Engineering Milestones (8/4/2017)

Hi Livepeer Community,

As we are working toward a live test network, I want to give a quick update about a few engineering milestones coming in the next 3 months.

Testnet Soft Launch - Late Aug
The goal for this milestone is to get some early feedback from people who don’t work on Livepeer everyday. It’s meant to be a small group of people who wants to give our early alpha software a try and help us work out the kinks.

We’ll have the basic command line tools for broadcasting and viewing a live stream. The broadcasting software will likely only support OSX(Macs), and the transcoding software will likely only support Linux. We will support video viewing both through a Livepeer node and through a traditional CDN (something like CloudFront or Fastly). The protocol smart contract will be live on our private Ethereum chain for quick update needs, and test tokens will be distributed to users.

If you are using this version of the network, expect instabilities, delays, and an exciting glimpse to the very first version of Livepeer. If you are comfortable with the OSX / linux command line and would like to help us test the network, email eric @ livepeer dot org for more information.

Testnet Launch - Late Sep
The goal for this milestone is to have the Testnet equivalence of the Snowmelt phase. We’ll deploy our smart contracts onto the official Ethereum Testnet, and anyone who wants to test out Livepeer will be able to request test tokens and use the network.

The protocol will have the complete set of basic economic incentives and dis-incentives for decentralized live streaming. There will be some basic tools for users and transcoders, and there will also be broadcaster software support for Windows. We will have a more stable network, a scheduled software release cycle, and better documentation.

This period is meant to get Livepeer into the hands of early adopters (especially miners and dapp developers) while we work out the remaining bugs to get the network ready for the Mainnet launch.

Mainnet Launch - Following Testnet Stability
This is when the world will be able to use Livepeer in a production setting. A lot of the details are still being worked out at this point, but the goal here is to have a stable network where users can do live streaming in a real-world setting. We plan to have basic UI for anyone who wants to do a broadcast, and good documentation / API support for anyone who wants to build applications using Livepeer.

There are a lot of moving pieces here and we may have to change our plans as we discover issues we didn’t account for. There are also have a lot of areas we can use help from the community. We welcome contribution in network engineer, video engineering, smart contract engineering, mobile development, front-end development, design, and documentation. If you have any questions, feel free to pop into our gitter and forum, or email me at eric @ livepeer dot org.

Eric from Livepeer

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Calling all interested transcoders…the testnet soft launch is a good chance to begin to learn the process of getting elected, keeping a node running that does the work, etc. It should run on a free (or nearly free) AWS server instance for a low # of jobs, so it won’t be a big commitment.