[Bitcoin-development] new bitcoin.org clients page

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Wed May 2 13:22:42 UTC 2012

We're debating the descriptions on the thread. I provided rewritten
descriptions that try and keep with the "theme per client" goal, whilst
being less technical.

I think it's unclear how best to run this page. It's clear we need one
though. If everyone can just submit whatever they like then we'll end up
with 4 or 5 "pick me! pick me!" type descriptions, which avoids a lot of
arguing but doesn't really help our users make a decision. If we have a
Benign Dictator model we might end up with descriptions that are wrong or
don't highlight the strengths / weaknesses of each client properly.

So although it's messy I think the right path is probably the middle one -
have some descriptions that try to be neutral, then improve them based on
feedback from users and developers. They need to be flexible and evolve
over time as the clients evolve too. At some point every client will
support deterministic wallets so "easy backups" won't be worth mentioning
any more, but there'll be new distinguishing features. And we all need to
try and be honest about our own work.

Here is the current content. Like I said, the descriptions are *not* set in
stone at all.

Bitcoin-Qt <http://bitcoin.org/>

The original software written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the project's founder.
If you aren't sure which program to pick, this is a good bet. This
application is a peer-to-peer client that builds the backbone of the
Bitcoin network. It is suited for enthusiasts, merchants, miners,
developers and people who want to help support the project. People who run
Bitcoin-Qt are first class network citizens and have the highest levels of
security, privacy and stability. However, it can be very resource intensive
and you should be willing to leave it running in the background so other
computers can connect to yours. If your computer is low powered or you
aren't willing to tolerate a 24-hour+ initial start time, you should
consider other clients. Cutting edge features tend to be implemented in
other clients first.

Website: bitcoin.org

MultiBit <http://multibit.org/>

MultiBit's primary focus is being fast and easy to use, even for people
with no technical knowledge. It has a YouTube channel to help you learn the
software, and includes helpful features such as an exchange rate ticker.
MultiBit supports many languages such as German, Spanish and Greek.
MultiBit synchronizes with the network much faster than Bitcoin-Qt and
should be ready for you to use within a few minutes. This is a good choice
for non technical users who want an easy to use experience, especially if
you use a Mac.

Website: multibit.org

Armory <http://bitcoinarmory.com/>

Armory focuses on advanced wallet management features, such as the ability
to construct transactions whilst disconnected from the internet. It
operates in conjunction with a Bitcoin-Qt install. It requires a large
amount of RAM to operate and if you use Windows, it requires a 64 bit
version. It is a good choice for tech-savvy enthusiasts or merchants who
want to try out cutting edge ideas in the Bitcoin world. Armory was partly
funded by a community donation drive which raised over $4000.

Website: bitcoinarmory.com


Electrum <http://ecdsa.org/electrum>

Electrum's focus is speed, with low resource usage and making wallet
backups easy. It operates in conjunction with remote servers that handle
the most complicated parts of the Bitcoin system, which is why it's fast.
However, by running this client you don't contribute your computer's
resources to the core network, and the remote servers that help give it
good performance have the ability to see all your transactions and tie them
together. Whilst you need provide no personal information to use Electrum
(as is true for all Bitcoin clients), this means the privacy level is lower
than for other clients. Merchants are recommended to use other p2p clients.
Electrum is not quite user friendly yet - currently it is more suited for
tech-saavy individuals.

Website: ecdsa.org/electrum

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