Funded [FACTOM-GRANT-Factom, Inc.-012] Protocol Development

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#1
This is a maintenance and development grant for factomd. This covers the period
of March 9 - June 9, 2019.

Grant Scope:
● Refactor (documentation)
● Maintenance
● Testing
● Developer Support (limited)



There are two paths of maintenance and improvement that are anticipated during
this period. The current code base should be in a good enough position to last until
the refactor is rolled out. There are likely to be emergencies that pop up which will
need to be addressed. It is hoped that the emergencies are minimal (although that
has not been the case historically). Ideally the majority of the time can be spent
beginning to revamp the control flows of how messages propagate through the
system in order to make it more reliable. This will set the stage for spreading the
processing over multiple computers (sharding). We feel that upgrading the control
flows is critical since the maintenance overhead of the current codebase is high,
and it is not possible to shard with the current setup. These two parallel efforts
(maintenance and refactoring) are covered under this grant, with urgent
maintenance taking priority.



This grant is considered a reduced development grant, and new resources won’t be
added so maintenance and improvement continues at $73,400 per month over 3
months equaling $220,200. Assuming a FCT price of 6.21 $/FCT would give a
grant amount of 35,459 FCT for the Factom, Inc. portion.
For the Sponsors there is 600 FCT each for a total of 1800 FCT.
The grand total for this grant comes out to 37,259 FCT.


As required by document 153 that governs Factom grant round 2019-01: This is the thread for grant proposal [FACTOM-GRANT-Factom, Inc.-012] Protocol Development.
The review process starts at 2019-01-31 00:00, so please refrain from starting public review or questions before that time. If you notice clear errors in the proposal you can contact the author of the grant proposal directly.
 

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#2
Thank you for your proposal.

This is a generic question I ask in each grant thread.
This is currently the 3rd grant round. I consider that one of the very important criterion to select a grant (apart from its potential value) is the capacity of the grantee to deliver in time what it pledged. Therefore past grants can be used as an indicator.

If you did receive grants in previous rounds, could you please fill the following fields? This would increase transparency and help the standing parties to select grants.

- Have you, or one of your partners, previously received grants : Yes/No. If No, then you can stop here :)
- List of grants received : grant X1 from round Y1, grant X2 from round Y2...
- Status for each grant : grant X1/Still ongoing or Completed, grant X2/....
- Description of the work accomplished so far and Links supporting it : Discord Group/Factomize thread/Github/Reports/...
- Description of the residual work to be completed : XXXXXX

Thank you for your cooperation.
 
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#4
Go Immutable supports this grant. While we understand Factom Inc does not want to reveal too much in regards to resources dedicated to the grant due to legal concerns, we hope Factom Inc finds a way to be little bit more transparent so the community can better evaluate its ROI on this grant. The hope would be that the community feels that Factom Inc has outperformed their grant and as a result would be more than willing to ask Factom Inc to take on an even larger role next grant round, obviously accompanied by a very healthy boost in FCT requested.
 
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#5
@Factom Inc. I support this grant and thank you for your continued work on the Factom protocol.

I do have some questions about sponsors:

Why does Inc feel the need for three sponsors when most grants have 0-1?
What roles are the sponsors fulfilling?

I've only seen one update from sponsors so far for the continuation grant period and that was actually from the "Transition Assistant".
 
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#6
First: We support this grant.

Question:
You write it is a "reduced development grant".
If you were to apply without the "reduced" portion; how much would the grant be and what kind of added deliverables/work would you provide?

Just trying to put in perspective the reduced grant vs. an "full" one.

Thank you.
 
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#8
Hi Brian, Thank you for your application.

As before I have a generic question:

Assuming the grant is funded please break down what will be delivered by this grant proposal funding and what will be delivered by your ANO efficiency set at 50% over the next 3 months?

I also have two specific questions:

The combination of this grant and the continuity grant is asking for approximately 50% of the grant pool, do you think this is will result in too much centralisation of our funding?

If this grant is funded but the continuity grant is not able to be funded how will this affect the work in this grant?
 
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#9
Whilst I obviously support the core dev work of Inc - I feel this is too much to be asking all in one go, at $6 fct. I would have preferred it to be split up over successive grant rounds like suggested above which would allow us to pursue both decentralisation of core dev, as well as much needed marketing initiatives.
 
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#11
First: We support this grant.

Question:
You write it is a "reduced development grant".
If you were to apply without the "reduced" portion; how much would the grant be and what kind of added deliverables/work would you provide?

Just trying to put in perspective the reduced grant vs. an "full" one.

Thank you.
We would like to keep six or seven full time developers plus our test team and our project management team heavily focused on factomd. That isn't possible at this level of funding.

