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Update the Steem white paper with each Hard Fork please! 🙏 ✏️ Human readable technical text matters 👀 by personz

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· @personz · (edited)
$38.56
Update the Steem white paper with each Hard Fork please! 🙏 ✏️ Human readable technical text matters 👀
![Benjamin_Franklin_1767_edit.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmcwexsbZcJ3pWDdzvVA6t8X6hoaDcCmSxVJB7yfLMyoNB/Benjamin_Franklin_1767_edit.jpg)

One thing I've noticed in the Hard Fork 17 debate is how much confusion there is around what is actually being proposed.

While the code is the most important thing, it is not possible to have an informed debate about it except among those who understand the code, have read it and probably have take the time to test it. Many of us who cannot do it or who don't have the time to read it are left guessing, based on the brief [summary on GitHub](https://github.com/steemit/steem/releases). While important, it's not enough for discussion.

The Steem white paper has been my way to understand many technical concepts of the platform, both technical and also getting an idea of the aspirations and attitude of the founders. Nearly 17 hard forks later, I've realized it's getting to be too out of date. For example, if hard fork 17 goes ahead, mining will be taken out. This will make a whole section of the white paper not just irrelevant but misleading for a newbie reading it fresh in the door. It worries me that I may be quite wrong in some of my conclusions based on similarly faulty knowledge as I haven't been on the platform from the start.

## Update the white paper and version control it on GitHub

This is a call for the dev team, lead by @sneak, to update the white paper for each hard fork as it is proposed. I think the discussion on HF 17 could have been aided immensely by this. Furthermore, this should be a version controlled plain text document (perhaps annotated as Markdown) so we can see what is out and what is in.

Imagine being able to see the differences (using the git-diff tool) for each hard fork! This would be a great way to get up to speed. If someone had the time it would even be great to do this, but at least can we get it updated for HF 17?

## Why this matters

The constitutions of democratic republics of various countries include several amendments to the original document. These amendments are kind of like programming, because they are instructions of how to change the document, as well as the proposed change.

For human state government, the "code" must obviously be readable by humans, as opposed to the code for Steem for example. However, you'll notice if you read them that they are not written in legalease for the most part, they are designed to be understandable to the common person.

While comparisons of Steem to government have their limitation, the constitutional comparison has its use here. The white paper, like the constitution is the founding document of the platform. I think we should require it to be updated as the platform updates. Imagine constitutional debates on slavery or gun control based only on the first version 😶

Like democratic republics, we vote for representatives (witnesses) to do an important job on our behalf. If we are misinformed or mislead then our support may not be in our own best interests. Having an up to date white paper document is even more important in this light.

I know it requires work and I'm sure the devs are busy enough as it is, but really this is quite important. **If you agree please show your support.** It's a small thing really, but so so worth it 😄

### Attribution

The image used and modified is [Portrait of Benjamin Franklin](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benjamin_Franklin_1767.jpg) by David Martin and is public domain.
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vote details (179)
@edje ·
$0.83
I agree with you changes to the whitepaper shall somehow be made transparent. Either by amending the whitepaper with version control, or in another structure approach, again with version control / history recording. Not only what changed, but what the ideas behind it are. All in terms everybody can understand indeed, ie less technical.

I actually propose a information / notice board and including an environment where discussion can be more structured **within** Steemit. Github maybe a good place, but it is an engineering environment, and it is outside Steemit where most people are and make their comments when things are happening making them confused.
👍  , , ,
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vote details (4)
@personz ·
Thanks for your comments 😆 👍

I think there could be a way to incorporate such a info notice board. I'm developing the idea of meta-transactions on the Steem blockchain. I'm not the first to think of it, don't claim to be, but I think this area will explode if Steem continues well and so far is very under-utilised. [I've proposed developing a library](https://github.com/Steem-FOSSbot/project-tracker/issues/18) to allow third party apps to be developed on Steem without having to directly code for it. Any devs welcome to build it with me!

