Combined summary - BIP process friction

Combined summary - BIP process friction

Kalle's resignation as a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) editor has prompted the Bitcoin community to reconsider how responsibilities are distributed among the team to maintain the BIP editing process effectively.

The debate around BIP-125, which deals with transaction fee variability and affects all wallet users, contrasts with more specialized cases like Ordinals or Taproot Assets, suggesting these niche topics may not be suitable for official BIPs. There's a call for "living documentation" to better reflect current practices and trade-offs in mempool policies, with suggestions to introduce versioning in BIPs to allow for updates without new proposal numbers.

The use of signet for testing, although advantageous for controlled experimentation, has sparked discussions regarding its centralized nature and the terminology used to describe its consensus mechanism. A proposition for a new identifier system for proposals, such as BIN24-1, aims to reduce visual clutter and enhance readability, seeking community feedback on its implementation.

The BIP process itself faces scrutiny, especially on whether policy changes should be documented as BIPs to facilitate tracking and review by developers, particularly those working on protocols like Lightning. Separating policy sections from consensus change BIPs could provide clearer guidance. A revision of BIP 3 is suggested to reflect the decentralized and voluntary aspects of Bitcoin's development.

Blockchain Commons Research (BCR) offers an alternative management approach for research proposals and standards, resetting numbering annually for simplicity and employing a status symbol system to track progression based on actual implementations. Their GitHub repository outlines a system that categorizes proposals into various statuses, providing clarity on the developmental stage of each specification. This method could influence the BIP framework by offering a transparent way to monitor proposal development and acceptance.

The BIP process has faced difficulties, highlighted by the backlog of unmerged pull requests and administrative challenges, such as assigning new numbers and mandating backward compatibility sections. In response, aj has created BINANA, an independent system hosted on GitHub for assigning numbers to bitcoin-related specifications more liberally. While BINANA serves as an alternative to the formal BIP process, aj does not intend to lead reforms within the existing BIP repository system, though it playfully suggests that BINANA could become a comprehensive glossary for the Bitcoin community.

Discussion History

Anthony TownsOriginal Post
January 17, 2024 02:42 UTC
January 17, 2024 06:55 UTC
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