July 2018 — F27D report (Happynodes, NEO-Watcher) — Proof of Learning

TL;DR — July was the first big month with our first two NEO Blockchain projects, Happynodes and NEO-Watcher. Happynodes: 202 users, 454 sessions, 500 nodes being tracked. NEO-Watcher: 33 users, 404 alerts.

Introductory Remarks

A month in blockchain and cryptocurrency is like dog years, everything moves so fast. Our understanding of the NEO blockchain has radically changed, and so much has happened too, it’s hard to capture it all down in one post, but here goes our best efforts:

  • NEO Co-founder, Erik Zhang, starts to publish a ‘live’ roadmap of NEO 3.0 in the form of Github Issues. These issues are a mix of bugs, feature improvements, and technical changes with economic impacts. A flurry of discussion erupts. People were expecting a whitepaper (i.e. a marketing PDF) but this is actually the way to get the most out of focused debate. We loved it but there was so much discussion, it was hard at times to digest it all.
  • NGD held it’s 2nd hackathon and first one in London on 17th June. F27 team members entered and created Happynodes which won! Video here: https://youtu.be/rhz1F6EB6LE?t=1m4s, News post here: https://neonewstoday.com/development/happynodes-neo-london-blockchain-challenge-winner/.
  • Happynodes secures support from NEO Global Development and moves its main repo to neo-ngd: https://github.com/neo-ngd/Happynodes.
  • F27 released Happynodes live to the world shortly after the Hackathon and then followed up with a series of Releases (more info below) that extends it beyond to the existing network monitor.
  • F27 member ~wy releases NEO-Watcher as an alpha to the community. Already, 33 users have signed up and received 404 alerts about their NEO and GAS balances.

Happynodes

Happynodes was a hackathon entry for the 2018 London NEO Blockchain competition run by NGD (NEO Global Development). Whilst it was a hackathon entry, we tried to write something that had the potential to be a viable project long term.

After winning the Hackathon, we discussed with Peter Lin from NGD about turning it into a production-ready service for the community longer term.

Once the jubilation of winning died down, we quickly realised that we needed to make a series of immediate changes to the system so that it could scale to handle more users.

Our entire project is open source — https://github.com/neo-ngd/Happynodes/releases

In July, we published 3 key releases:

  1. v0.9.0 Release/Post-Hackathon Cleanup
    - Added P2P monitoring
    - Moved to HTTPs
    - Minor bug fixes and typos
    - File cleanup
  2. v1.0.0 Release/Flash
    - Added Redis Caching layer for 7X speedup for API calls and website performance
    - Added a public (but currently unlisted) table view: https://happynodes.f27.ventures/table
  3. v1.1.0 Release/Flashlight
    - Added Node Discovery
    - Automatic sync with neo-mon’s mainnet.json

Happynodes has extended CityOfZion’s neo-mon (http://monitor.cityofzion.io/) in the following ways:

  1. Through maintaining a Database, we have historic information about each of the node’s performance over time. neo-mon is a light app, which does client-side calls rather than storing information long term.
  2. Happynodes tracks the nodes that each node is connected with, creating a powerful and visual Graph view of the NEO Network
  3. In 0.9.0, we added P2P monitoring to be able to differentiate between RPC nodes and ones with P2P-outbound too. P2P nodes in our context help to communicate blocks with other nodes. Non-P2P outbound nodes only receive information rather than sharing it with other nodes.
  4. In 1.1.0, we added Node Discovery allowing us to extend the list of known online nodes from around 30 to over 90! This shows the network of nodes is much bigger than first thought. We have over 500 in our database, but not all of them are active or kept up to date. As of the start of August, around 50 of the 90 kept within 0–1 blocks (i.e. they were constantly up to date).
The NEO Network Graph

Happynodes is a completely open-source project, so we invite contributors from the community to come help us improve this service for the NEO network.


NEO-Watcher

~wy created NEO-Watcher originally because he had lots of different NEO addresses and wanted to know when NEO and GAS was entering and leaving these addresses without having to keep a wallet open all the time.

NEO-Watcher is a service that anyone can use via Telegram (messaging app) to subscribe to messages for any NEO addresses of interest. Since all NEO transactions on the blockchain are public information, you don’t need to enter your private key at any stage so there’s no risk.

NEO-Watcher can be accessed on telegram: https://web.telegram.org/#/im?p=@neo_watcher_bot under the name @neo_watcher_bot.

Currently, the service only monitors changes to NEO and GAS balances rather than any NEP-5 tokens.


Thanks for reading. You can find us on the NEO Discord @wingyungchan, @i25959341, the Happynodes Discord: https://discord.gg/sEMpmtP or on Github (~wy, ~f27d, ~i25959341).