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Show HN: Satellite is a forkable, P2P, publicly hosted social platform (satellite.earth)
44 points by lovvtide 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

I signed up and I really like the concept and the ideals behind satellite, kudos for that!

But here some of my opinions to improve the experience:

The sign-up should say the minimum amount of ETH required to create an account, I wanted to test the process of getting it from the platform so I used the "Need ETH? We got you covered" button and it worked without a problem.

There are some tiny problem with the UI, for example the font color for some parts of the UI blends in with the background and makes it really difficult to read it, for example: usernames on comments, the network activity (navbar, left of "Media"), titles and icons on the left menu bar on profiles ("Public Earth ID" and "Satellite Data"), bio on profiles, etc...

The landing page looks beautiful, but sometimes it freezes my browser for a second, since it is heavy js, but that might be my fault because of my 200+ tabs open.

I am really curious on how Satellite will expand and scale with more users, especially the constellation page, and once again congrats, you are building the future of web!

It's encouraging to see decentralized efforts like this underway. I especially like the "Daisy Bell" song at the end of one of the promo videos. Great inside joke.

Is substituting one centralization in place of another really called "decentralized efforts" now?

1) youtube: google account, sso 2) keybase: identity, proofs minted on the bitcoin blockchain 3) satellite: identity, signatures minted on ethereum blockchain

The difference is that when you create a google account your user info is stored in a private database. In Satellite, the reasons for going through all the trouble of storing user IDs on Ethereum are 1) So account creation is permissionless 2) It's not possible for Satellite or anyone else to delete your ID and 3) Any application can read the data from the blockchain that links your name to your key.

Seems pretty decentralized to me. What am I missing?

What's the identity/signatures you mentioned for Satellite? It doesn't require an email address, for example, so what's associating an account to the actual real life me. Genuine question.

Someone finally got the joke!

How does one sign up? Maybe I’m missing something since I’m viewing on mobile but I don’t see any option to register or login or create a new identity or whatnot.

Desktop. I couldn't see how to sign up on mobile either but I guess it's because it's a little more complicated than normal account generation; you will need an ethereum wallet.

I followed the simple instructions and installed the MetaMask ext. for FireFox. Gave them an email address (I used a throw away account) and they will deposit a little ethereum so you can sign up. Very simple but there are steps that's better completed at your desk.

Yes that's correct. User IDs are stored on Ethereum so to sign up you need a way for your browser to interact with the blockchain. Mobile support for Ethereum wallets is not quite there yet (but it's getting better!).

Note about the ether faucet: unfortunately it seems that the Ethereum gas price is very high right now (https://ethgasstation.info/) The server is programmed to provide 0.008 ETH, which under normal conditions is enough for the tx fee, but due to the high gas price you might encounter an "insufficient balance" message when confirming the transaction to create your ID. If that happens, please wait a little while until the gas price comes down a bit and try again.

I should add that using Satellite only requires writing data to the blockchain when you signup. Once your ID exists you can use it to sign things that you post, and that doesn't cost anything.

Nice, web3 has that get gas price function if you want to get rid of that volatility. You could probably multiple seed amount by some multiple of gas price so it adjusts iteself. And you can throw in a factor of safety too of 10%-20% but it is more expensive :)

I'm curious, what did you use for automatic seeding? Are you using an array of addresses to seed many people at once, or just sending from one and waiting for the nonce to increment when tx confirms? I know you said you're doing manual now because people were messing with it, but I'm wondering what you consider a 'scalable' tx distribution setup for seeding.

Many thanks for the info. Love the site design/build BTW.

May I suggest advising mobile users to use a desktop to sign up, if you are going to continue to hide the sign up from mobile users. The barrier to entry is high enough with the ethereum coupling, frustrating mobile users could be somewhat mitigated with a message. Cheers.

That's a really great point. How did we miss that... thank you!


BTW, 2 hours ago I recevied the initial email from Satellite to add ETH to my wallet. I clicked the link and confirmed. The message said it would be a few minutes until I receive ETH (I forget the exact message). Is a few hours to be expected? I've checked my spam folder.

I just approved the ether request. Sorry about the delay, we had to switch to manual approval because too many people were stealing ether!

Many thanks!! Appreciate you.

I don't normally appreciate overly JS/heavy landing pages, but that is my favourite landing page I've seen in quite a while.

That's the coolest thing I've seen this year.

Where is the link to the source code?

We're finishing up the documentation and will be releasing it shortly.

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