Topics

Academic Involvement in Hyperledger


hmontgomery@us.fujitsu.com
 

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart


Baohua Yang
 

I like this idea, it is really important to bridge industry and academia together, and create great open-source projects.

And it would be appealing, what kind of hurdles they met when made the contributions?

On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 9:45 AM hmontgomery@... <hmontgomery@...> wrote:

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart



--
Best wishes!

Baohua Yang


Brian Behlendorf
 

Terrific write-up, thank you Hart!

We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so:


and have signed up 18 different universities across US, Europe and China as free associate members:

Infomal engagement is just as important:


And true to form, we even have a mailing list:



One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).  We all know that producing runtime code that people can depend upon is only partly about novel solutions to a problem, it's also about hardening and handling edge cases and the like.  Also, I'm not sure most projects would want the fruits of a research project if it was handed off with a presumption that the maintainers will bear the burden of maintenance going forward.  So many of our (HL staff's) engagement with academia has been about what it means to participate in an open source community.  For some that comes across as "too much work", though.

At any rate I'm excited to hear there's people doing research on Hyperledger we might not have known about and can approach to engage in this way - with their permission, please share their contact details with David and Marta cc'd on this note and we can wrap them into existing efforts.  And if you or other folks on this list want to help us bridge this gap we'd love the help.

Thanks!

Brian


On 7/1/19 6:45 PM, hmontgomery@... wrote:

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart


-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf


Virgil Griffith <virgil@...>
 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.ch messageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.

-Virgil

On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 2:30 PM Brian Behlendorf <bbehlendorf@...> wrote:
Terrific write-up, thank you Hart!

We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so:


and have signed up 18 different universities across US, Europe and China as free associate members:

Infomal engagement is just as important:


And true to form, we even have a mailing list:



One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).  We all know that producing runtime code that people can depend upon is only partly about novel solutions to a problem, it's also about hardening and handling edge cases and the like.  Also, I'm not sure most projects would want the fruits of a research project if it was handed off with a presumption that the maintainers will bear the burden of maintenance going forward.  So many of our (HL staff's) engagement with academia has been about what it means to participate in an open source community.  For some that comes across as "too much work", though.

At any rate I'm excited to hear there's people doing research on Hyperledger we might not have known about and can approach to engage in this way - with their permission, please share their contact details with David and Marta cc'd on this note and we can wrap them into existing efforts.  And if you or other folks on this list want to help us bridge this gap we'd love the help.

Thanks!

Brian


On 7/1/19 6:45 PM, hmontgomery@... wrote:

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart


-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf


Christopher Ferris
 

Hart, thanks for the note and the suggestion. I am not sure that creating yet another SIG is the answer to improving how we communicate how to contribute to the various projects, though.
 
The ROE for contributing to Hyperledger Fabric are well documented in the CONTRIBUTING [1] guide in the Fabric documentation, and linked from the Hyperledger project page [5], Wiki [2] and GitHub [3].
 
We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.
 
We have a bi-weekly Maintainers meeting in the Hyperledger calendar and listed on the Wiki and the CONTRIBUTING guide where we review the roadmap and invite others to come and make proposals for new features/development.
 
Now, is using Gerrit and JIRA easy peasey? Admittedly, not initially, but the documentation to get someone started are pretty clear and in fact consistent with other major projects that leverage Gerrit (in fact we also link to other sites that had awesome getting started material). Frankly, once you have the git hooks in place, it is a snap. There is also RocketChat and email with plenty of people there to help with any getting started hiccups. There are also the Hyperledger Community Architects, though IMO that role could be a bit more visible and even directly accessible off of the hyperledger.org project pages.
 
Could the material be improved? Of course, in fact, making suggestions as to HOW it could be improved would be an awesome initial contribution, especially if by someone who struggled. The whole idea behind open source is to have continuous improvement by those interested in the project.
 
I do know that the Fast Fabric team had connected with the Fabric Maintainers. They presented their findings to the Fabric Maintainers call, and received very positive feedback and encouragement to contribute. What I think we had was a situation of incompatible expectations. We were expecting the Fast Fabric team to pull from their work and make incremental CRs to Fabric through the documented process, where I think that they thought the members of the Fabric community would do that. We also connected via IBM Research, and maybe we could/should have had one or more of the maintainers engaged directly.
 
What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.
 
 
Cheers,

Christopher Ferris
IBM Fellow, CTO Open Technology
email: chrisfer@...
twitter: @christo4ferris
IBM Open Source white paper: https://developer.ibm.com/articles/cl-open-architecture-update/
phone: +1 508 667 0402
 
 

----- Original message -----
From: "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
Sent by: tsc@...
To: "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Cc:
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Date: Mon, Jul 1, 2019 9:45 PM
 

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 


Christopher Ferris
 

Brian,
 
It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.
 
I did not realize, I guess, that a university mailing list existed. If a mail falls on an unsubscribed mailing list, did it ever get sent? ;-) I'll have to subscribe.
 
Also, academics are not the only constituency that are unfamiliar with open source and need some help getting engaged. Maybe there could be some general guidance at a top level off of the wiki and hyperledger.org pages that provide some high-level guidance and connect with the Community Architecture team, and then link/hand off to the various project's specific guidance.
 
Thoughts?
 
Cheers,

Christopher Ferris
IBM Fellow, CTO Open Technology
email: chrisfer@...
twitter: @christo4ferris
IBM Open Source white paper: https://developer.ibm.com/articles/cl-open-architecture-update/
phone: +1 508 667 0402
 
 

----- Original message -----
From: "Brian Behlendorf" <bbehlendorf@...>
Sent by: tsc@...
To: tsc@...
Cc: Marta Piekarska <mpiekarska@...>, David Boswell <dboswell@...>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Date: Tue, Jul 2, 2019 2:30 AM
 
Terrific write-up, thank you Hart!
 
We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so:
 
 
and have signed up 18 different universities across US, Europe and China as free associate members:
 

Infomal engagement is just as important:

 
And true to form, we even have a mailing list:
 
 
 
One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).  We all know that producing runtime code that people can depend upon is only partly about novel solutions to a problem, it's also about hardening and handling edge cases and the like.  Also, I'm not sure most projects would want the fruits of a research project if it was handed off with a presumption that the maintainers will bear the burden of maintenance going forward.  So many of our (HL staff's) engagement with academia has been about what it means to participate in an open source community.  For some that comes across as "too much work", though.
 
