[bitcoin-dev] Libconsensus separated repository (was Bitcoin Core and hard forks)

Wladimir J. van der Laan laanwj at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 08:43:14 UTC 2015

On Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 04:30:06PM +0200, Jorge Timón via bitcoin-dev wrote:

> I think there were some misunderstandings in our previous conversation
> about this topic.
> I completely agree with having a separated repository for libconsensus
> (that's the whole point, alternative implementations can be
> consensus-safe by using it, and in the event of a schism fork[1], they
> can fork just that smaller project without having to relay on Bitcoin
> Core [satoshi] at all).


> But I thought you also wanted Bitcoin Core to use libconsensus instead
> of just having a subtree/subrepository like it currently does with
> libsecp256k1.
> I'm not sure if that would ever be accepted, but in any case we're
> certainly far away from that goal. Here are some things that need to
> happen first:

I don't see any reason why Bitcoin Core would not use the consensus library. Eating our own dogfood and such.

Biggest risk, as I've said before, is that the refactoring loading to a (more complete) consensus library will result in code that is no longer bug-for-bug compatible with previous versions, thus defeating its entire purpose and introducing fork risk.

If that can be avoided - for example by going from here to there using pure code moves, as you're trying to do - I'm all for it.

> 2) Finish libconsensus's API: expose more things than VerifyScript, at
> the very least, also expose VerifyTx, VerifyHeader and VerifyBlock.
> Feedback from alternative implementations like libbitcoin is extremely
> valuable here. Some related closed-for-now PRs:


> 3) Move libconsensus to a separate repository as a
> subtree/subrepository of Bitcoin Core.

If the rest is done, this is the easy part :)

> Unfortunately and ironically again, safer, small and incremental
> changes are less interesting for reviewers.
> For example, I've been trying to move consensus code to the consensus
> folder for a long time. The correctness of a MOVEONLY change is
> trivial to review for anyone who knows how to copy/paste in its
> favorite editor and how to use git diff, but will I ever get answers
> to my questions in [1]?

Code review capacity is still our greatest bottleneck.
And I don't see any way out of that, unfortunately.

> I know there's many people who really care about this, Cory Fields,
> Wladimir and Pieter Wuille to name a few have reviewed many of this
> changes (I've just got used to publicly whine about lack of review on
> this front and policy encapsulation [very related fronts] as an
> attempt to get some attention: not always, but begging for review
> actually works some times).

I do really care about this.


More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list