Whilst I obviously support the core dev work of Inc - I feel this is too much to be asking all in one go, at $6 fct. I would have preferred it to be split up over successive grant rounds like suggested above which would allow us to pursue both decentralisation of core dev, as well as much needed marketing initiatives.
I already wrote it in this thread:

Drying half of the grant pool is not what I may support in this grant round, so there is another one option that I think would bring more value for community during next 3 months.

You can divide additional 3 months dev grant to 1.5+1.5 and spread them between 2 grant rounds.

In this case De Facto will support both Inc's development grants.
Splitting up the grant has very big disadvantages to Factom Inc., as that requires we mostly work unfunded, hoping for back pay later. Further, we are very sensitive to how we represent the work we are doing as we seek to get more funding and resources for Factom Inc. Strategically, it is very critical to the protocol to not lose momentum by limiting support for core development. Right now, our core resources are critical not just to development of the Factom protocol, but to training and bringing on board more developers.
 
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#12
Hi Brian, Thank you for your application.

As before I have a generic question:

Assuming the grant is funded please break down what will be delivered by this grant proposal funding and what will be delivered by your ANO efficiency set at 50% over the next 3 months?
We attend and speak at conferences, speak to podcasts, do interviews, much of which is Factom Protocol promotion. We are also driving clients to the protocol, maintaining the protocol, even running an extra Authority Node Server (set at 100% efficiency) so we can have an odd number of servers. We provide support to ANOs with configuration and maintenance of their servers. We have been running courtesy nodes for wallet users.

I am sure there are other things we are doing for the community that might be viewed as additional stuff as an ANO.

I also have two specific questions:

The combination of this grant and the continuity grant is asking for approximately 50% of the grant pool, do you think this is will result in too much centralisation of our funding?

If this grant is funded but the continuity grant is not able to be funded how will this affect the work in this grant?
I do not view this as centralization of funding as much as a priority on development. It is unfortunate that our price didn't remain higher, because the development needs are actually far greater. I believe the community needs Factom Inc.'s development experience, leadership, etc. to bring in outside developers. But we have to fund this, or we have to reallocate resources to other tasks to support our business. Reallocation of resources is not something we need at this point.
 
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#13
I already wrote it in this thread:
Drying half of the grant pool is not what I may support in this grant round, so there is another one option that I think would bring more value for community during next 3 months.
Hi Brian, Thank you for your application.
If this grant is funded but the continuity grant is not able to be funded how will this affect the work in this grant?
We are trying to get to a point where the community can accept or reject work we do before rather than after the fact. I don't want to be in the position again where we are asking for funding for work already done. The mismatched expectations between the community and factom inc about how much development was desired was a wake up call last grant round. We would much rather gauge the appetite for development before rather than after the fact. We are in a reduced development mode right now, since resources are tight, which we are seeing in the speed of getting the latest release debugged.

The Continuity grant is taking a risk certainly, and I would prefer not to speculate what would be our reaction if the community decided to defund development. It would be sad all around that even the minimal effort to sustain the protocol were undesired.
 
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#14
Assuming the grant is funded please break down what will be delivered by this grant proposal funding and what will be delivered by your ANO efficiency set at 50% over the next 3 months?
From an ANO perspective, factominc is operating as an Infrastructure ANO, which pledges to keep servers up and running. The ANO work does not pay for development.

The combination of this grant and the continuity grant is asking for approximately 50% of the grant pool, do you think this is will result in too much centralisation of our funding?
I look forward to a point where:
a. more developers and teams are contributing to core development.
b. There are enough resources that are available where no single entitiy can reasonably take a substantial portion of the entire grant pool.
 
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#15
Why does Inc feel the need for three sponsors when most grants have 0-1?
What roles are the sponsors fulfilling?
I've only seen one update from sponsors so far for the continuation grant period and that was actually from the "Transition Assistant".
Some of the feedback we were getting earlier was that with a grant of such large proportion that a single sponsor would be insufficient. We now have one community oriented sponsor and two which are technical in nature. They are there in our bi-weekly report meeting to ask questions and provide a longstanding relationship, who understand the needs of the community in the context of urgent maintenance vs the grant deliverables which were deferred due to said maintenance.

Perhaps they feel that the monthly reports we are generating for them and the community are sufficient? Now that the meetings are recorded and posted maybe they don't feel the need to summarize?

The reports I expect would be fairly banal, as the maintenance efforts are basically banging our heads against the code to have it not be broken. I'm not sure how much there is there. If the community would like more reporting from the sponsors, I'm sure they would be receptive to that request.
 
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