At any rate I'm excited to hear there's people doing research on Hyperledger we might not have known about and can approach to engage in this way - with their permission, please share their contact details with David and Marta cc'd on this note and we can wrap them into existing efforts.  And if you or other folks on this list want to help us bridge this gap we'd love the help.
 
Thanks!
 
Brian
 
 
On 7/1/19 6:45 PM, hmontgomery@... wrote:

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

--
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf
 


VIPIN BHARATHAN
 

Hi,

Hart has a point. We could have a SIG that brings together engineers and researchers. Well advertised presentations could draw practitioners who are wrestling with one problem or the other. 

Sometimes ideas sparked from universities have carried on to become very relevant and ground-breaking advances. With involvement from the original researchers.
Google, for example was started by researchers. There are plenty of examples of transitions from universities to the real world.

My own interests have been piqued by FastFabric and the work that Christian Gorenson et. al. have done first with respect to a limited PoC, then the work on Fabric 1.4 - my own angle is to generalize this concept to multiple DLT designs, either being worked on or seen in the wild. 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise. That might help. 
The universities mailing list only has posts from the LF staff and that too very low volume. Mostly about  conference announcements.


Best,
Vipin


dlt.nyc
Vipin Bharathan
Enterprise Blockchain Consultant
vip@...


From: tsc@... <tsc@...> on behalf of Christopher Ferris via Lists.Hyperledger.Org <chrisfer=us.ibm.com@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 8:50 AM
To: bbehlendorf@...
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
 
Brian,
 
It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.
 
I did not realize, I guess, that a university mailing list existed. If a mail falls on an unsubscribed mailing list, did it ever get sent? ;-) I'll have to subscribe.
 
Also, academics are not the only constituency that are unfamiliar with open source and need some help getting engaged. Maybe there could be some general guidance at a top level off of the wiki and hyperledger.org pages that provide some high-level guidance and connect with the Community Architecture team, and then link/hand off to the various project's specific guidance.
 
Thoughts?
 
Cheers,

Christopher Ferris
IBM Fellow, CTO Open Technology
email: chrisfer@...
twitter: @christo4ferris
IBM Open Source white paper: https://developer.ibm.com/articles/cl-open-architecture-update/
phone: +1 508 667 0402
 
 
----- Original message -----
From: "Brian Behlendorf" <bbehlendorf@...>
Sent by: tsc@...
To: tsc@...
Cc: Marta Piekarska <mpiekarska@...>, David Boswell <dboswell@...>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Date: Tue, Jul 2, 2019 2:30 AM
 
Terrific write-up, thank you Hart!
 
We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so:
 
 
and have signed up 18 different universities across US, Europe and China as free associate members:
 

Infomal engagement is just as important:

 
And true to form, we even have a mailing list:
 
 
 
One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).  We all know that producing runtime code that people can depend upon is only partly about novel solutions to a problem, it's also about hardening and handling edge cases and the like.  Also, I'm not sure most projects would want the fruits of a research project if it was handed off with a presumption that the maintainers will bear the burden of maintenance going forward.  So many of our (HL staff's) engagement with academia has been about what it means to participate in an open source community.  For some that comes across as "too much work", though.
 
At any rate I'm excited to hear there's people doing research on Hyperledger we might not have known about and can approach to engage in this way - with their permission, please share their contact details with David and Marta cc'd on this note and we can wrap them into existing efforts.  And if you or other folks on this list want to help us bridge this gap we'd love the help.
 
Thanks!
 
Brian
 
 
On 7/1/19 6:45 PM, hmontgomery@... wrote:

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

--
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf
 


Middleton, Dan
 

+1 Chris

 

Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to:

https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html

 

Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.

 

Regards,

 

Dan Middleton

Intel Principal Engineer

 

 

From: <tsc@...> on behalf of Christopher Ferris <chrisfer@...>
Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 7:13 AM
To: "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
Cc: "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

Hart, thanks for the note and the suggestion. I am not sure that creating yet another SIG is the answer to improving how we communicate how to contribute to the various projects, though.

 

The ROE for contributing to Hyperledger Fabric are well documented in the CONTRIBUTING [1] guide in the Fabric documentation, and linked from the Hyperledger project page [5], Wiki [2] and GitHub [3].

 

We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.

 

We have a bi-weekly Maintainers meeting in the Hyperledger calendar and listed on the Wiki and the CONTRIBUTING guide where we review the roadmap and invite others to come and make proposals for new features/development.

 

Now, is using Gerrit and JIRA easy peasey? Admittedly, not initially, but the documentation to get someone started are pretty clear and in fact consistent with other major projects that leverage Gerrit (in fact we also link to other sites that had awesome getting started material). Frankly, once you have the git hooks in place, it is a snap. There is also RocketChat and email with plenty of people there to help with any getting started hiccups. There are also the Hyperledger Community Architects, though IMO that role could be a bit more visible and even directly accessible off of the hyperledger.org project pages.

 

Could the material be improved? Of course, in fact, making suggestions as to HOW it could be improved would be an awesome initial contribution, especially if by someone who struggled. The whole idea behind open source is to have continuous improvement by those interested in the project.

 

I do know that the Fast Fabric team had connected with the Fabric Maintainers. They presented their findings to the Fabric Maintainers call, and received very positive feedback and encouragement to contribute. What I think we had was a situation of incompatible expectations. We were expecting the Fast Fabric team to pull from their work and make incremental CRs to Fabric through the documented process, where I think that they thought the members of the Fabric community would do that. We also connected via IBM Research, and maybe we could/should have had one or more of the maintainers engaged directly.

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.

 

 

Cheers,

Christopher Ferris
IBM Fellow, CTO Open Technology
email: chrisfer@...
twitter: @christo4ferris

IBM Open Source white paper: https://developer.ibm.com/articles/cl-open-architecture-update/
phone: +1 508 667 0402

 

 

----- Original message -----
From: "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
Sent by: tsc@...
To: "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Cc:
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Date: Mon, Jul 1, 2019 9:45 PM
 

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

 


Brian Behlendorf
 

On 7/2/19 5:13 AM, Christopher Ferris wrote:
We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.

