AllCoreDevs, Network Upgrade & EthMagicians Process Improvements

I won’t be at EthCC unfortunately, but I’ve just shared this with some folks trying to organize more technical protocol-related sessions.

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Here’s a proposal for this: Template for `discussion-to` threads

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Ethereum Magicians improvement proposal

Hello Magicians,

I’ve often heard that the current structure of the forum can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. To address this, I’d like to propose a reorganization of the categories. After a few iteration on the forum organisation, I agree with @jpitts , the best approach would be to organize the forum with tags: Categories > Subcategories and Tags. This will not only make searching for information more efficient but also reduce duplicates and open the door to more fine-grained features (e.g., category summaries and bridged messages).

I’ve experimented with this structure on a “test discourse” instance, Ethereum-sorcerers. Please note, this instance is purely for testing features and is not an active forum, feel free to join and try. Your feedback on these changes would be invaluable, and I’d love to see other contributors participate in the forum improvement process.

Proposed Changes & Features

  • Categories & Tags Organization: Aligning with EIP-1, to ensure consistency and clarity.
  • Light & Dark Mode: Introducing a Solar / Lunar theme to enhance visual comfort.
  • Design Enhancements: Utilizing Ethereum.org assets for category icons & banners to create a cohesive and appealing design.
  • Discourse Native’s Topic Template: Implementing templates that align with @timbeiko 's proposal for the EIPs category, ensuring structured and consistent discussions.

Proposed Categories & Tags


Category Description
EIPs Ethereum Improvement Proposals, an EIP is a design document providing information to the Ethereum community, or describing a new feature for Ethereum or its processes or environment. The EIP should provide a concise technical specification of the feature and a rationale for the feature.
RIPs Rollup Improvement Proposals, standardizing and providing high-quality documentation for Rollups in the Ethereum ecosystem, tracked through Rollup Improvement Proposals (RIPs).
ERCs Ethereum Request for Comments, proposing standards for Ethereum applications.
Protocol Call Discussions and updates about Ethereum protocol development and upgrades.
Café A place for casual discussions about Ethereum, site feedback, and topics that don't fit into other categories.
General Introduction page and the big 'introduce yourself' thread.



Subcategory Parent Category Description
EIPs Standards Track EIPs A Standards Track EIP describes any change that affects most or all Ethereum implementations, such as a change to the network protocol, a change in block or transaction validity rules, proposed application standards/conventions, or any change or addition that affects the interoperability of applications using Ethereum. When creating a topic you have to chose one of the following tag
core; networking; interface
EIPs Meta EIPs Proposals describing processes surrounding Ethereum or proposing changes to processes. These often require community consensus and do not affect the Ethereum codebase.
EIPs Informational EIPs Informational EIPs describe design issues or provide guidelines to the community without proposing new features.



Tags Group: Tags
Café Category
  • introduction
  • feedback
  • irl
  • user-experience
EIP Category
  • wallet
  • consensus-layer
  • execution-layer
  • opcode
  • staking
  • account-abstraction
  • cryptography
  • economics
  • precompile
EIP Standards Track Category
  • core
  • interface
  • p2p
  • networking
EIP Status
  • idea
  • draft
  • final
  • living
  • review
  • stagnant
  • withdrawn
Working Group
  • breakout-room
  • acdc
  • acde
  • client-team
  • ethcatherders
  • peepaneip
  • rollcall

Proposed Meta Improvement Process

Each category will have a subcategory dedicated to process improvements. The Café category could include a dedicated thread for site feedback and improvement proposals. This thread would allow anyone to request the addition of a tag, category, or subcategory or suggest changes. We can repurpose this very thread for that purpose.

Transition Path

We can follow this tutorial from the Discourse team to bulk move topics. I volunteer to manually reorganize the remaining topics and tags that wouldn’t fit in the bulk moves.

Proposed Timeline

I propose a two-week discussion period to assess these changes. If agreed upon, we can implement them promptly to have those changes presented during Execution Layer Meeting 191 & IRL in the upcoming EthCC sessions.

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Thanks @nicocsgy! Some suggestions

  • Should “protocol call” category be “governance” instead? Seems much clearer about what is actually happening in the category.
  • I would change the subcategories for eips to be: core, networking, interface, meta, and informational
  • It isn’t super clear what “cafe” is for. I think something more descriptive like “community”, “magicians”, or “AllCoreMagicians” could help.
  • For EIP tags, I would change “opcode” to “vm”.
  • I think we can remove the tags for “EIP Standards Track Category” because the will be denoted via subcategory?
  • EIP status tags seems like a nice idea, but I think the odds of them becoming stale are super high and then they become confusing. I would probably omit them at the start.
  • I think we could rename “working group” tag category to “Governance” or something of the like. I don’t really think “breakout-room” makes as much sense in a “working group” category, but might make a lot of sense in a governance one.
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Hey @matt ,
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated !

