What Lies Ahead for Perspectives

In the past 5 months we’ve had 2 instances of the default Perspectives notaries being unavailable for several hours. We’re taking concrete steps to prevent that. In addition to a number of other useful fixes and updates, here is a preview of upcoming features that will keep the Perspectives system running.

Perspectives Server version 3.0 – COMPLETE!

  • Refactor the database code to use sqlalchemy, so it’s easier to run a notary on different systems and databases
  • Add default arguments to Perspectives python modules wherever possible, so it’s easier to set up and run a notary server (stay tuned for a snappy HOWTO!)
  • Add a static index page so visitors can learn what a ‘network notary’ is

    An example static index page

Perspectives Server version 3.1In Progress

  • Add support for memcached, to improve server performance and uptime
  • Add the ability for notary servers to optionally count some performance-related metrics, to help us measure and improve notary performance and increase uptime (more details coming soon)

Perspectives Client version 4.4In Progress

  • Optimize the code that handles notary replies so it runs more quickly (between 22x and 800x faster!)
  • Add support for earlier quorum calculation if we have enough notary replies – so e.g. if you have 7 replies and that’s enough to establish a quorum, you won’t waste time waiting for the 8th notary to reply or timeout.
  • Scale the Preferences window so it’s easier to see notary keys inside the textboxes

Earlier and faster quorum calculation in your browser combined with result caching on notary servers should make Perspectives faster and more robust. Using metrics to learn more about how Perspectives notaries are used and when they receive the most requests should help us ensure they can handle the request volume and continue running smoothly. I’ll also be launching at least one more notary server on a different web host. Hopefully all of this results in a better experience for everybody!

As always, if you have questions or comments let us know!

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