[4] https://jira.hyperledger.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa?selectPageId=10104

To clarify the above URL does not require a LFIT login to access, nor to view any public Jira issue.

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.

+1, HL staff is here to help with that too.  Clarity around how to get involved, like performance or out-of-the-box-experience, is something that can never not be improved.  :)  We welcome edits or specific suggestions to the wiki to help with that. 

It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.

I believe the concern would be keeping content current as methods of contribution evolve - better not to replicate what's already available on another page.  Is there a better starting place to send them to, or a better way to describe what's behind the link?

Brian
-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf


Salman Baset
 

Perhaps, another light weight approach might be to create a list of academic projects using Hyperledger on the Hyperledger website. The requirement for adding to such a list can be as simple as a web page on a university website that describes the project. While incentives may not be aligned for every academic (faculty/student) to contribute to Hyperledger projects, probably every academic will like to see their project linked off a page on the Hyperledger website.

Salman



On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM Brian Behlendorf <bbehlendorf@...> wrote:
On 7/2/19 5:13 AM, Christopher Ferris wrote:
We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.

[4] https://jira.hyperledger.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa?selectPageId=10104

To clarify the above URL does not require a LFIT login to access, nor to view any public Jira issue.

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.

+1, HL staff is here to help with that too.  Clarity around how to get involved, like performance or out-of-the-box-experience, is something that can never not be improved.  :)  We welcome edits or specific suggestions to the wiki to help with that. 

It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.

I believe the concern would be keeping content current as methods of contribution evolve - better not to replicate what's already available on another page.  Is there a better starting place to send them to, or a better way to describe what's behind the link?

Brian
-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf


Marta Piekarska
 

Thank you everyone, these are great ideas. I have been in touch with folks at Digital Assets who are running an Academic Program, and would love to hear if anyone else’s company has such an initiative. Ideally we can team up and have joint projects and research ideas we can suggest to academics.

Maybe, to boost activity on the universities mailing list we can move the discussion there?

Have a great day
m

Marta Piekarska
Director of Ecosystem, Hyperledger

SCHEDULE A MEETING WITH ME: calendly.com/mpiekarska


marta@...
+447802336641 (U.K) - Signal and Whatsapp
Wickr: martap

Skype: martapiekarska

Based in the U.K.


 


From: tsc@... on behalf of Salman Baset <salman.a.baset@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 5:40 pm
To: Brian Behlendorf
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
 
Perhaps, another light weight approach might be to create a list of academic projects using Hyperledger on the Hyperledger website. The requirement for adding to such a list can be as simple as a web page on a university website that describes the project. While incentives may not be aligned for every academic (faculty/student) to contribute to Hyperledger projects, probably every academic will like to see their project linked off a page on the Hyperledger website.

Salman



On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM Brian Behlendorf <bbehlendorf@...> wrote:
On 7/2/19 5:13 AM, Christopher Ferris wrote:
We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.

[4] https://jira.hyperledger.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa?selectPageId=10104

To clarify the above URL does not require a LFIT login to access, nor to view any public Jira issue.

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.

+1, HL staff is here to help with that too.  Clarity around how to get involved, like performance or out-of-the-box-experience, is something that can never not be improved.  :)  We welcome edits or specific suggestions to the wiki to help with that. 

It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.

I believe the concern would be keeping content current as methods of contribution evolve - better not to replicate what's already available on another page.  Is there a better starting place to send them to, or a better way to describe what's behind the link?

Brian
-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf


VIPIN BHARATHAN
 

Hello Marta,

I am cross-posting to that list. This will bring along all the quoted emails as well to that list.

We have had several suggestions:
  1. Have a discussion group to encourage collaboration between academics and Industry as well as to ease academics into contributing  - Hart
  2. Do nothing as we have documentation and resources pointing to ways in which academics can engage - various
  3. Make small changes - publicize the  university email list, rocketchat channel, links to projects from Hyperledger.org etc. various
  4. Engage with other members who have an academic engagement channel like DAH- Marta
It is likely that we engage on several fronts, especially if individuals want to take responsibility for the initiatives that they have proposed.

Best,
Vipin

dlt.nyc
Vipin Bharathan
Enterprise Blockchain Consultant
vip@...


From: tsc@... <tsc@...> on behalf of Marta Piekarska via Lists.Hyperledger.Org <mpiekarska=linuxfoundation.org@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 12:47 PM
To: Salman Baset; Brian Behlendorf
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
 
Thank you everyone, these are great ideas. I have been in touch with folks at Digital Assets who are running an Academic Program, and would love to hear if anyone else’s company has such an initiative. Ideally we can team up and have joint projects and research ideas we can suggest to academics.

Maybe, to boost activity on the universities mailing list we can move the discussion there?

Have a great day
m

Marta Piekarska
Director of Ecosystem, Hyperledger

SCHEDULE A MEETING WITH ME: calendly.com/mpiekarska


marta@...
+447802336641 (U.K) - Signal and Whatsapp
Wickr: martap

Skype: martapiekarska

Based in the U.K.


 

From: tsc@... on behalf of Salman Baset <salman.a.baset@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 5:40 pm
To: Brian Behlendorf
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
 
Perhaps, another light weight approach might be to create a list of academic projects using Hyperledger on the Hyperledger website. The requirement for adding to such a list can be as simple as a web page on a university website that describes the project. While incentives may not be aligned for every academic (faculty/student) to contribute to Hyperledger projects, probably every academic will like to see their project linked off a page on the Hyperledger website.

Salman



On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM Brian Behlendorf <bbehlendorf@...> wrote:
On 7/2/19 5:13 AM, Christopher Ferris wrote:
We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.

[4] https://jira.hyperledger.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa?selectPageId=10104

To clarify the above URL does not require a LFIT login to access, nor to view any public Jira issue.

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.

+1, HL staff is here to help with that too.  Clarity around how to get involved, like performance or out-of-the-box-experience, is something that can never not be improved.  :)  We welcome edits or specific suggestions to the wiki to help with that. 

