Request for funding @jaspervdm, Nov-Jan 2020/21

Hello everyone,

My current funding period is set to expire at the end of October. During this period my main focus has been to work on the parallel initial sync. I think we have made some decent progress on this front with a bunch of preparation work done on the node, specification of the data to be sent over the p2p network (the ‘MMR segments’) and the implementation of them.

However there is still a lot of work to do. The next step would be to build up the new sync process that downloads these different segments in parallel from the available peers and reconstructs the full chainstate from them. For now this new sync method will exist side-by-side with the older method, until we are convinced that the new method has been implemented correctly.
There are some open questions regarding the initial activation timeline of this new feature, that we will be able to answer soon. It is very unlikely that the feature is full finished by the next Hard Fork, but a partial activation might be possible. Activation during a Hard Fork is not strictly necessary but it does simplify some things. So we would like to make use of the final HF wherever possible, without rushing anything in.

As I think this feature is one of the most important ones currently still missing from the Grin node, I would like to continue to work on it in a fulltime capacity. Therefore I would like to request funding for the 3 month period of November 2020 until January 2021 for a the standard yeast-unit compensation of €10K/month, for a total of €30K, to be paid in BTC.

This funding proposal will be discussed at the next Governance meeting on the 20th of October. Any comments or suggestions can either be placed here or be voiced during that meeting.

Regards,
Jasper

6 Likes

I am sorry, but what happened to the period of time where you were going to rebuild trust? I have been vocal in supporting your unexplained absence where you disappeared after getting funding and were somehow incapable of communicating that to anyone besides Daniel. Not everyone was understanding and their concerns were justified but we are in unprecedented times. It appears you left with one month remaining and you have been back for precisely 1 month and want to be funded again already, which means there was zero time spent rebuilding trust. Doing what you were paid to do, doing it 5 months late, doing it with minimal progress updates AND being notably absent in discussions and meetings isnt exactly rebuilding trust. Again, I say this as someone who was vocal across various platforms in your defense when you disappeared and chose to not communicate that with the community (outside of Daniel, indicating you had the capabilities of communicating).

I think it’s unfair to ask someone to work for free because something happened in real life and they had to delay their job stuff (I have no clue what happened but usually that’s the reason why people leave and later come back). The gaining of trust was for me this 1 month period where he worked “for free” as he has already been paid for this month. If he had no intentions to work for a longer time and was evil then he would not work this month for free. I agree that he’s not the most active in the discussions but then again not everyone needs to be and I’m pretty confident that if he was asked to check something and give his opinion he would.

3 Likes

There is something with this guy Jasper.
i watched his talk and videos.He looks cool,slow and knows what he is doing.infact he was the ‘‘guy’’ who looks trustable as if he is someone from family,and that grin logo i found funny but Jasper was talking so self confident made me feel safe with grin.i didnt know the project well.

i trust him somehow,he is the silent type,not talks but codes.
i am in favor.

I am not asking anyone to work for free. But I dont think you get any credit for going M.I.A. for 5+ months after getting paid to do work and saying nothing. He hasn’t even been back for the duration of time that remained on the previous agreement. I have stated many times since this incident that all payment should be post-paid to avoid this issue.

I will also point out that he cloned a repository on github on May 20th, long after he disappeared and was incapable of communicating with us…

Again, Jasper is a valued member who has contributed so much and I defended him during his absence. But it would have gone a long way retaining trust if he communicated with us when he disappeared. Not only is that very reasonable, but he was clearly capable of it as he was communicating with Daniel and cloning repositories on github. In lieu of taking responsibility in real time, he chose to come back and regain the trust. I am just not certain how that could be accomplished by doing nothing more than finishing what you were paid to accomplish 5 months ago.

It just feels unreasonable to take no responsibility for disappearing and no reasonable attempt to communicate to the community, and then he reappeared the day (maybe a few days) before the council was going to vote to remove him from the council. That seems like a convenient time to reappear. I dont think there should be any precedence that there is no need to uphold your word or your end of a contract.

I was excited when Jasper returned and promised to regain our trust, but requesting another round of funding before finishing the time that remained on the prior contract, 5 months late, is not an approach that I find appropriate for regaining trust.

4 Likes

Glad to see this request, welcome back!
I don’t think we should restructure the payments because someone had to take care of life things for half a year. In the worst case, we would end up with 30k gone, but I’d rather take the bet this won’t happen.

P.S. your progress updates were good, not sure why people complain about them.

3 Likes

@johndavies24 has a point. As long as others, preferably at least two long standing members of the community and or council, can verify there was good reason for the absence of Jasper, I have no problem continuing the funding.
However, it would be good to sort clear the air by having some people “vouch for his absence” just to make clear to those who do not know @jaspervdm that he did not drink cocktails on an island while receiving funding :wink:. This would be good to make clear that those who receive funding are accountable and checked by others in the community and do not have some special position where they automatically receive funding.

