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Introducing Whaleshares 2.5

whalesharesPosted last year for Everyone to comment on10 min read

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Welcome to Whaleshares 2.5

We are excited to introduce the next major update to the Whaleshares ecosystem as we work to build the best Social Sharing Friends Network in the emerging blockchain economy.

We are also very proud of our witnesses for their rapid response and willingness to work together to help each other update their nodes to the new 0.2.7 Hard Fork codebase and we would like to thank bushkill-witness for coordinating witness update efforts.

⭐️ What's New

Version 2.5 is focused on building in the major components of the community and friends network as outlined in the Whalepaper. We have also made major advances in performance, resource management and long-term scalability of the Whaleshares blockchain.

Social Platform Updates

  • New Whaleshares.io Landing/Splash Page
  • New Sign-Up Process
  • New Friends Network
  • New Pods (Communities)
  • New Daily Bandwidth Limiter (Based on WHALESTAKE)
  • Updates to Feeds (Including the Removal of Trending)
  • Removed "Downvotes"
  • Removed "Delete Posts"

Performance Updates

  • New Archived Data Storage using NuDB
  • New Disk-Based Storage for Service Node
  • Increased Data Access Speed with Lower Memory Requirements
  • Update AppBase Architecture
  • Upgrade to Boost Beast instead of Websocketpp
  • Upgrade to Newer Boost Versions (1.69)


New Landing/Splash Page

We've updated the Whaleshares.io home page to showcase some of the most important features of the platform in a simple-to-understand way that helps introduce potential news users to what we're all about. The welcome mat has been rolled out... it's time to introduce Whaleshares to the world!


Easy Sign-Up Process

Whaleshares has reached an important milestone in it's development process and is now ready to be promoted as an alternative to mainstream centralized (and often censored) social media services. With that, we are happy to introduce our new user-friendly sign-up process. Simply verify an email address, chose an account name and save your keys - that's all that is needed to create an account on Whaleshares. While in BETA, the Top 20 Witnesses will still help approve in new accounts, but no additional steps or connected Bitshares accounts are needed.


Friends Network

Sharing content and interacting with friends is a key part of a Social Sharing Friends Network. Whaleshares 2.5 introduces the ability to request and approve direct friend relationships on the platform and limit interactions with your content. Gone are the days of unsolicited bot comments, spam, and trolling of your content. By default content is published to your Friends Network which restricts interaction (commenting, rewarding, sharing) to only users in your Friends Network. However, you have the ability to publish to your content publicly which then allows interactions to be made by anyone on the platform.

Notifications

A new notification system is being built into Whaleshares and will be added to different features over time. The first to get hooked up to notifications is the Pending Friends request list. You will see a red circle with a number inside to indicate the current count.

Pods (Community Groups)

At its core, Whaleshares is built on communities of people with similar interests supporting each other. Now you can create your own communities of users, called "Pods", directly within Whaleshares. Standard user accounts can be upgraded to a Pod for a fee and managed by the owner to set membership fees, approve/reject members, create member ranks and badges, and post content to its own feed. Once a member of a Pod, users will have the ability to select the specific Pod they want to post content to right from the content creation form. Only members of the Pod can interact with the content posted to a Pod.

Social Interests

Working together with the Friends Network and Pods are Social Interests. This new selection of main topics, or "Interests", will help classify content, define the scope and purpose for Pods, and will soon help connect new and existing users with other users and Pods based on their shared interests.

Enhanced Quick Post

The Quick Post editor has been updated to include drop down selections for both the "Interest", which sets the main topic tag of the Quick Post, and the option to choose where the post should be published to, Friends, Public, or a specific Pod. This makes posting from mobile devices even easier.

Daily Bandwidth Limiter

As you may know, all networks have a set limit on available resources and require a delicate balance of resource management to keep the system running smoothly and keep the transactions free for users. Deterring abusive behavior, bots accounts, and spamming, that can slow down the network and waste resources becomes even more important as the user base grows.

Our solution is simple and efficient. Working similar to MANA with a constant daily re-charge rate, the greater your stake, the more Daily Bandwidth (DaBa) you'll have each day to perform transactions on the network like posting, commenting, rewarding, claiming, voting, etc. New accounts start with 1KB of bandwidth to use each day, enough for small posts, basic commenting, and the ability to network with other users to get started. In time as WHALESTAKE is earned, or purchased, the accounts DaBa will increase and so will the user's ability to perform more transactions.