It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.

I believe the concern would be keeping content current as methods of contribution evolve - better not to replicate what's already available on another page.  Is there a better starting place to send them to, or a better way to describe what's behind the link?

Brian
-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf


mark wagner
 


Great topic Hart!

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.

In general I think its a great idea to reach out to universities and collaborate where ever possible.

The Open Source education issue may be something that we can look at across LF in general.
Brian, CAs, are there other LF projects that have already looked (are looking) at this, etc ?

That said, how to contribute shouldn't really be too different for academia vs a new contributor who does not have much in the way of open source experience.

Open Source is not just a license model, its a mindset !

-mark
------------
Red Hat, Inc

* one messed up and has recently earned his PhD and now has work for a living ;)


On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 9:53 PM hmontgomery@... <hmontgomery@...> wrote:

Hi Everyone,

 

I spent last week at a Dagstuhl seminar on permissioned blockchain (thanks Mic for getting me the invitation!).  If you aren’t aware what this is, it is basically an unstructured week at a German castle in the middle of nowhere talking about research problems in a particular area of computer science (in this case, permissioned blockchain).  So, basically it’s nerd camp for adults—your mileage may vary, but I thought it was really fun.

 

As you all might expect, Hyperledger came up quite a bit in discussions.  In fact, Fabric seemed to be the most talked about (and built upon) system.  I had no idea that there were this many people across the world in academia working on things related to Hyperledger (it seems to be the case that blockchain papers are being sent to a very wide variety of conferences so it is hard to follow).  In particular, Hyperledger has captured a lot of interest in the database community which I did not expect or know about until last week.  The fact that Hyperledger has caught on in parts of the academic community was really encouraging.  Some of the academic work included direct building on Hyperledger (like the fast Fabric paper—one of the authors was there), while other work used, say, Fabric, as a way to test the performance of new algorithms.  For instance, multiple people reported BFT algorithm tests in terms of Fabric performance.

 

However, there were some notable issues:  pretty much all of the participants didn’t know how to contribute their work back to Hyperledger!  Those that had contacted people found the contribution process difficult, thought it was hard to get started, and didn’t know who to talk to about issues in the process.  Many of these people were not just coming with algorithms on pencil and paper—they had modified versions of, say, Fabric running with their implementation changes, and performance numbers to boot!  Several groups said that they tried to get involved and contribute, but one or more hurdles stopped the process.

 

It struck me as particularly wasteful that we did not have an efficient way to get these folks involved in Hyperledger.  Given that many of these research groups already had working code, it seemed like it should be easy to incorporate these changes, but it wasn’t happening.  In particular, I think this was due to the fact that most people had never worked with an open source organization before and were not aware of how things worked.

 

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest we create a forum for Hyperledger research-related activities.  I’m not sure whether this should be a working group, SIG, or something else entirely, but I think we should have a biweekly (or perhaps monthly) meeting where researchers could talk about their work and get feedback on how to contribute the results of their research back into the Hyperledger code bases.  In addition to helping researchers contribute code, we could potentially do more:  we could have engineers talk about interesting problems they face that might be good for research, and researchers present solutions to problems (or efficiency/security improvements) that could be implemented to improve the various Hyperledger projects.

 

I asked people at the seminar if they would be interested in joining something like this, and roughly half of the 30 participants expressed interest in joining.  So I think we would have a pretty substantial crowd.

 

What do people think about this?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best implement this idea?  Again, it seems very wasteful not to help these researchers (and potential contributors) get involved.

 

Thanks a lot for your time, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart



--
Mark Wagner
Senior Principal Software Engineer
Performance and Scalability
Red Hat, Inc


Bobbi
 

Marta,

Hyperledger Princeton / Ledger Academy is attempting to bring local business and Academia together by offering a Blockchain Summer Project. We are lucky enough to be locate across the street from Princeton University and our Princeton meetup has a nice mix of students, business and technology folks. The project involves creating a supply chain blockchain to assist in local charity donation transfers. You can follow the project on the following wiki page:

https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/LMDWG/SUMMER+PROJECT+IDEAS

At everyMeetup we encourage participates to get a login and get active by following the steps on the LMDWG NEW MEMBER PAGE: 

https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/LMDWG/New+Member+Welcome+Page

The page instructs on how to :

Getting a Linux Login
Join the calls
Edit a Wiki Page ( Edit Mode)
How to Get Involved

Thanks,


Bobbi Muscara

Ledger Academy


 


 


On 2019-07-02 12:47, Marta Piekarska wrote:

Thank you everyone, these are great ideas. I have been in touch with folks at Digital Assets who are running an Academic Program, and would love to hear if anyone else's company has such an initiative. Ideally we can team up and have joint projects and research ideas we can suggest to academics.
 
Maybe, to boost activity on the universities mailing list we can move the discussion there?
 
Have a great day
m
 
Marta Piekarska
Director of Ecosystem, Hyperledger
 
SCHEDULE A MEETING WITH ME: calendly.com/mpiekarska
 
 
marta@...
+447802336641 (U.K) - Signal and Whatsapp
Wickr: martap
 
Skype: martapiekarska
 
Based in the U.K.
 
 
 

From: tsc@... on behalf of Salman Baset <salman.a.baset@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 5:40 pm
To: Brian Behlendorf
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
 
Perhaps, another light weight approach might be to create a list of academic projects using Hyperledger on the Hyperledger website. The requirement for adding to such a list can be as simple as a web page on a university website that describes the project. While incentives may not be aligned for every academic (faculty/student) to contribute to Hyperledger projects, probably every academic will like to see their project linked off a page on the Hyperledger website.
 
Salman

 

On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM Brian Behlendorf <bbehlendorf@...> wrote:
On 7/2/19 5:13 AM, Christopher Ferris wrote:
We have a public roadmap [4] in JIRA which admittedly, because of the LFIT rules about access to the tooling is sometimes difficult to access without an LFIT login, but it is documented in the CONTRIBUTING GUIDELINES and also in the Wiki.

[4] https://jira.hyperledger.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa?selectPageId=10104

To clarify the above URL does not require a LFIT login to access, nor to view any public Jira issue.