Imagine you decided to not show up to work for 5 months without any kind of communication. Why would you act like this is not a big deal? Of course it’s okay if he has personal things to take care of, but it takes just a few minutes to communicate that with the community that is funding you. Jasper is a brilliant guy and great developer, but the fact that he cbf to take 5 minutes from his day just to inform the community what’s going on reflects poorly on him, and we shouldn’t act like it’s not a big deal.

I had written a long list of reasons why accepting this funding request seems like a bad idea, but I don’t want to tarnish his reputation in pursuit of protecting the council’s funds. The bottom line though, is that choosing to fund Jasper means we’ve lowered our standards from “Let’s fund people who are passionate about Grin and already contributing so they have more time to work on Grin” to “Let’s fund developers who probably wouldn’t be here otherwise, and may or may not hang around once we pay them.” Have things really gotten that bad?

Regardless of whether or not the council chooses to fund Jasper, it should go without saying that he should be paid month to month, not 3 months in advance.

3 Likes

My view is that he doesn’t need to share anything regarding his life with the community. Should he have said something when he was not around? Yes, he definitely should. But this isn’t a good enough reason for a switch to post-pay. I’d be ok with paying him per month.

I can’t speak whether he would or would not contribute if he wasn’t paid, I don’t know him enough to tell that, my impression was that he built some stuff without being paid (though I’m not 100% sure).

It certainly is enough reason, but to be clear, I was not actually suggesting post-pay. I meant something more along the lines of what was done for @Paouky.

None of us can say for sure, but his contributions dropped drastically once Binance funding stopped and it became clear 713 wouldn’t be profitable, and he had no contributions at all from mid-November until just 2 weeks before requesting funding the first time.

FWIW, I don’t personally think it’s a necessity for funding that someone would be a contributor even without that funding. I was okay with Ivan’s one-time request, even though it was not clear he would hang around if his request was not approved. But what we’re talking about here is a recurring, full-time position, working on the core project. To me, it seems obvious that you would want to have someone in that position who is passionate about the success of Grin. I’m not convinced Jasper fits the description.

Anyhow, I’m not going to keep defending my arguments here, since it involves speaking negatively. I have nothing against Jasper personally, and love the work that he’s done with Grin. He’s easily one of the brightest and most talented people we’ve got, and has a better understanding of bulletproofs, signatures, swaps, etc. than most of us ever will. I just feel this request is poorly-timed, and would rather see him take some time to rebuild some trust first.

Point is he is back and he wants to contribute. He has a past with Grin 2 years almost and credit in the community.

if he was a new guy and did same thing AWL,i would agree.But this is Jasper,which he has a past with Grin.And since Lehnberg has contact with him all the time,this is a privayc project,i dont wanna deep dive in details,no need to openly discuss certain things.

And if David has left without saying a word,and turn back after 1 year and want to contribute,i would be happy to.Becuz we know him from past.Being from the family and a newcomer is different.

Dont divide,unite.Or we are doomed!

5 Likes

Having worked with Jasper on projects quite a lot in the past years, it troubles me to see a mixed response to his funding request. We should be welcoming him back with open arms in my opinion.

That said, I can understand why there are concerns, but I think they are misplaced. I want to share some of my personal thoughts on what’s been said in this thread:

  1. There’s been no crime commited here. I was in contact with Jasper early on, and he made clear he would do good on his commitment one way or another. It took some time, but he came back, and did exactly just that, as promised. What else is there really to discuss?

  2. This is not employment. Making the analogy of “what would happen if you did XYZ at a job” doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no sick leave. There’s no support or health care. You don’t have a manager, and you don’t have any obligations or answer to anyone. You make a request for funding to go work on certain things, and then it’s up to you to deliver against that. That’s it.

  3. There are comments above about how Jasper “should have communicated”, how “reasonable” of a request that would have been, and stating he was “clearly capable” of doing so. Based on him forking a github repo? As a community, I’d like to see us speculating less about people’s abilities and personal situations, do less “detective work” when there’s no crime committed, and instead spend more time constructively trying to improve Grin and grow our community. To me personally, it feels incredibly off-putting to see a bunch of random people here make claims about other people’s personal states during periods where they’ve explicitly taken a leave of absence. It’s not something I would like to see happen if I ever had to make the same request. I urge you to stop with this, give people space, and try to be a positive force instead.

  4. The timings of Jasper’s re-appearance for sure can appear suspicious, but the fact of the matter is that Jasper had been talking about coming back a long time before that vote ever took place. Others can attest to that. His return was already in the works, and I personally urged him to come back before he was voted off, as I thought that him staying on the council would be a net positive for the project. And so he did.

  5. If we want to meet the scope we’ve set out for v5, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I don’t see how we could do it without Jasper. Why would it be better for the project to not have him work these next few months?