  • Should “protocol call” category be “governance” instead?

I have no strong opinion on this one. But some of the calls aren’t really governance process like “peep an EIP”

  • I would change the subcategories for eips to be: core, networking, interface, meta, and informational

Yes, I think this might be a better organisation as it relies less on the tags, I’ll try it.

  • It isn’t super clear what “cafe” is for. I think something more descriptive like “community”, “magicians”, or “AllCoreMagicians” could help.

Yes, I am up for suggestions “community” seems a bit vague, “AllCoreMagicians” reminds me a bit of ACD so I’d prefer “magicians”. I also think “café” is good because welcoming.

  • For EIP tags, I would change “opcode” to “vm”.

Yes, sounds good.

  • I think we can remove the tags for “EIP Standards Track Category” because the will be denoted via subcategory?

Yep, agreed.

  • EIP status tags seems like a nice idea, but I think the odds of them becoming stale are super high and then they become confusing. I would probably omit them at the start.

So we can “enforce” the selection of an “EIP status tags” for every new topic I think it’s reasonable to expect this from authors considering that new posts are very likely going to be " idea / draft ". The hard work would be to tag correctly all the existing posts. We can add or remove them easily anyway if they become too much.

  • I think we could rename “working group” tag category to “Governance” or something of the like. I don’t really think “breakout-room” makes as much sense in a “working group” category, but might make a lot of sense in a governance one.

So “working group” isn’t a tag it’s actually just the tag group name it’s not shown anywhere it’s just to name the group. I think it’s fine to leave it as is.

Thank you @nicocsgy!

+1

Does this mean the naming of the “Cafe Category” also doesn’t matter, because it’s not shown anywhere?

fwiw “cafe” is more unclear/ambiguous to me than “magicians community” or something along those lines.

I like light/dark mode! But I would keep design choices generally very neutral and minimal, also wrt to ethereum.org assets etc.

Hello @caspar, thanks for the feedback

Does this mean the naming of the “Cafe Category” also doesn’t matter, because it’s not shown anywhere?

Yes “Cafe category” is the name of the group of tags related to the “Café” category. The name of the tag group is hidden but the Café category is there.

fwiw “cafe” is more unclear/ambiguous to me than “magicians community” or something along those lines.

Alright, probably worth a renaming and a better description then.

I would keep design choices generally very neutral and minimal, also wrt to ethereum.org assets etc.

The icons / banner could be an optional theme not on the default one. But I generally think a little touch of design (maybe not the ethereum.org assets indeed) would do good and align with the different websites across the ethereum ecosystem.

I like this as a starting point but I’m more interested in [bottom-up] curation over time than [top-down] curation upfront. If this is a community venue it shouldn’t need centralized curation or maintenance.

My proposal was that instead of “Working Group” being one more permanent category full of things that can go stale or need a top-down refresh every year, each category only exist as long as there is a Working Group actively curating it (tagging/untagging, splitting threads, etc). Heck, I’m sure there’s a discourse plugin that trigger actions when none of a given category’s designated curators have logged in to check their moderator inboxes for 30 days…

As someone else (seemingly with ChatGPT’s help) put it:

The primary goal is to ensure each category has clear, active curators

Hey @bumblefudge,

I don’t think the changes proposed introduce the need for curation or maintenance. The idea was indeed to propose something light enough so that it introduces no maintenance. The only actions required would be a few changes in the settings, some commands for the bulk moves and about 20 lines of CSS/HTML styling.

The changes would ensure that new topics in certain categories use the right tags (e.g. you open a topic in EIPs and you have to select the right subcategories and tags). Those categories and tags would be defined to best fit the current EIP process as described in EIP-1 and other finalized Meta EIPs.

I think it’s ok to expect from EIP authors that they follow those rules as ultimately their task to champion their proposal outweighs the few clicks to select the right category and status. As for the rest of the users, they remain free to reply and to create a new topic of their choice and to suggest a new category, as they are today. And the subcategories improvement process would stimulate meta discussion as this one.

The only thing that would change is that one would have to reply to propose tags in a meta thread rather than being able to create tag by himself (that might be modified if creating tags doesn’t mess with “tag groups”).

What you’re proposing is actually introducing maintenance. I am not against the idea, but I am not sure how to articulate it or if enough volunteers would show up. So I’d like to start with a lighter version that can work as proposed and build from there.