I also have a few ideas of what to use it for and your would be another great one. I think I'll add it to the project ideas list there on GitHub unless you make some claim on the idea? Or would you like to contribute it yourself to the Steem FOSSbot org? Always looking for contributors and collaborators. 🙂

The real problem with GitHub is the hierarchical control that allows threads to be modified and deleted, which does not suit discussion. 😵
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@edje · (edited)
I wasn't aware of Steem FOSSbot org. Seems like an area change requests can be recorded (do Steemit Inc people also look at this?). I can add my idea to it. Since I'm not an engineer, I'll word it in non engineering terms, like I did in my previous comment.

**UPDATE**: Steem FOSSbot org looks to me like a feature explanation repository rather than a change request repository. Or?
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@oudekaas ·
Could you perhaps help me with the following?
Is there a way to calculate available liquid steem and by that is there a way to calculate what the max level of steem influx the current system can handle until massive price of steem drops like a brick.
Ie. we know the average amount of steem being bought approximately daily. So we can calculate that when for instance 20/30/40% of steem power is being powered down we can predict price of steem going up or down based on what buy interest has been sofar.
We could show total level of power down in UI so that whales have an idea of the possible damage they might do powering down?
13 weeks imo is way to short imo. I think this should be variable based on the levels of power dowm for instance.
Could you help me out or point me in the right direction. thx :)
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@richman ·
100% agreed
👍  
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vote details (1)
@personz ·
Thank you
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@hagbardceline ·
$0.14
A very good point you are making here. Thank you for your efforts! Highly appreciated.
👍  ,
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vote details (2)
@personz ·
My pleasure, these are exciting times! 😆
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@paolobeneforti ·
I am going to translate the Whitepaper in italian for my italian tutorial site http://www.steemitaly.it/, but It would be better to have it updated to the hardforks changes.
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@personz ·
Absolutely, it's so important.
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@boxmining ·
I joined steem this week and tried find out what this website is about. I can't tell you it wasn't easy, a LOT has happened in the world of STEEM and I definitely agree the white paper needs updating!
👍  
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vote details (1)
@personz ·
Thanks for supporting the idea 🙂
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@eroche ·
$0.04
I would love to see a dedicated "official" Steemit account that posts only about code changes and hardforks in an impartial way. i.e. outlining the proposal, rational and proposed changes without opinion.  
And subsequently posting an amended version of the whitepaper.
*I do acknowledge there are some great witnesses who fulfil this role at the moment such as @timcliff*
👍  ,
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vote details (2)
@personz ·
$0.03
Really excellent idea 🙂  @timcliff might be the man for it indeed, if he was a little more impartial 😉
👍  
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@biophil ·
$0.04
I believe that's the purpose of @steemitblog.
👍  ,
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@personz ·
Good to know, saw their [update](https://steemit.com/hardfork-17/@steemitblog/patience-with-the-hardfork-there-must-be-consensus) today
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@eroche ·
Thanks for that. I didn't hear about that before.
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@liberosist ·
Indeed, an updated website and whitepaper are long overdue.
👍  
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@sneak ·
The website is in design phases and will be overhauled as soon as we finish with the developer portal.  Hopefully the devportal is done very soon and the new steem.io won't be more than 4-6 weeks from now.
👍  
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@biophil ·
I'd be interested in getting involved in this. I speak LaTeX, I read a little C++, and I like writing. I probably couldn't do it pro bono, but maybe I could manage to be paid by posting updated sections to Steemit.
👍  
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@personz ·
I would join you in that. I've done technical writing before. I read C++, don't speak LaTeX but I'm always up for learning.
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@sneak ·
Hey there.  I started a repo with just the original v1 whitepaper PDF in it.  The first step is for someone to convert it, as-is (no content edits), to a LaTeX text source doc.

Want to send me a PR?

https://github.com/steemit/whitepaper
👍  
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@pipes ·
Someone promoted your post. Promotions help every steemians. 
Your [reward](https://steemit.com/steem/@tibonova/introducing-pipes) is an upvote and 0.046 SBD extra promotion. 
Good job, see you next time in `Promoted`! ;)
👍  
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@capper2016 ·
$0.06
Totally agree . Maybe just maybe we are going back to the original after the Hardfork!
👍  
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