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.

+1, HL staff is here to help with that too.  Clarity around how to get involved, like performance or out-of-the-box-experience, is something that can never not be improved.  :)  We welcome edits or specific suggestions to the wiki to help with that. 

It might be useful to make contributions a bit more prominent on the Universities page. There's a single link on that page to the community page, and not a whole lot to guide the individual from there if they are unfamiliar with open source.

I believe the concern would be keeping content current as methods of contribution evolve - better not to replicate what's already available on another page.  Is there a better starting place to send them to, or a better way to describe what's behind the link?

Brian
-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf




hmontgomery@us.fujitsu.com
 

Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all of the responses to my initial email.  Rather than respond to all of them individually, I’ll try to address some points below.  Hopefully this will be easier to follow than many different follow-ups.

 

From Virgil’s email:

 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.ch messageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.”  I agree!

 

From Brian’s email:

 

“We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so…”  I spoke to people who tried to start this formal process and ended up somehow getting black holed (they filled out the paperwork/forms, but didn’t get back responses).  This was a point of frustration and a reason why at least one person didn’t get involved further.  That particular case should be rectified, though—thanks Marta!

 

“And true to form, we even have a mailing list.”  Does anyone use this?  I guess I should probably sign up….

 

“One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).”  This is certainly true for people that sit at their desk and do math all day.  However, it’s far from the truth for good systems researchers.  This point from Brian actually got brought up at the Dagstuhl seminar, but people didn’t agree.  Mike Franklin (chair of the CS department at the U of Chicago) pointed out that he always liked to have his group contribute things back because it allowed them to find future research problems in a way that just writing the paper and going away did not.  However, I will agree that most academics aren’t familiar with open source—other than Shahan Khatchadourian (of PegaSys), I think I was the only other person at this seminar with open-source experience, and most people were totally clueless.  I think this means that we have an education issue with the blockchain research community.

 

From Chris’s email:

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.”  I agree 100%.  Even just posting the text from this email on the university page would be a good start!

 

From Vipin’s email:

 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise.”  I’d support this as well.

 

From Dan’s email:

 

“Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to: https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html.” When people asked about contacting the maintainers or contributing, I mentioned this.  No one was aware that these kind of files existed.  There was also confusion related to the calendar—people weren’t sure which meetings they needed to attend.  There are tons of meetings on the calendar these days!  Some clarity on these would be great.

 

“Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.”  I don’t agree with this.  I think creating a group for researchers is likely to spur more researchers to attend and get involved rather than siphon away people.  Ideally such a group would lower the activation energy for researchers to get involved and contribute and, in the long run, funnel them into the projects.  I wouldn’t want to suggest a frequent or work-heavy meeting group—just discussions either biweekly or monthly.  Can you explain your thought process more on this (i.e. tell me why I’m wrong ;))?

 

From Vipin’s next email:

 

We have had several suggestions.”  These are good ideas.

 

From Mark’s email:

 

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.”  There were several people at the seminar interested in Caliper.  I suspect that it would be a big beneficiary of more academic involvement.

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  I didn’t expect this to spur so much discussion, but I think it is something that, if we address properly, could really benefit Hyperledger.  Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

 


Arnaud Le Hors
 

My first reaction was similar to Chris's and Dan's - we don't need yet another group - but having thought about this a bit I'm actually in favor of creating a group dedicated to academic people.

I think it will be important to have that group well connected with the different projects by having people from the projects participate but I can see how having such a group would make it easier for academics to find their way into our community and get better connected. This can serve as a bridge, similar to what Hart actually did in engaging with attendees of the seminar in Germany, but within Hyperledger and on an on-going basis rather than a one-off.

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




From:        "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
To:        "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Date:        07/02/2019 09:16 PM
Subject:        [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Sent by:        tsc@...



Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all of the responses to my initial email.  Rather than respond to all of them individually, I’ll try to address some points below.  Hopefully this will be easier to follow than many different follow-ups.

 

From Virgil’s email:

 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.chmessageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.”  I agree!

 

From Brian’s email:

 

“We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so…”  I spoke to people who tried to start this formal process and ended up somehow getting black holed (they filled out the paperwork/forms, but didn’t get back responses).  This was a point of frustration and a reason why at least one person didn’t get involved further.  That particular case should be rectified, though—thanks Marta!

 

“And true to form, we even have a mailing list.”  Does anyone use this?  I guess I should probably sign up….

 

“One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).”  This is certainly true for people that sit at their desk and do math all day.  However, it’s far from the truth for good systems researchers.  This point from Brian actually got brought up at the Dagstuhl seminar, but people didn’t agree.  Mike Franklin (chair of the CS department at the U of Chicago) pointed out that he always liked to have his group contribute things back because it allowed them to find future research problems in a way that just writing the paper and going away did not.  However, I will agree that most academics aren’t familiar with open source—other than Shahan Khatchadourian (of PegaSys), I think I was the only other person at this seminar with open-source experience, and most people were totally clueless.  I think this means that we have an education issue with the blockchain research community.

 

From Chris’s email:

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.”  I agree 100%.  Even just posting the text from this email on the university page would be a good start!

 

From Vipin’s email:

 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise.”  I’d support this as well.

 

From Dan’s email:

 

“Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to: https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html.” When people asked about contacting the maintainers or contributing, I mentioned this.  No one was aware that these kind of files existed.  There was also confusion related to the calendar—people weren’t sure which meetings they needed to attend.  There are tons of meetings on the calendar these days!  Some clarity on these would be great.

 

“Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.”  I don’t agree with this.  I think creating a group for researchers is likely to spur more researchers to attend and get involved rather than siphon away people.  Ideally such a group would lower the activation energy for researchers to get involved and contribute and, in the long run, funnel them into the projects.  I wouldn’t want to suggest a frequent or work-heavy meeting group—just discussions either biweekly or monthly.  Can you explain your thought process more on this (i.e. tell me why I’m wrong ;))?

 

From Vipin’s next email:

 

We have had several suggestions.”  These are good ideas.

 

From Mark’s email:

 

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.”  There were several people at the seminar interested in Caliper.  I suspect that it would be a big beneficiary of more academic involvement.