I’m also not convinced about the structure having a working group category full of things that can go stale so there would be one main category and people that are part of those “working groups” are assigned to the moderate the other categories ? IMHO for the protocol related categories we simply need a clear structure that mirrors the Meta EIPs (as this leaves less room for interpretation) and a few open categories for the community forum.

I do agree that more moderation would do good. But I don’t think there is a need for a plugin linked to moderators activity.

Re @caspar, @matt

I applied the suggested changes to the sorcerer test discourse.

  • Reorganised category to mirror Standard tracks EIPs with subcategories rather than a Standard category group tag
  • Bulk moved topics
  • Renamed category Café to Magicians
  • Changed tags opcode to EVM and group tags EIP category to Topic category, Café category to Magicians category
  • Removed Ethereum.org assets as category banners
  • Removed Ethereum.org assets as category icons
  • Enforced the EIP template in the corresponding EIP categories

To keep the design minimal I removed all the ethereum.org assets but I’d like to see some assets for EthMag as I think this forum could use some cool logos / icons. This would align with the overall ethereum vibe across websites, even tho I agree that EthMag’s doesn’t require a lot of assets as it’s a technical forum. I think we could agree to design a few good logo / icons, e.g the ethresear.ch logo is nice.

I suggest to keep doge-computer from William Tempest as a “small icon” which is displayed on the top left when you read a topic. Currently on EthMag the “small logo” is just stars. But IMO the “doge-computer” is an amazing small logo to represent the “reading EthMag” activity and it will be hard to design a better one.

vs

“doge-computer” from William Tempest :

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Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that your one-time update to the categories introduces MORE need for curation, I think the need for deputized curation has been a constant since inception and shuffling around the categories would give the false sense of having solved the problem for as long as it takes for them to go out of sync with where the humans are talking over time.

To put it another way, what the available categories are at a given point in time is orthogonal to how usefully they are curated over time, and no amount of tweaking the signage is good enough to do away with the need for humans to direct traffic in a context this noisey and emergent. Getting and retaining humans to direct traffic is, IMHO, the higher priority, and one classic way to retain volunteers is to give them ownership over their labor (i.e. the application of tags and categories, and the list of available tags and categories). Like reddit mods, a little bit of [highly local] authority and recognition goes a long way.

Letting them choose a category-specific icon might also help :wink:

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No worries, I agree on the need for more curation and that human effort is needed at some point. I think that with an organised forum it reduces a bit the need for manual work hence the changes. But yes it will require some people to help as this is growing.

Cool ideas, I do agree recognition goes a long way and there are a lot of cool titles with the magician theme.

I am but a humble Pageboy, your liege, content to carry the wand in its protective travel hard-case where wizards conjure and invoke the spirits :saluting_face: :sparkles:

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@poojaranjan as agreed, moving discussion from Eth R&D Discord regarding ACD & breakout meetings.

I am a heavy consumer of post call artifacts (where available) and create my own summaries to share based on moderator summaries/notes and/or watching recordings

Artifacts:

Agenda: GitHub issues on ethereum/pm
Summary (of discussions/decisions): some are on Eth R&D Discord
Notes: moderator specific location & format (Twitter thread, HackMD, Google Docs etc)
Recording: YouTube
Transcript: File in ethereum/pm
Notice: proposed for Eth Magicians
Historic record: links in README on ethereum/pm

Feedback:

Agenda mostly working, though a standard template would be helpful with some instructions on how to add things to the agenda (and what would/wouldn’t be added e.g. new EIPs should be proposed async first)

Long term having a dependency on GitHub is bad and need backups of these.

Summary: these are moderator dependent, so location and format vary greatly (Tim & Alex use Eth R&D Discord for ACD).

A template and a standard location is important to agree on.

The summary is the key output for a meeting (otherwise if there are no agreed decisions, what was the point of the meeting). As well as being used by the participants, this is used by the community (including news) to understand what has been decided.

Moderator created summaries are not currently linked to from ethereum/pm README.

Using Eth R&D Discord makes sharing difficult (I have shared screenshots on Twitter/Reddit with a copy of the text and experimented with Mirror & more recently Eth Magicians), are hard to find and has a dependency on Discord. At the very least copying/mirroring to a more permanent home would be preferred.

Summaries need to be timely (within 24 hours) otherwise alternate summaries will be used which may be different than those recorded by the moderator.

Summaries in ethereum/pm are not moderator created and are not available in a timely manner, so are only useful for historic record purposes only. (the latest merged notes for ACD are from May)

Notes
These are moderator dependent, so location and format vary greatly. They give more context to the summary, often the why a decision (in the summary) was made.

