Arronax, an analysis oriented block explorer
Originally published on IPFS via Pheme.
A couple of weeks ago we, Cryptonomic, announced the public beta releases of our two developer tools named Conseil and ConseilJS. These two tools are crafted to make development on blockchains easy.
The first product we built around these two tools is Tezori / Galleon, our desktop wallet solution for the Tezos blockchain. We announced the release of this user-friendly wallet back in July 2018 and it has been running on our instance of Conseil and making Tezos users’ life much easier since.
Galleon was a great opportunity for us to show the developer community how useful our dev tools are and to eat our own dog food. After the success of this first test, we decided to create a block explorer capable of aggregating and transforming data, and show how powerful our dev tools are.
Arronax is an analysis-oriented block explorer. Different from conventional block explorers, where the main objective is to show details of a single transaction, account or block, Arronax aims to allow its users to ask open-ended questions such as:
- Show me the top ten delegates by their staking balances
- Show me all payouts greater than 100 xtz from Account A
- Show me all origination operations between blocks X and Y where the delegate was Baker B
Asking these open-ended questions would have not been possible without Conseil. Conseil collects, parses, and collates the operation and metadata of a blockchain to a database, and allows users to query it.
We have planned a two-stage release for Arronax. We would like to start by sharing our plans for the second stage as it is the dream we are working towards.
End goal: A type-ahead query builder
When we envisioned Arronax, we wanted to make it different from any other block explorer. We wanted to allow its users to ask and search for anything related to a blockchain. At first, we thought about going with a traditional query builder, where you get to add AND and OR filters here and there until you get the result you want. Although it sounded good, it was not as exciting as we wanted it to be.
You know what they say: bring on the designers before starting to implement a product instead of handing them a PoC and asking them to make it look great. It is important for designers to be involved in your brainstorming sessions because their actual superpower is not to create beautiful designs but to solve problems. Cryptonomic’s principal designer, Polina Soshkina, further validated this idea when she went on overdrive and came up with this crazy idea of creating a typeahead query builder.
We are very well aware that this version of Arronax will require a whole lot of user testing before we can even start implementing it. We are currently working on prototyping this idea and plan on starting our user tests imminently. We would like to take this opportunity to announce that we have now started registering users to our testing program. If you are interested in testing our prototype and helping us build this awesome block explorer, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alpha Release: Manual Filtering
The first stage, on the other hand, takes a much more traditional approach to user interface and experience, and it won’t require that much of a user testing. Therefore, we all agreed to start with this interface and roll it out as we conclude our testings for the second stage. The good news is that our back-end, Conseil, is ready to perform the queries mentioned above, and we already accomplished a lot on the front-end. We still need some time to add the final touches, but we should be announcing the alpha release soon.
The alpha version of Arronax will be ready for you to use soon. We believe this explorer will be helpful to both developers debugging their applications and daily users. It will also help financial institutions build enterprise level blockchain analysis tools to help their customers make more educated, data-driven decisions.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the alpha release!