SPS for development

The Steem Proposal System (SPS) has been mostly used for development purposes so far. Although it is not the only thing it could/should be used for, I will concentrate on the development side in this post, and will discuss the other use cases on another post later this week.

Opensource, a soft requirement?

There is no hard requirement for any kind of proposals made through SPS. However, lots of stakeholders agree that mostly, development proposals should be opensource to deserve their vote.

Why is that so important?

In my opinion, for the two reasons below:

Code ownership

Funding a closed source project means having a single point of failure (or a few). If the project owner(s) decide to terminate the project or, for a reason or another they are unable to maintain it, all previous fundings will have been pointless. On the contrary, an opensource project can stay alive and evolve as long as anyone is interesting in working on it.

Proof of work

Since votes can be earned but can also be removed, it is important for a worker to actually show that things are getting done. In my opinion, going the utopian.io way and writing posts pointing to commits and pull requests on Github is the way to go. Which better way to see that code has been written than by actually seeing the code?

Once again, although I strongly believe on the necessity of opensourceness for SPS projects, this is my point of view and everyone is free to vote according to one's own standards.

Stability of funding

The return proposal has been very volatile these past few days. Especially today with a formidable jump from 14 to 21M SP. While I believe the bar is currently too high and these fast changes can hurt development, I also think it will stabilize over time. The fact that funding can stop as fast as it started is actually a necessary part of the SPS, and acts as a kind of defense mechanism against abuse.

SBD is piling up, unused

I have seen this argument a lot recently, and I'm really surprised about that. The SPS budget is financed by stakeholders through inflation. It's better not financing any project if they are not deemed worth it (according to each individual definition of worth) than financing them because of a lack of better options. That's why the Return Proposal exists. Those funds can still be used later on to fund other projects or get burned, and in the meantime, they are not being sold, avoiding additional downward pressure on the price.

Reaching out to stakeholders

Sometimes, the reason for not voting a project is not a lack of interest for the said project but a lack of alignment between the priorities of the project owner and those of the stakeholders.

Creating a community to bridge those who make proposals with the major stakeholders could be a great way to get feedback and an easier channel to reach them in general. Before Communities release, a Discord channel could be used for the same effect.


I hope we can have a healthy discussion on this topic on the comments, and keep this as drama-free as possible.

@stoodkev Vote for witness

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  • @bashadow

    Code ownership

    I think that may be an important thing to some independent developers. By going open source everyone has their hard work for free. I will use steemworld and @steemchiller as an example since he is one of the independent coders on steem block chain I am aware of. Why should he have to give up his code for others to take and use to improve their systems without compensation from them. We have steemd, and steemdb to see all the things that go on in the background if as a lay-person you can understand it. Neither of those tools are very user friendly for seeing things in a nutshell. SteemEngine, is another case in point, @steemchiller has managed to write code that will allow an individual to claim all the rewards, so far I have not seen any other tool that allows that, (not that I have been looking or anything).

    So to get funding through the SPS, which is ostensibly developed to bring development and developers of applications to steem block chain, an incentive so to speak, if I understood the initial talk about it correctly. As a non-coder, I can see that requiring a coder to turn over their code and thus hard work to every one would be a dis-incentive to develop for steem block chain.

    3speak is in a similar place, several people pulled their votes because it too is independent of steemit and the company steem. It seems to me it has become a defacto ways and means of steemit.inc to teach their developers how to code properly by trying to temporarily bride successful developers to turn their code over.

    If the project owner(s) decide to terminate the project or, for a reason or another they are unable to maintain it, all previous fundings will have been pointless.


    The fact that funding can stop as fast as it started is actually a necessary part of the SPS, and acts as a kind of defense mechanism against abuse.

    That protects steemit, it does absolutely nothing for nor give any recourse to having funding pulled from a developer once he has turned his hard work over to the open source community, after all why keep giving someone funds for something that you can now work on or destroy yourself.

    Sorry at times I am rather cynical of initial good intentions, which I am sure the SPS was, but is it still? For myself a normal everyday user of the social side of steem block chain not involved in coding or program development, it appears to be a completely one-sided system, all the protection is for steemit.inc and zero protection for the independents code/developers hard work.

  • @accountsdump


  • @jarvie

    Open source is great in theory. And Can add more value given the same other variables.... the issue is that steem has a long long history of CRAPPY stupid little tools that get made quickly and then just kind of stop... and their code doesn't even seem to be used much. Sure there is some that continue on after the developer has their moment of fun then abandons the project or all of steem.... but if we're talking "value to steem"... then just being open source is a lackluster bar for making decisions. I'd like to see more non-open source projects that actually do something awesome on steem and bring a ton of value to steem beyond just creating sub-par code that get's quickly forgotten and never actually helps the system. We don't just need more crappy code on steem.... we need projects that have a plan and bring people to steem and use cases for the steem currency. There's so much more... making open source this barrier is soooo short sighted. It's developers thinking steem is gonna some how sky rocket just by a bit more extra code. I see lots of people like @howo @anyx and maybe @dimitrydao talking about open source being this magic barrier and I just don't see it. Open source has value for sure... but making that a barrier is sooo short sighted.

    But still interested in the discussion. I haven't actually heard where the significant voters stand on these things.

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