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August 28, 2014

Conformal are the Real Bitcoin Core Devs

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
Conformal are the Real Bitcoin Core Devs

Many moons ago, a company by the name of Conformal wrote a bitcoin-core replacement they call "btcd". The program is fast, and the code is gorgeously readable, tested to all hell, and documented back from.

The "core dev team", known elsewhere as "the power rangers" or "that despicable group of USG stooges who merged Heatbleed into bitcoin core and have done any other number of things over the past two years to degrade the network quality1" has recently deployed BIP0064 to the public. The nominal goal of BIP0064 is to allow network clients to request information about unspent transactions.

David Hill (of the team in question) writes about BIP0064, and the "core" development team's development process:

Another issue this brings up is the amount of testing, or the lack thereof, that goes into protocol changes. It is worrisome that protocol changes get merged without accompanying extensive test coverage. This is why the Conformal team puts such a strong emphasis on complete test coverage to help catch such issues that easily go unnoticed by developers.

Mike Hearn responds:

The reason the getutxo patch does not have any unit tests was not lack of trying.

A for effort! Instead of doing the hard and correct thing, which is ensuring that your patch to the crappy codebase works as expected, just commit the change and push it to the unsuspecting public.

Suggestions for anyone considering their own bitcoin infrastructure:

  • Don't trust a word out of the "core" team2
  • Run Conformal's btcd, and not bitcoind

"Bitcoin Core Devs": considered harmful.

Footnotes:

1

Including but not limited to the hilarious change in the wire protocol that includes node IP addresses in Bitcoin network communications.

2

There is professional software development, and there is what happens to that poor C++ harball. "Play" would be a charitable description, as it implies that that folks doing things over there are learning, growing, or developing somehow as human beings.

1 Comment »

  1. [...] clients, like the Power Rangers, or the extremely-likely-to-be-usg-compromised-at-this-point Conformal btcd (a determination made solely on the basis of their failure to maintain representation in tmsr~), or [...]

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