[Bitcoin-development] Root key encoding / BIP process Was: A critique of bitcoin open source community

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Sat Oct 19 23:13:48 UTC 2013

On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM, Jean-Paul Kogelman
<jeanpaulkogelman at me.com> wrote:
> I have a question regarding this part. I wrote a BIP for base 58 encoding / encryption of BIP 32 root keys. The BIP page states that we shouldn't add to this list ourselves, but should contact you for a BIP number. I have contacted you a couple times on bitcointalk for a BIP number, but haven't received a response (or do those requests explicitly have to go to your email address)?
> Proposal in question: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=258678.0

I responded to you in PM on July 19, 2013, 05:57:15 PM.

Then I followed up with a technical review after I didn't see much
other technical review happening:


Which you responded to, correcting a few of my misunderstandings and
offering to make changes to the specification to make it more clear
and to correct a few of the limitations I pointed out.

At that point I put aside further action on your proposal waiting for
you to make those updates.

The reason to go through a serialization point for BIP numbers is to
avoid assigning them to things to people's pet ideas that haven't been
reviewed by or represent any identifiable part of the Bitcoin
community. (After all: You're free to publish any specs at all on your
own without a BIP. BIPs are not "official" but they should be stronger
than "some guy says this" if they are to mean anything).  I don't
generally see my role in this process as acting as an approver, but
rather just someone recognizing approval that already exists.

Generally I try not to assign numbers to things before I see evidence
of discussion which I can reasonably expect to result in an "community
outcome".  In some cases this means that I'll take up the role of
going through and being a second set of eyes on the document myself
(directly contributing to creating some community approval), as I did
in this case.

On October 2nd, you followed up with
indicating that you'd made the changes addressing my points.

My apologies, I missed this completely as I not working on Bitcoin
things pretty much at all during 09/26 to 10/13 due to other
obligations. Thanks for your patience. Following up here was
absolutely the right thing to do if I'm dropping the ball.

Pieter, do you have any opinions to offer on this?  (Also, generally
to the list. I'm singling out Pieter only because just asking "anyone"
to comment tends to be less effective.)

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