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  I didn’t expect this to spur so much discussion, but I think it is something that, if we address properly, could really benefit Hyperledger.  Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

 






Kelly Cooper <kellycooper.2ds@...>
 

I think academics can help to clarify too. Questions discussed in working groups can go out to academics for a global research perspective. For example, last year I didn't quite understand a DAO. I ended up reading research from governance to collective and swarm intelligence. They weren't directly related; however, they helped me to see things differently. Academics can contribute as other email noted; they can also clarify ideas from many global and open journals that are not immediately obvious. Kelly


On Tue, Jul 9, 2019 at 2:42 AM Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...> wrote:
My first reaction was similar to Chris's and Dan's - we don't need yet another group - but having thought about this a bit I'm actually in favor of creating a group dedicated to academic people.

I think it will be important to have that group well connected with the different projects by having people from the projects participate but I can see how having such a group would make it easier for academics to find their way into our community and get better connected. This can serve as a bridge, similar to what Hart actually did in engaging with attendees of the seminar in Germany, but within Hyperledger and on an on-going basis rather than a one-off.

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




From:        "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
To:        "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Date:        07/02/2019 09:16 PM
Subject:        [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Sent by:        tsc@...



Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all of the responses to my initial email.  Rather than respond to all of them individually, I’ll try to address some points below.  Hopefully this will be easier to follow than many different follow-ups.

 

From Virgil’s email:

 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.chmessageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.”  I agree!

 

From Brian’s email:

 

“We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so…”  I spoke to people who tried to start this formal process and ended up somehow getting black holed (they filled out the paperwork/forms, but didn’t get back responses).  This was a point of frustration and a reason why at least one person didn’t get involved further.  That particular case should be rectified, though—thanks Marta!

 

“And true to form, we even have a mailing list.”  Does anyone use this?  I guess I should probably sign up….

 

“One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).”  This is certainly true for people that sit at their desk and do math all day.  However, it’s far from the truth for good systems researchers.  This point from Brian actually got brought up at the Dagstuhl seminar, but people didn’t agree.  Mike Franklin (chair of the CS department at the U of Chicago) pointed out that he always liked to have his group contribute things back because it allowed them to find future research problems in a way that just writing the paper and going away did not.  However, I will agree that most academics aren’t familiar with open source—other than Shahan Khatchadourian (of PegaSys), I think I was the only other person at this seminar with open-source experience, and most people were totally clueless.  I think this means that we have an education issue with the blockchain research community.

 

From Chris’s email:

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.”  I agree 100%.  Even just posting the text from this email on the university page would be a good start!

 

From Vipin’s email:

 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise.”  I’d support this as well.

 

From Dan’s email:

 

“Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to: https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html.” When people asked about contacting the maintainers or contributing, I mentioned this.  No one was aware that these kind of files existed.  There was also confusion related to the calendar—people weren’t sure which meetings they needed to attend.  There are tons of meetings on the calendar these days!  Some clarity on these would be great.

 

“Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.”  I don’t agree with this.  I think creating a group for researchers is likely to spur more researchers to attend and get involved rather than siphon away people.  Ideally such a group would lower the activation energy for researchers to get involved and contribute and, in the long run, funnel them into the projects.  I wouldn’t want to suggest a frequent or work-heavy meeting group—just discussions either biweekly or monthly.  Can you explain your thought process more on this (i.e. tell me why I’m wrong ;))?

 

From Vipin’s next email:

 

We have had several suggestions.”  These are good ideas.

 

From Mark’s email:

 

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.”  There were several people at the seminar interested in Caliper.  I suspect that it would be a big beneficiary of more academic involvement.

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  I didn’t expect this to spur so much discussion, but I think it is something that, if we address properly, could really benefit Hyperledger.  Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

 






hmontgomery@us.fujitsu.com
 

Hi Arnaud,

 

Thanks for the response.  You are correct:  I had, in fact, envisioned this as a bridge between maintainers/developers and researchers:  researchers could contribute relevant research (and code) to maintainers for implementation in the project.  Maintainers and developers, in turn, could contribute back interesting research problems to the researchers.  This could serve as a mutually beneficial relationship where researchers get new ideas (and papers, of course) and maintainers get new improvements (and code).  In addition, it would potentially get more academically inclined folks interested in contributing—lots of people like putting their ideas into practice.  Currently we don’t have a lot of academic contributors.  Lots of academics contribute directly to public blockchain stuff, and I don’t see why Hyperledger should be different.

 

However, I’m still not sure of what form this should take.  It could be a working group—outputs could include code for projects, or at least RFCs/change suggestions (that the projects could implement or not)—or a SIG or something else entirely.  What do people think?

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

From: Arnaud Le Hors [mailto:lehors@...]
Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 2:42 AM
To: Montgomery, Hart <hmontgomery@...>
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

My first reaction was similar to Chris's and Dan's - we don't need yet another group - but having thought about this a bit I'm actually in favor of creating a group dedicated to academic people.

I think it will be important to have that group well connected with the different projects by having people from the projects participate but I can see how having such a group would make it easier for academics to find their way into our community and get better connected. This can serve as a bridge, similar to what Hart actually did in engaging with attendees of the seminar in Germany, but within Hyperledger and on an on-going basis rather than a one-off.

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




From:        "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
To:        "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Date:        07/02/2019 09:16 PM
Subject:        [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Sent by:        tsc@...


 

Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all of the responses to my initial email.  Rather than respond to all of them individually, I’ll try to address some points below.  Hopefully this will be easier to follow than many different follow-ups.

 

From Virgil’s email:

 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.chmessageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.”  I agree!

 

From Brian’s email:

 

“We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so…”  I spoke to people who tried to start this formal process and ended up somehow getting black holed (they filled out the paperwork/forms, but didn’t get back responses).  This was a point of frustration and a reason why at least one person didn’t get involved further.  That particular case should be rectified, though—thanks Marta!

 

“And true to form, we even have a mailing list.”  Does anyone use this?  I guess I should probably sign up….