New Block Explorer

Check out our newly redesigned Whaleshares Block Explorer. Track current blocks being signed by witnesses, research past blocks, and search transactions made by any account.
https://explorer.whaleshares.io


Performance Updates

To say there has been some back-end improvements made with this update is an understatement. The truth is, the time and effort our incredible Dev Team, lead by @baabeetaa and supported by @kennybll and @vit, has dedicated to improving the infrastructure, performance, and scalability of the Whaleshares blockchain has been nothing short of amazing.

Moving to NuDB

Over the past few months there have been many in the community who were wondering if we were planning to incorporate the STEEM MIRA upgrades to WhaleShares. While Whaleshares was born from the original STEEM codebase, it has never been our intentions to follow along with their developments. We have our own goals and visions, and intend to become a leader and innovator in the Graphene blockchain space. With regard to MIRA and given that it is based on RocksDB, it was determined by baabeetaa that MIRA, or something similarly based on RocksDB, would not be the best path forward. This was largely based on Ripple's experiences working with RocksDB to better scale the Ripple ledger.

We wanted to experiment with different node stores, such as Lightning Database and even SQLite but we ultimately settled on RocksDB, which seemed to work the best. What we discovered is that when RocksDB grew in size, it would slow down and start to use a lot of memory, which would kill the performance of the program. As a result, rippled instances with full ledger history weren’t doing very well with RocksDB because of memory requirements and because our databases would slow down.

Our solution was to develop NuDB. NuDB is a custom database we wrote, designed specifically for rippled’s workload. It only supports three functions—insert, fetch, and visit-all—and it really only works with SSD hard drives. But the main advantage of NuDB is that it can scale to an almost unlimited size—248 TB is the current limit. And no matter how big the database gets, the performance is still optimal.
Link: <a href="https://ripple.com/insights/rippled-feature-update-nudb-and-autobridging/

Since NuDB was placed into production for Ripple the chain has steadily grown to nearly 10TB without incident.

With that, Whaled now also leverages NuDB to store the log activities on disk (for account_history, block history, and feeds), while using ChainBase to track the head (ie. last activity record of each account) in RAM. It is fast, no memory is required, and the read performance and memory usage are independent of the size of the database. Posts are set to read-only after payout enabling the system to store archived posts to disk using NuDB which could help lower memory a further 20-30%.

Witness Nodes on 1GB?!

Imagine what it would mean for the chain if anyone could run a witness or seed node using as little as 2GB of RAM, while still supporting all the new and exciting features built in to v2.5 as well as those in development for v3!

As a result of these upgrades, anyone can now easily run a low memory service node via whaled_lm (low memory mode) using just a few gigabytes of RAM. Our continued development efforts in this area will ensure future stability for the foreseeable future. The perfect trifecta of Performance, Scalability, and Affordability has been achieved with Whaleshares.

We expect that these upgrades, along with even more on the way just around the corner, will provide an even stronger foundation for the WhaleShares platform to grow, thrive, and prosper.


Your Feedback is Welcome

The first seven days of the Version 2.5 roll-out has included several mini-updates to the front-end in both the Social App and the Wallet App, and more updates will continue over the next week. This was required due to the large number of feature additions that are included in the update that need to be "eased in" to the established functionality and test compatibility with high-volume use. We will do our best to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone.

If you would like to give feedback or find any issues with this Version 2.5 release, please visit the Official Whaleshares Discord and add your notes in the #feedback-suggestions channel. This is the only place the dev team will be looking for feedback and bug reports. They will not be looking through online posts or any other discussion channels.


What's Next...

We encourage everyone to Read the Whalepaper for a thorough understanding of the vision and goals we have set for the Whaleshares platform.

An extensive User's Guide is being prepared to help with the on-boarding process and to explain how crypto-backed social sites like Whaleshares work. We will also release more informational posts explaining many of the updates and new additions included with the V2.5 update.

Please keep in mind Whaleshares is still in BETA, and while this update brings us even closer to the end goal, we're not there quite yet. Development is currently underway on the next version release which will bring major changes to the User Experience (UX) and require another Hard Fork as we work to redefine the standards for cryptocurrency-backed social media platforms.

Buckle Up... the best is yet to come!


# The door is always open,
come join us anytime!
**Stay tuned for more official announcements on the way.** https://discord.gg/3pqBXKY

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to spread the news!


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Note: The @devfund account was used to power-up this @whaleshares account to allow us to post longer announcement posts and updates.

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