![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 Nearly 17 hard forks later, I've realized it's getting to be too out of date.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.