 

“One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).”  This is certainly true for people that sit at their desk and do math all day.  However, it’s far from the truth for good systems researchers.  This point from Brian actually got brought up at the Dagstuhl seminar, but people didn’t agree.  Mike Franklin (chair of the CS department at the U of Chicago) pointed out that he always liked to have his group contribute things back because it allowed them to find future research problems in a way that just writing the paper and going away did not.  However, I will agree that most academics aren’t familiar with open source—other than Shahan Khatchadourian (of PegaSys), I think I was the only other person at this seminar with open-source experience, and most people were totally clueless.  I think this means that we have an education issue with the blockchain research community.

 

From Chris’s email:

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.”  I agree 100%.  Even just posting the text from this email on the university page would be a good start!

 

From Vipin’s email:

 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise.”  I’d support this as well.

 

From Dan’s email:

 

“Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to: https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html.” When people asked about contacting the maintainers or contributing, I mentioned this.  No one was aware that these kind of files existed.  There was also confusion related to the calendar—people weren’t sure which meetings they needed to attend.  There are tons of meetings on the calendar these days!  Some clarity on these would be great.

 

“Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.”  I don’t agree with this.  I think creating a group for researchers is likely to spur more researchers to attend and get involved rather than siphon away people.  Ideally such a group would lower the activation energy for researchers to get involved and contribute and, in the long run, funnel them into the projects.  I wouldn’t want to suggest a frequent or work-heavy meeting group—just discussions either biweekly or monthly.  Can you explain your thought process more on this (i.e. tell me why I’m wrong ;))?

 

From Vipin’s next email:

 

We have had several suggestions.”  These are good ideas.

 

From Mark’s email:

 

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.”  There were several people at the seminar interested in Caliper.  I suspect that it would be a big beneficiary of more academic involvement.

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  I didn’t expect this to spur so much discussion, but I think it is something that, if we address properly, could really benefit Hyperledger.  Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

 





Middleton, Dan
 

Architecture working group?

 

 

From: <tsc@...> on behalf of "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 12:18 PM
To: Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...>
Cc: "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

Hi Arnaud,

 

Thanks for the response.  You are correct:  I had, in fact, envisioned this as a bridge between maintainers/developers and researchers:  researchers could contribute relevant research (and code) to maintainers for implementation in the project.  Maintainers and developers, in turn, could contribute back interesting research problems to the researchers.  This could serve as a mutually beneficial relationship where researchers get new ideas (and papers, of course) and maintainers get new improvements (and code).  In addition, it would potentially get more academically inclined folks interested in contributing—lots of people like putting their ideas into practice.  Currently we don’t have a lot of academic contributors.  Lots of academics contribute directly to public blockchain stuff, and I don’t see why Hyperledger should be different.

 

However, I’m still not sure of what form this should take.  It could be a working group—outputs could include code for projects, or at least RFCs/change suggestions (that the projects could implement or not)—or a SIG or something else entirely.  What do people think?

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

From: Arnaud Le Hors [mailto:lehors@...]
Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 2:42 AM
To: Montgomery, Hart <hmontgomery@...>
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

My first reaction was similar to Chris's and Dan's - we don't need yet another group - but having thought about this a bit I'm actually in favor of creating a group dedicated to academic people.

I think it will be important to have that group well connected with the different projects by having people from the projects participate but I can see how having such a group would make it easier for academics to find their way into our community and get better connected. This can serve as a bridge, similar to what Hart actually did in engaging with attendees of the seminar in Germany, but within Hyperledger and on an on-going basis rather than a one-off.

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




From:        "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
To:        "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Date:        07/02/2019 09:16 PM
Subject:        [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Sent by:        tsc@...


 

Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all of the responses to my initial email.  Rather than respond to all of them individually, I’ll try to address some points below.  Hopefully this will be easier to follow than many different follow-ups.

 

From Virgil’s email:

 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.chmessageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.”  I agree!

 

From Brian’s email:

 

“We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so…”  I spoke to people who tried to start this formal process and ended up somehow getting black holed (they filled out the paperwork/forms, but didn’t get back responses).  This was a point of frustration and a reason why at least one person didn’t get involved further.  That particular case should be rectified, though—thanks Marta!

 

“And true to form, we even have a mailing list.”  Does anyone use this?  I guess I should probably sign up….

 

“One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).”  This is certainly true for people that sit at their desk and do math all day.  However, it’s far from the truth for good systems researchers.  This point from Brian actually got brought up at the Dagstuhl seminar, but people didn’t agree.  Mike Franklin (chair of the CS department at the U of Chicago) pointed out that he always liked to have his group contribute things back because it allowed them to find future research problems in a way that just writing the paper and going away did not.  However, I will agree that most academics aren’t familiar with open source—other than Shahan Khatchadourian (of PegaSys), I think I was the only other person at this seminar with open-source experience, and most people were totally clueless.  I think this means that we have an education issue with the blockchain research community.

 

From Chris’s email:

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.”  I agree 100%.  Even just posting the text from this email on the university page would be a good start!

 

From Vipin’s email:

 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise.”  I’d support this as well.

 

From Dan’s email:

 

“Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to: https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html.” When people asked about contacting the maintainers or contributing, I mentioned this.  No one was aware that these kind of files existed.  There was also confusion related to the calendar—people weren’t sure which meetings they needed to attend.  There are tons of meetings on the calendar these days!  Some clarity on these would be great.

 

“Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.”  I don’t agree with this.  I think creating a group for researchers is likely to spur more researchers to attend and get involved rather than siphon away people.  Ideally such a group would lower the activation energy for researchers to get involved and contribute and, in the long run, funnel them into the projects.  I wouldn’t want to suggest a frequent or work-heavy meeting group—just discussions either biweekly or monthly.  Can you explain your thought process more on this (i.e. tell me why I’m wrong ;))?

 

From Vipin’s next email:

 

We have had several suggestions.”  These are good ideas.

 

From Mark’s email:

 

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.”  There were several people at the seminar interested in Caliper.  I suspect that it would be a big beneficiary of more academic involvement.

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  I didn’t expect this to spur so much discussion, but I think it is something that, if we address properly, could really benefit Hyperledger.  Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

 






hmontgomery@us.fujitsu.com
 

Hi Dan,

 

No, not the architecture working group.  While it is wonderful, It is not a research-based group. 