  6. Regarding being paid 3 months in advance or month-by-month, this is a complete red herring to me. I’m sure Jasper would agree to either. But I for one trust him and am happy he’s back, and I don’t see a need to trust him any less than before, or anyone else. Again, we seem to forget that he actually came through on his previous funding request. I’m sure he’ll come through now too. There might be reasons for why we should pay everyone on a monthly basis, but I see no reason to make Jasper the exception here. The concern with Paouky was that he had not made a single contribution of note prior to his request being approved.

If you need anyone vouching for Jasper, I wholeheartedly do so, for whatever that is worth. When he took a break, I asked him early on what was up, he gave me an answer, he promised to come back and do right by him, and he did just that. We were in touch throughout this period.

He has my full support, and I hope he has yours as well.

13 Likes

Works for me, anyone who knew about his absence and reasons who can provide a second vouch so we can close this discussion knowing we as community ‘verified’ and not blindly ‘trusted’ as Bitcoin thought us. The questions raised are mostly not directed on Jasper personally but are questions on a procedural level. As community we decided recently that we wanted less bureaucracy in governance. Keeping that in mind, some voucher and delivering the work promised should be enough to trust Jasper, for me it is enough.

Thank you Daniel and this is all wich matters to me.
I fully support his request.

I am not against this funding request for two reasons: I stand by my original defense of his absence and do not think a single event (unless egregious, which this does not appear to be) should hold a lot of weight. The other reason articulated by @lehnberg #5, we have no choice. I also think his contributions to grin have been indispensable and all the devs deserve their share of the funds.

That being said, the situation and the optics of the situation are not ideal and certainly merit a discussion. It would seem wrong to be entirely silent about the situation. Which leads to @lehnberg #2 scenario:

This seems very flawed and as if you are suggesting there is no mechanism for enforcing accountability (and no need for it). Clearly, if you do not deliver the community will require answers, certainly if communications and funding requests continue. Accountability comes here, but it is complicated with core/council members as they have voting rights on each others funding which creates an unavoidable conflict of interest. I think trusthworthy individuals with high integrity would feel obliged to uphold their word to the best of their abilities and take responsibility for any failures. This is referring to the odd stance that there is no one to answer to and no mechanism for accountability and not to suggest that Jasper doesn’t fit the description of a trusthworthy individual.

This seems off because there was no request to take a leave of absence. Maybe if Daniel is the boss of all funded individuals and their progress reports are sent directly to Daniel this would make sense. But I think no one wants that, which means communication to the community would be the only logical mechanism for communicating the leave of absence.

This also doesnt add up because the request to remove him was made by a core/council member and it remained on the agenda as such. If I recall, Jasper’s reappearance was at that very meeting. Not so sure why so many backdoor conversations have to occur and who is privy to what (this concern extends beyond this specific topic).

The progress reports are smaller and less informative than those from everyone else. Maybe they are sufficient, I was more concerned with public discussions in total. Similar to the topic above, it appears that he has had a lot of technical conversations about what he is doing with Antioch. Maybe they are referring to their comments on the github PR, but it is just unclear how many core/council conversations occur in private that are not private in material (strictly referring to topics that would be appropriate for the grin community).

My concern remains and I will pose it as a question:
What are reasonable metrics for rebuilding trust and were they met? Is it sufficient to reappear the day you are being removed from council, do what you were paid to do 5 months ago, and request your new funding before finishing the time remaining on the prior funding?

I honestly do not know the answer to those questions but the latter feels like “no” even though it seems unfair to say “no” if I cannot answer the first question.

3 Likes

If you’re taking money from an open source project then you’re accountable to an open source community. Surely this is common sense? At the end of the day Jasper not publicly communicating with the community about his absence was poor etiquette. Let’s not sugar coat it. Pubic communication is like best practices 101 for anyone working on an open source project.

Remember that time Igno only communicated with members of that council that he needs to be away for personal reason and would be absent for a few months, possibly more…Well It kind of seemed like that for awhile.

5 Likes

Thank you for your services. Considering the fact that you were absent the most of the time I don’t think there is any benefit in continuation of the funding.

I wish you best of luck.

I have to agree with the comments made by @johndavies24 @Neo.

But I’d like to echo a few statements.

Therefore, it would be in the best interest of the project to accept his request, yet it doesn’t mean trust has been completely re-established. As much as Jasper is talented, capable and nice (which we all agree on), this is simply the reality. There was a worrying lack of communication. However, in light of the circumstances; we can, shall, and should grow past that.

I support this request :star2:

5 Likes

I suggest that he personally say something about this. @jaspervdm

September / oktober / november that is 3 months. He should request fund for: December January and February. Please get your months right.

I understand that free money can be easily given away as if it is nothing, but 10.000 euro in the Netherlands is enourmous number. For example our prime minister ( president ) is earning 6000 euros a month for being there and active 24 hours a day Jasper: https://github.com/jaspervdm

I know that grin can use jaspers help, but I am convinced that 4500 euro a month should be more then enough and fair also. In the end this is a opensource project not a milk cow that needs to be drained quickly. And if someone should earn a bigger reward then it is lehnberg for all of his work.

2 Likes