[Lightning-dev] Removing lnd's source code from the Lightning specs repository

Fabrice Drouin fabrice.drouin at acinq.fr
Fri Oct 8 15:24:24 UTC 2021


Hello,

When you navigate to https://github.com/lightningnetwork/ you find
- the Lightning Network white paper
- the Lightning Network specifications
- and ... the source code for lnd!

This has been an anomaly for years, which has created some confusion
between Lightning the open-source protocol and Lightning Labs, one of
the companies specifying and implementing this protocol, but we didn't
do anything about it.

I believe that was a mistake: a few days ago, Arcane Research
published a fairly detailed report on the state of the Lightning
Network: https://twitter.com/ArcaneResearch/status/1445442967582302213.
They obviously did some real work there, and seem to imply that their
report was vetted by Open Node and Lightning Labs.

Yet in the first version that they published you’ll find this:

"Lightning Labs, founded in 2016, has developed the reference client
for the Lightning Network called Lightning Network Daemon (LND)....
They also maintain the network standards documents (BOLTs)
repository."

They changed it because we told them that it was wrong, but the fact
that in 2021 people who took time do do proper research, interviews,
... can still misunderstand that badly how the Lightning developers
community works means that we ourselves badly underestimated how
confusing mixing the open-source specs for Lightning and the source
code for one of its implementations can be.

To be clear, I'm not blaming Arcane Research that much for thinking
that an implementation of an open-source protocol that is hosted with
the white paper and specs for that protocol is a "reference"
implementation, and thinking that since Lightning Labs maintains lnd
then they probably maintain the other stuff too. The problem is how
that information is published.

So I'm proposing that lnd's source code be removed from
https://github.com/lightningnetwork/ (and moved to
https://github.com/lightninglabs for example, with the rest of their
Lightning tools, but it's up to Lightning Labs).

Thanks,

Fabrice


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