  of multiple DLT solutions, there is no comparable consortium and we are inventing the integrative concepts around such co-opetition. I am also an advocate of a full offering (integrating documentation, deployment, operational support, simple and intuitive UIs, adherence to regulation demonstrable with security audits, monitoring and self-healing),  having had some experience importing dlt solutions into highly regulated enterprises. 
To some extent, the question is "What is Hyperledger?" Is Hyperledger an organization like Apache that has many unrelated projects; or, as we have been discussing for the last year, is Hyperledger driving toward more unification of its technology stack (not by having a single DLT, but rather by having the DLTs have some common code across them). I'm not sure it is mutually exclusive. However, we have had discussions in which some TSC members and maintainers have favored an approach of more re-usable projects and less (or no) completely new top-level frameworks.

  • The arrival of new projects into Hyperledger, especially something backed by large networks who are new to Hyperledger will stimulate work in all areas. When there is competition, people will be forced to improve their offerings to stay relevant.
But, should the competition be within Hyperledger itself? I'm not convinced that the competition within Hyperledger makes Hyperledger better. Maybe sometimes. I'd definitely like to see more collaboration across projects than an increase in competition across projects.

  • In short, I am against holding Besu to a different standard than the existing platforms in Hyperledger. Let us be consistent. Getting new blood and new ideas into HL will make a difference in existing dlts as well. The new entrants may revive interest in cross-dlt efforts like the working groups and SIGs. 
Every recent project proposal has had to justify itself in relation to other Hyperledger projects. :)

Agreed. I've been struggling with this. I think that there's positive benefit to bringing the Hyperledger and Ethereum communities closer together in the hopes that kumbayah. Though, I don't necessarily think that there will ever be one DLT to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them. What I DO think that Hyperledger needs to sort out is how it positions and promotes its projects. Right now, there is a considerable amount of overlap/redundancy, and it can be difficult at best to try to articulate to the general public how the projects are differentiated from one another. Further, during any project's life-cycle there's a great deal of effort expended to raise its voice above the din, to get people to kick the tires and maybe get more interested/invested.

I'm fine if Hyperledger is to become the Apache-for-Enterprise-Blockchain-and-DLTs, but note that Apache marketing is about promoting Apache and the Apache Way, not Hadoop, Kafka, Maven, Tomcat, or OpenWhisk.

Brian and Jessica have a difficult job, just as any parents with multiple offspring. Each child is special yet loved and nurtured equally. When someone asks a parent which child they love more, the correct response is "all of them". So, what should be the Hyperledger response when asked by press and analysts which of its projects is better, the correct answer needs to be "judge for yourself, we support them all equally". Yet, in this ultra-competitive landscape there is a natural tendency for press and analysts to look for differentiation, conflict and adoption to inform their audiences (and drive clicks). How do we enable the projects to make their case if they are promoted as equals?

Where am I going with all of this? I think we need to collectively (with the Board and Marketing) address the question that Shawn posed: "What is Hyperledger?". If Hyperledger is indeed to be a "greenhouse" or "umbrella" organization where open source blockchain/dlt for enterprise is developed - taking its cue from Apache. Then, I think we need to come to terms with two things:

1) what we want to be the "Hyperledger Way", and
2) how projects are marketed

I think there's much to be learned from the success of Apache and Eclipse, both of which are home to hundreds of projects, some overlapping/competing, some collaborative integrate-able components that fit a given framework. It could be just about creating a "safe place to innovate", as I like to say. It could be about encouraging growth of community(s) around projects. It could be about defining a single compose-able framework for DLTs shepherded by a collection of WGs that do top-down architecture overseen by the TSC.

However, whatever we choose, we then need to sort out how (or whether) we market the projects via Hyperledger or, allow the projects to manage their own messaging.


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