IPFS problems: Community
I was an avid IPFS user until yesterday. Many many times I asked simple questions for which I couldn’t find an answer on the internet in the #ipfs IRC channel on Freenode. Most of the times I didn’t get an answer, and even when I got it was rarely by someone who knew IPFS deeply. I’ve had issues go unanswered on js-ipfs repositories for year – one of these was raising awareness of a problem that then got fixed some months later by a complete rewrite, I closed my own issue after realizing that by myself some couple of months later, I don’t think the people responsible for the rewrite were ever acknowledge that he had fixed my issue.
Some days ago I asked some questions about how the IPFS protocol worked internally, sincerely trying to understand the inefficiencies in finding and fetching content over IPFS. I pointed it would be a good idea to have a drawing showing that so people would understand the difficulties (which I didn’t) and wouldn’t be pissed off by the slowness. I was told to read the whitepaper. I had already the whitepaper, but read again the relevant parts. The whitepaper doesn’t explain anything about the DHT and how IPFS finds content. I said that in the room, was told to read again.
Before anyone misread this section, I want to say I understand it’s a pain to keep answering people on IRC if you’re busy developing stuff of interplanetary importance, and that I’m not paying anyone nor I have the right to be answered. On the other hand, if you’re developing a super-important protocol, financed by many millions of dollars and a lot of people are hitting their heads against your software and there’s no one to help them; you’re always busy but never delivers anything that brings joy to your users, something is very wrong. I sincerely don’t know what IPFS developers are working on, I wouldn’t doubt they’re working on important things if they said that, but what I see – and what many other users see (take a look at the IPFS Discourse forum) is bugs, bugs all over the place, confusing UX, and almost no help.