Free of charge = No Support?

Hello Community,

I would be interested in your opinion on the following problem:

Today I thought about leaving the DAppNode project.

I started with a NanoPC and the project “Ethereum on ARM”. Unfortunately the initiators of the project have dedicated themselves to the hardware RaspberryPi at some point and did not support the NanoPC anymore. There were no more answers to questions or error descriptions.

On the search for a favorable possibility to participate in the project ETH2 I came across DAppNode. I was enthusiastic about the efforts of the brains behind the project. But also here the operators lack the time to take care of the community. Questions remain unanswered and there are no reliable statements whether certain modules will be maintained or further developed (especially DMS for Medalla / mainnet).

Without the certainty that I can monitor my hardware and my validators when mainnet starts, I have no confidence in the project. I also know that I have no claim to updates. However, I am disappointed that my Gitcoin grants are used for things I don’t know or can’t understand.

As a result I am currently thinking about changing to the “sister project” AVADO. I think I find comparable technology and comparable packages.

Disadvantage is a “closed system”. But the advantage will be a dedicated support (I hope).

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I think your assessment is correct. Two parts to consider 1. level of support & 2. alternatives.

  1. I do see the lack of support for the individual questions. I attribute this to prioritization. I have seen much bigger issues take the the focus (as they should) I have also seen an open position for some type of support role on this team (I believe) as well as other users suggestions to use incentive systems to allow users with more knowledge to help other users. Bottom line I agree this NEEDS to be addressed but it seems to be acknowledged by the DAPP node team.
  2. While I have not looked at the alternative. Having a sound financial model for support would recommend this to the DAPPnode team. I would bet money that if users have lock up eth to run a validator they would gladly pay for support. (I would pay for that support today if it was provided) .

Last thoughts: The spirit of DAPPnode is to decentralize. The project tries to lower the barrier to enter this space and participate. There is a spectrum to this concept. I imagine coinbase (US crypto exchange) will have some sort of staking service in the future and you will just click a button and it will be done. That would be one end of the spectrum and the other would be creating your custom staking setup from scratch while having to spend much time learning and researching with no support. I do hope as the project progresses more support is given but I do not have the expectation that any project that values decentralization will have a support model that takes away the need for one to learn more about the underlying technology.

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Ouch! But Spot on, @heigo, I hear you loud and clear.

This is currently our biggest problem. @Patrickayelle hit the nail in the head while saying that we are working to correct that and, in the meanwhile, while trying to hire, we are prioritizing development of things that will make a better product, while letting some balls drop - among them: community support.

Let me offer an explanation of why this happened the way it happened:

  • We went from a team of 4 to a team of 3, and hiring is being really difficult. Moreover, hiring in August means that most people have decided to take summer holidays and join the team after.
  • We are indeed hiring a specific person for support. He is a fucking superstar that has built support systems from scratch for two tech startups already… I can’t wait for him to join the team! he’s the best person to take care of these concerns BY FAR.
  • Regarding the certainty on ETH2.0 packages and tools - everything that has been available on Testnet will be available, except the automatic deployment of validator keys that we prepared for the Onyx testnet (we have decided to go with the Official ETH2.0 Launchpad for generating withdrawal and validator keys, instead of an easier but potentially less secure alternative). The ETH2.0 module for the DMS, the dashboard and the client switching features will be available.

You WILL be able to monitor your hardware and validators, rest assured. The only reason why we haven’t integrated it beyond the dashboard in the Medalla package (meaning no integration in the Dappnode Monitoring System yet) is because we have had to prioritize hardcore - publish updates for beacon and validators being one of them.

I don’t quite understand what you mean by “no claim to updates”. Could you elaborate?

That’s a great point on transparency. Let me clear it here and now, but we can probably have a better update mechanism for the donors. The money, as explained in the gitcoin grant description, is being used for 2 purposes:

  1. ETH2.0 development. That’s what paid for the DAppNode packages, the development of the validator dashboard, the “switch client” feature, etc. And yes, it could have been faster, and it will be as soon as we get more people.
  2. The second acknowledges the fact that the core team can’t be the only one championing packages or it will become a bottleneck. Managing the coordination with a potentially unlimited number of open source projects to maintain the packages updated is just not feasible - hence we suggested offering bounties to community members to do so. A more formalized approach to doing it has been the Champions initiative (read more here: Package Champions).
    There are some talks with community members to do just that.

Appreciate you taking the time to lay down your concerns so clearly!

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I also send an email to support, wanting to buy $1720 DappNodeXtreme, and email bounced back to me.
Later on, someone answered and said that he/she is “on vacation” and cannot answer my questions.

This was impossible even during the communism. If vacation is more important to customer support, than to earn $1720, I’m starting to think that this website or “project” is complete scam.

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Thank you so much for your time and the explanations. See much clearer now and will still be with DAppNode and the team :slight_smile:

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lol, I think we often don’t think through what we say and put ourselves in the shoes of others. Have we ever thought about how many emails like that should be sent to them? (emails that are scam for sure) I don’t think the project is scam, far from it, do you really think that a project like DappNode is scam after more than 3 years of hard work?
That’s exactly why (customer support) is always advancing and shaping the project in the form of new packages and releasing ALL the code project. If you can’t buy a pre-assembled DappNode you can always buy the parts and install the code yourself, I don’t think a project that does this is scam and even less so when the people on the team are public and can be contacted via Telegram, Riot, on the forum …
If you need help, ask for it, but criticizing to do harm… sorry I don’t understand.

It was me, @mihailo!
And you’re right - as you might have read above, we’re hiring someone for customer support.

Also - just for clarification - our main product is Free Open Source Software that anyone can install in their machines absolutely free (install.dappnode.io). If we offer the machines with the hardware preinstalled it’s just for the convenience of those who don’t want or don’t have the time to set up their own dedicated machine. That said - if we are to professionalize the shop - your request for pre-sales support is noted and will be addressed.

@Lanski @wimel @heigo

Yes, @Lanski now I understand that you are open source project, and I can see now that you are reliable community. I apology for my too harsh reaction.
But as the shop owner myself, I warmly advise you not to leave support mail without staff, because if there is not support, it is uneasy to new people to trust you.
Also, if you are trying to sell something, you cannot be on vacation, because if the 300€ vacation is more important than 1700€ profit, it also gives a bad a impression to potential customers.

I wish all the best to you. I ordered the machine, so I’ll review my experience when I get it. And I’m really willing to give you productive honest marketing advice if ever you need it.

All the best.

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I’m happy you decided to go through despite the challenges!
Looking forward to hearing your feedback about the machine.

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I just want to say that I received NUC, I’m doing first testing with Goerli network, and I’m really really satisfied.
Great job done. :+1:

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Thanks Mihailo! As an update, the support person we hired is already getting up to speed with the project!

I’m really glad to hear that!
And I really hope that this projects will produce something great in the coming future. It’s not easy to find something with such a great potential in modern cryptoworld as a Dappnode project!
Take care! :wink:

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