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Decentralized Applications: Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
|Mastering Bitcoin||Blockchain||Decentralized Applications||Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and Their Potential to Change Our World|
|Related Cryptocurrency Titles||Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies||Blueprint for a New Economy||Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology||What You Need to Know About Mining, Exchanges, Wallets, Payments, Security and More|
About the Author
Siraj Raval is a dapp developer & entrepreneur. He is founder of a crowdfunding platform for developers called Havi, has developed several iOS apps including Meetup, and has worked on a host of open source work. Besides being a programmer, Siraj is also a traveler, musician, postmodernist, and scuba diver.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, I consider it a grave mistake on the publisher to allow any author to publish the documentation for their own library or examples that use their library when the book isn't self-titled by that name. The author's library is github.com/llSourcell/kerala. In the book, it's cited improperly as llSourcell/go-kerala/kerala. This is confirmed in the online errata. The kerala library has 1 contributor (the author), 0 forks, and the last commit to it was over 15 months ago. The use of kerala is prime to the entire third chapter "Building Your First Dapp" which is central to the book. I don't care about the author's dead project. Aside from that, I think though I'm not certain, the author is simply hosting the index page using Go's web server. That's not exactly decentralized. It has a single point of failure. Yes, each tweet is immutable and stored on IPFS but the index page is the tricky part and he skirts the whole issue while wasting the chapter documenting his own library.
OpenBazaar and Lighthouse get their own chapters. But what is the chance that a user for these two projects will also be in the market for making their own Dapp using a library and a series of API's? This book muddles the distinction between user and developer. All that ties these subjects together is the hype of being "Dapp", a term the author seemingly fabricates "the best way to dive into why I've chosen the term Dapp [...]".
The hypothetical questions that guide the sections are laughably silly, "Any app can be open source, so why aren't they?" Why is there a section on open source at all? What does that have to do with distributed applications? Who is attracted to Decentralized Applications and needs space wasted to explain a high level overview of the pros of Open Source?
Many of these conceptual categories are arbitrary: I can't see the tie-in on page 13. It has a graphic of conceptual types of organizations that utilize internal and no-internal capital. Why are we mapping AI's and Robots in this book? The chart on page 24, "Political cryptocurrency beliefs" is just as random -- and what is "hyperbitcoinization"? Page 27 goes into another abstract category with "Zooko's triangle" which I believe is even factually incorrect as the author relates it to OpenID; I'm not sure what the author is exactly referring to when he calls OpenID "human meaningful."
The section on decentralized computing is a bump for Heroku which the author agrees has a central point of a failure and isn't a Dapp. Other notable non-candidates include primecoin and gridcoin which "aren't utilizable for computations that users decide; they're based on existing computations that the coins' creators need." Fascinating. And, from the computer science side of this how could you possible assess a cost to NP problems except on clock cycles which would make huge assumptions and require trust to the reporter (or recalculation of sort)?
The section on decentralized bandwith is just as comical. Lots of "they could" and futuristic predictions with an overview of mesh networks.
All of that said, the section that takes the cake is "Practical Decentralization" on page 36. This section has bogus legal advice suggesting that your "start your corporation as a non-profit." What does the taxing status have to do with centralization? Non-profits have an "executive director" which function in the /same/ capacity as CEOs, and they frequently make a profit. Perhaps the author intended to suggest a horizontal workers' cooperative? Other nuggets that I would suggest you never do: "in your legal documents, label your assets as app tokens to unlock features." Cute. What's the purpose? This section also includes the hypothetical creation of a tool "bpm" the Blockchain Packet [sic] (presumably "package" not "packet") Manager. The authors imagination knows no bounds. This is perhaps the first fiction book published by O'Reilly.
I can't see a use for this book. There isn't a satisfactory explanation of "distributed hash table", "ledger", "proof-of-work", "proof-of-stake", "blockchain" or "smart contracts." Instead, these words are left vague and frequently used in such a fashion to make the entire book look like marketing hype. This is the kind of text I would expect from an author who markets himself as a "traveler, musician, postmodernist, and scuba diver."
Page 40 includes paragraph-length descriptions of REST, CRUD, and MVC, concepts not central to the book's topic, but mentions Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake (essential topics to blockchains) only in passing on page 11. There is no technical description of either, other to say that PoW is computationally intense, and PoS depends on a participant's prior investment in a cryptocurrency. Sybil Attack is mentioned repeatedly, but never defined (a search engine will help, but the author should learn to write for an audience, instead).
Chapters on actual Dapps are comprised of mostly terminal copy-paste of invoking git, and a few out-of-context snippets of code that the author does not bother to explain. The graphics are not in context, and seem to serve to boost the already feeble page count, rather than illustrate a point.
In short, this book was a waste of my $20, and a waste of my attention awaiting its arrival. (It's publication was delayed twice. It now appears that the author ran out of time and shipped the ill-composed draft, broken URLs and all.)
This is definitely not worth the current asking price.
This really feels like it was rushed out to cash in on the current hype. I was very disappointed with this.
In such barren environment, this little book is like a lighthouse to people like me, who want to gain a quick understanding of the blockchain app realm. I recommend this timely book to anyone out there who want to gain a quick understanding of what is what. Hence do not take this for a classical O'Reilly technical guide with complete source code.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't honestly say a practical guide on building...Read more