Request: Non-windowed client with REST/JSON interface

To the developers of Ethereum,

You are building a really interesting project and it is the only other project in the cryptocurrency space (other than Bitcoin) that has actually piqued my interest. Now, obviously it is early days and there is a lot of work ahead of you. What is clear, and I really mean this with the utmost respect, is that you are not user interface designers. The client looks highly technical, lacks basic usability measures and is quite clearly not what you should be spending any time on. I recognise that in fact you probably already know this and haven't spent a lot of time on the UI, other than to provide an interface by which to test the network and protocol.

My suggestion is this. Provide a client that is not windowed and exposes all of its functionality via a REST interface, and allow that to be the way a real user interface can interact with the local client. By doing this you remove the burden from yourselves of having to spend time developing user interface code, and you pave the way to contributors (myself, for example) who would like to experiment with building a custom user interface on top of the exposed REST interface. I would suggest also that the mining process should be able to be activated and controlled from the REST interface, or at least expose its own REST interface, similar to the main client. I believe doing this will make it a lot more feasible for the Ethereum ecosystem to grow and flourish.



  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    I think it's very important to note that the clients you're seeing now are proofs of concept (not even alphas) and have little to do with what the finished product will be like. Right now the priority is to rapidly iterate over the technology stack and establish the baseline for proper PoW/PoS algo integration, security testing, etc.

    Beautiful GUIs with a clean UX are coming, but they will take while to arrive. The ultimate goal is Appstore-type interfaces with one-click installs. Headless servers with json-type interfaces will of course be available.
  • axefrogaxefrog Member Posts: 10
    Oh, I do understand that, my request I think was to expose the functionality via a non-windowed interface as early as possible to encourage participation on the UI side of things without having advanced C++ be a prerequisite to even consider contributing in that regard.
  • jTAjTA Member Posts: 50
    @axefrog Thanks! I feel I'm working in a fog? W3 succeeded because its software architecture was "designed" & evolved iteratively via mods to clear STANDARDS, further defining its architecture. To identify areas for improvement, a model (REST) for the W3 architecture was derived, guiding future W3 design, definition, and deployment. REST helps determine how best to partition a system, how components could identify and communicate with each other, how information could be communicated, how elements of a system could evolve independently, & how all of the above could be described in formal & informal notation. As an "architectural style" for guiding the design & development of the architecture of the modern web, REST has been blindingly successful. Do we need something similar to REST for Ethereum? Something to generate clear conceptual roadmaps? I think so (if only to help me lift my fog)?
  • jTAjTA Member Posts: 50
    @Ursium Sorry, its highly likely there are some v clear "specs" floating about and I have yet to find them? "Spec" for me means something other than wading through some code-base, and something more than just "words"? I'm a visual sort-of person - are there no clear graphical "specs" about (as well)?
  • axefrogaxefrog Member Posts: 10
    Yeah I guess I can boil what we're saying down to a request to expose the API to the community (via REST/whatever) as early as possible so participation and contribution can begin early and be able to keep pace with the rest of the project.
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