They should sit along side summaries.

There should also be a way to link independent writeups e.g. @Christine_dkim writes notes for ACD calls.

Recording: recordings should show participants and chat (for context) with subtitles (for accessibility).
Currently only ACD recordings include participants and chat, other calls lose this context.

Recordings should be available within 24 hours (at the latest) and ideally trimmed to the start of the call.

YouTube is great for sharing, but backups are required for the long term.

Transcripts (including & Chat logs)
Ideally these would be auto generated and available at the same time of the call recording (for news purposes).

Chat logs are needed as a lot of context of discussions is done in the chat rather than on audio.

Ideally both could be easily corrected (auto generated is not great for technical terms currently) such as in a wiki.

Notice
Notices could be pinned/banner topics in Eth Magicians with a link to the agenda. Essentially these are for promotion with pre call information all being in the Agenda.

I have been experimenting creating these as wiki posts in Eth Magicians, and then adding the summary, notes, recording etc. Though don’t have permissions to pin/banner.


ethereum/pm for post call artifacts is fine for historic record but is not timely enough for other purposes. As an example the README shows the latest calls from May.

Using ethereum/pm agenda issues to link to post call artifacts puts the responsibility on the creator (generally the moderator) and may not be timely enough.

Using Eth Magicians wiki posts allows more people to edit in a timely manner but risks vandalization and is a dependency on Discourse. It also duplicates effort.

TLDR:
Need summaries/recordings/transcripts/chat logs available in a timely manner (ideally within 24 hours of a call), with templates/locations for moderators to easily do this and easy ways for community to update transcripts/chat logs.

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@abcoathup I agree with a lot of your suggestions in the last post! In short:

  1. Big +1 on summaries being valuable but not visible enough. I’m going to focus on shifting that, and make EthMag summaries my #1 artifacts, which gets crossposted to Twitter/Discord/Farcaster/etc.
  2. The /pm repo is due for a refresh, and I’d rather wait a bit longer until more stuff around EthMag is figured out. It still feels like the right medium-term place for agendas and transcripts to live.
  3. I think it’s fine to not focus on “notes” too much if we have good summaries and transcripts. Another artifact I’d like to have is good audio-only recordings.

More detailed responses:

Agreed here. Our “standard template” is currently on the /pm README. I’ve been meaning to revamp it a bit, but want to do so in the context of the other changes discussed in this thread.

I agree with this too. I’ve considered moving them to EthMag a few times, but Github is valuable in that it is “closer” to where a lot of the technical work discussed on ACD happens.

Agree these are really important, timeliness matters, and discord isn’t the best place for them. Starting with the next ACDE, I will try making EthMag summaries my #1 artifacts, effectively replacing both the Twitter threads and Discord summaries. I’ll cross-post them there, and see what the reaction is :smile:

Notes are a bit of an awkward “level of resolution” IMO. I’d rather we focus on a good summary + transcript and treat notes as a “nice to have”.

I agree these are really valuable and should be better highlighted! So maybe Summary / Transcript / Writeups are the right artifacts?

Agreed with all this, and I’d even go further. It would be nice to have audio-only versions of the calls broadly available, like a podcast subscription or something. The only times I have to watch a call I missed, I go to a “Youtube to mp3 conversion” site and download the audio only :sweat_smile:

I agree with the “ideally” here, but as @poojaranjan pointed out on Discord, auto-generated transcripts are far from perfect. Chat logs can likely be made available at the same time as videos, but for transcripts, I think it’s fine to wait a bit longer if it means the output has been sanity-checked.

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Agree that summaries are super valuable and would like to encourage the meeting facilitator to keep it as the comment on the Agenda at ethereum/pm Issue like this or this. It can be crossposted on Discord and other social media.

The benefit I see it is that a particular GitHub Issue is the canonical source of truth for a specific meeting to collect all info.The Breakout Room Folders will be helpful to get additional transcripts along with Zoom chat files.

Absolutely in favor of keeping /pm repo as a placeholder.

I think the mp3 or wav version can be made available via Zoom. I can suggest ECH Podcast to upload the Meetings audio version if there is enough interest.

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Hey magicians,

We should probably have a bigger poll / vote for the logos to be added to Ethereum Magicians. This could be a nice way to gather the community. It should come at a later stage we could make a new thread inviting contributors to propose logos / assets. But it shouldn’t be a blocker to the organisational changes described above.

Applying the changes would also unlock a refresh on /pm repo, and more fine grained summary for working groups.

@jpitts, I think we have some consensus around minor changes that would help the forum. Let me know, if that sounds good to you or if you’d like any further details.

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