 

I think this new “[*]group” should have two major focuses:  (1) discussing research topics, ideas, results, and problems around Hyperledger and (2) incorporating these into Hyperledger projects.  These two topics are officially out of scope of the architecture working group.  We have had an occasional academic or two drop by the architecture working group, but they never stick around because it is not academically focused.  If we just tell academics to join the architecture working group, we will never get any traction.

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

From: Middleton, Dan [mailto:dan.middleton@...]
Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 10:20 AM
To: Montgomery, Hart <hmontgomery@...>; Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...>
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

Architecture working group?

 

 

From: <tsc@...> on behalf of "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 12:18 PM
To: Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...>
Cc: "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

Hi Arnaud,

 

Thanks for the response.  You are correct:  I had, in fact, envisioned this as a bridge between maintainers/developers and researchers:  researchers could contribute relevant research (and code) to maintainers for implementation in the project.  Maintainers and developers, in turn, could contribute back interesting research problems to the researchers.  This could serve as a mutually beneficial relationship where researchers get new ideas (and papers, of course) and maintainers get new improvements (and code).  In addition, it would potentially get more academically inclined folks interested in contributing—lots of people like putting their ideas into practice.  Currently we don’t have a lot of academic contributors.  Lots of academics contribute directly to public blockchain stuff, and I don’t see why Hyperledger should be different.

 

However, I’m still not sure of what form this should take.  It could be a working group—outputs could include code for projects, or at least RFCs/change suggestions (that the projects could implement or not)—or a SIG or something else entirely.  What do people think?

 

Thanks,

Hart

 

From: Arnaud Le Hors [mailto:lehors@...]
Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 2:42 AM
To: Montgomery, Hart <hmontgomery@...>
Cc: tsc@...
Subject: Re: [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger

 

My first reaction was similar to Chris's and Dan's - we don't need yet another group - but having thought about this a bit I'm actually in favor of creating a group dedicated to academic people.

I think it will be important to have that group well connected with the different projects by having people from the projects participate but I can see how having such a group would make it easier for academics to find their way into our community and get better connected. This can serve as a bridge, similar to what Hart actually did in engaging with attendees of the seminar in Germany, but within Hyperledger and on an on-going basis rather than a one-off.

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




From:        "hmontgomery@..." <hmontgomery@...>
To:        "tsc@..." <tsc@...>
Date:        07/02/2019 09:16 PM
Subject:        [EXTERNAL] [Hyperledger TSC] Academic Involvement in Hyperledger
Sent by:        tsc@...


 

Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all of the responses to my initial email.  Rather than respond to all of them individually, I’ll try to address some points below.  Hopefully this will be easier to follow than many different follow-ups.

 

From Virgil’s email:

 

When Ethereum had this same problem, we started the https://ethresear.chmessageboard to discuss problems and papers.  Something similar might be useful to Hyperledger.”  I agree!

 

From Brian’s email:

 

“We have long believed we need to engage academia, and have a formal process for doing so…”  I spoke to people who tried to start this formal process and ended up somehow getting black holed (they filled out the paperwork/forms, but didn’t get back responses).  This was a point of frustration and a reason why at least one person didn’t get involved further.  That particular case should be rectified, though—thanks Marta!

 

“And true to form, we even have a mailing list.”  Does anyone use this?  I guess I should probably sign up….

 

“One challenge I've seen is that many academics aren't that familiar with open source in general - and aren't motivated to do more than public their papers and proof of concept code, since they are rewards for publishing, not for solving problems (at the risk of gross over-generalization).”  This is certainly true for people that sit at their desk and do math all day.  However, it’s far from the truth for good systems researchers.  This point from Brian actually got brought up at the Dagstuhl seminar, but people didn’t agree.  Mike Franklin (chair of the CS department at the U of Chicago) pointed out that he always liked to have his group contribute things back because it allowed them to find future research problems in a way that just writing the paper and going away did not.  However, I will agree that most academics aren’t familiar with open source—other than Shahan Khatchadourian (of PegaSys), I think I was the only other person at this seminar with open-source experience, and most people were totally clueless.  I think this means that we have an education issue with the blockchain research community.

 

From Chris’s email:

 

What I would recommend is that we, as the TSC, take a hard look at contributor on-boarding of the various projects, suggest improvements to, or alignment of, the various projects processes and documentation and take a look at the various ways that a new user engages in Hyperledger generally to make sure that we are being as effective as possible in capturing new contributors.”  I agree 100%.  Even just posting the text from this email on the university page would be a good start!

 

From Vipin’s email:

 

Please start a rocketchat channel called #research and publicise.”  I’d support this as well.

 

From Dan’s email:

 

“Most if not all projects have contributors meetings listed on the HL calendar and CONTRIBUTING.md in the repos. Sawtooth’s for example points to: https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/community.html.” When people asked about contacting the maintainers or contributing, I mentioned this.  No one was aware that these kind of files existed.  There was also confusion related to the calendar—people weren’t sure which meetings they needed to attend.  There are tons of meetings on the calendar these days!  Some clarity on these would be great.

 

“Totally agree with Chris that another meeting group isn’t the best way to bridge the initial gap. In fact, I think siphoning that new-contributor interest into a meeting group is likely to be counterproductive.”  I don’t agree with this.  I think creating a group for researchers is likely to spur more researchers to attend and get involved rather than siphon away people.  Ideally such a group would lower the activation energy for researchers to get involved and contribute and, in the long run, funnel them into the projects.  I wouldn’t want to suggest a frequent or work-heavy meeting group—just discussions either biweekly or monthly.  Can you explain your thought process more on this (i.e. tell me why I’m wrong ;))?

 

From Vipin’s next email:

 

We have had several suggestions.”  These are good ideas.

 

From Mark’s email:

 

FWIW, the PSWG has three members* who were in academia and contributed to our first Metrics document. One of these folks also is a Caliper maintainer now.”  There were several people at the seminar interested in Caliper.  I suspect that it would be a big beneficiary of more academic involvement.

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  I didn’t expect this to spur so much discussion, but I think it is something that, if we address properly, could really benefit Hyperledger.  Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.

 

Thanks,

Hart