[bitcoin-dev] Seeking Tech Review of "Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line"

Christopher Allen ChristopherA at lifewithalacrity.com
Thu Jul 23 01:52:41 UTC 2020


Dear Bitcoin Experts,

Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/>
was one of Blockchain Common <https://www.BlockchainCommons.com>'s first
offerings, and it remains one of the most popular. Not only has it received
on Github over 100 watches, 300 forks, and 1200 stars, but we also know of
a number of people who learned how to program Bitcoin from the course and
have become full-time developers in our community or have joined your ranks
as bitcoin-core contributors.

We think that it's a unique course precisely because of its command-line
focus, which makes it "intermediate" between the introductory courses and
the more intense summer workshop and internships for bitcoin development.

In the course, we teach the fundamental RPC commands for interacting with
Bitcoin Core, primarily using the bitcoin-cli command line, but also with
later in the course curl and via other programming languages via RPC. By
doing so, we provide a nuts-and-bolts guide to the functionality of
Bitcoin that
really teaches how it works, and so will continue to be useful even if
readers choose to move on to higher levels of abstraction that hide some of
the Bitcoin fundamentals.

We're hoping that we can get your help in reviewing the core material
making up our newest iteration of this course:
https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin
-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/README.md

The majority of the original work on Learning Bitcoin was done in 2017, and
despite some interim updates, by the start of this year, it had become
outdated due to the rapid state of Bitcoin development. We've been
expending effort in the last few months to update all of our existing
examples, to change out commands that have been deprecated or defaults
changed to ensure that the outputs that students see match what they'd get
from the command line.

In addition to updating the old course, we've also added major new sections
on descriptors
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/03_5_Understanding_the_Descriptor.md>
, Segwit
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/04_6_Creating_a_Segwit_Transaction.md>,
P2WPKH
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/09_5_Scripting_a_P2WPKH.md>,
and Segwit Scripting
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/10_5_Scripting_a_Segwit_Script.md>
and
whole new chapters on PSBTs
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/07_0_Expanding_Bitcoin_Transactions_PSBTs.md>
(including
HWI) and Tor
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/blob/master/14_0_Using_Tor.md>.
We think that what we have is some of the most accessible explanatory
matter available for these new topics at this intermediate level.

We'd love to get your comments on the whole front part of the course, from
Chapter 0 to 14. That's the complete, finished material on all of
`bitcoin-cli` and Bitcoin Scripting.

However, if you have limited time, the sections and chapters linked above
are the newest and rawest material in the course, and so those are the ones
that we'd like fact-checked the most. Either way, please feel free to
report out thoughts, comments, and corrections on the issues page
<https://github.com/BlockchainCommons/Learning-Bitcoin-from-the-Command-Line/issues>
or
to enter PRs for specific corrections.

If you don't have time for that either, we are also looking for financial
support to continue this project. Blockchain Commons has already paid out
of pocket for this initial work, as open infrastructure to improve the
blockchain community, but we need to be able to complete this project,
which involves putting together chapters 15 and up on interacting with
Bitcoin RPC using more programming languages (C, C++, Python, Go, Rust
Swift), using LibWally, and onward to using Lightning. (We've got scattered
material for most of these sections right now, but they are very early
drafts and still need to be finished, standardized, and polished.)

You can also support Learning Bitcoin by becoming an ongoing patron for
Blockchain Commons through Github at
https://github.com/sponsors/BlockchainCommons, starting at $20 a month.
This will both help fund Learning Bitcoin and in the future will support
other projects intended to improve blockchain and cryptocurrency
infrastructure, such as #SmartCustody, Bitcoin Standup, LetheKit,
cryptographic libraries and more. A number of bitcoin-core contributors
already have their "badge" of support listed on our Sponsors' page, add
yours!

Alternatively, we can accept one-time Bitcoin contributions directly at our
BTCPay server: https://btcpay.blockchaincommons.com/

Thank you for your help!

Christopher Allen
Principale Architect & Executive Director
Blockchain Commons
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