That’s no moon… it’s a module registry (cc2)

A Vision for Satellite, the Melon Module Registry

Let’s introduce you to our Satellite subproject, its purpose, state and future.

This entry is intended to be a simple overview for a general audience, but some terms may be opaque for those new to Melon’s inner workings. For a deeper take on core protocol concepts, please consult the Greenpaper or the Melon Explainer.

A quick rundown

The Melon Protocol constitutes the core of a Melon portfolio, but it is being designed with community in mind. Third party organizations and individuals will be incentivized to produce smart contract modules that extend on the core by offering additional functionality.

The uses of these modules will be wide-ranging, including competing price feeds and alternative exchanges, among many others.

The interplay of fund managers, developers and investors (contributors) constitutes the backbone of Melon’s ecosystem. Satellite aims to facilitate interactions between module producers (devs) and module users (managers).

Alright, and then what?

Great, so people will write modules for fun and profit, but not everyone is a developer. What about folks that just want to use the modules to manage money?

Well I’m glad I asked. Satellite will provide a registry of modules that can be accessed through a web interface, for your browsing pleasure. You could think of it like the Play Store, but for portfolio components. Just put the pieces you want in your proverbial shopping basket and walk out with that new, tailored fund.

Developers can imagine Satellite as analogous to PyPi or NPM, where modules can be published and consumed, while descriptions, statistics and other goodies are presented alongside each entry in the registry.

Assembling Satellite

From an abstract perspective, we want Satellite to:

  • Allow publishing and editing of Melon module entries
  • Organize modules into an index
  • Enable discovery of new modules via category browsing and search
  • Provide facilities to evaluate modules (e.g. ratings, reviews)
  • Do all of this while catering to both traditional and developer-oriented fund managers (i.e. we need both a GUI and an API)

Right now we have the core smart contracts in place for Satellite, complete with tests of their main functionality.

Specifically, entry registration, removal and editing are all possible, as well as rudimentary voting, with experimental email-based verification.

We’ll be working on getting the UI hooked up and working over the coming weeks. The design isn’t exactly finalised yet, but here is a sneak peek for our eager blog readers:

Beautiful, no? (by Amhad Syarif Afandi)

You can check out our development process over on GitHub (and even help tackle some issues in the bug tracker, if open source is your thing 😉).

A good plan, well-executed (Wikimedia)

Trajectory

Where are we going with this?Put simply, the direction is:
UI Tests Scaling Tests

Once we get the UI pinned down we can start doing end-to-end tests of the existing functions. That means making sure users of the web interface can perform the functions we listed above.

After everything is working on the user’s end, we want to make sure that the registry’s backend will scale well to a large number of users. This means evaluating Satellite’s smart contracts to ensure we store data as efficiently as possible, and streamlining interactions with the blockchain where they are necessary.

Since this article was meant to be a general overview, many implementation details will be left to future posts. You can expect a more technical rundown of Satellite’s architecture in the near future.

What’s with the name?

Ah, yes. In the same way that a satellite orbits Earth, the Melon Satellite contract orbits around the Melon protocol. 
It is infrastructure that aims to facilitate communication between module developers and fund managers, who may sometimes feel like they come from opposite sides of the planet.


Travis Jacobs — Developer at Melonport AG

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