Abstractions in pen;
protocols for protocols.
Recipes for glue

This post is mostly a wandering journey looking at impacts of “EIP-4444: History Expiry” (a facet of The Purge), which necessitates alternative history access. The Portal Network is positioned to provide that access, and I am interested in what are the flow on effects of “sweeping away” history.


What will it be like to use a light-weight client?

What are some pieces that are important in the story?

I start out poking around with a few ideas. That leads to some code, then to a spec, and a few other ideas. I hope you enjoy this informal journey with me.

Really it started with this kernel of an idea:

Introspection on ones own wallet is not really possible without a bit
of trust-hand-waving or a trusty dedicated ubuntu machine.

But it could be! The ingredients seem to be there at least.

prōtos “first” + kolla “glue”

Part Question Answer
Part I: Musing Is there an underserved user in the history-expiry roadmap? Yes, a regular wallet user
Part II: Code Can you divide a useful index into tiny useful parts? Yes, prototype
Part III: Specifying Could other clients use a divided index? Yes, with a spec
Part IV: Examining Does a divided index result in anything useful? Yes, personal history
Part V: Remotes Can remote resources make tx history human-readable? Yes, through decoding and ABIs
Part VI: Acquisitions Can useful remote resources become distributed? Yes, by generalising a format
Part VII: Coalesce Is a local, lighthweight personal history browser a good idea? It’s plausibly so
Part VIII: Hoovering Can private API-based database curators coexist with distributed database design? Yes, by standards for distribution

If you like, these are the spoilers that came out of this:

  • A meta-specification for a “Volumes and Chapters” publishing model.
    • A formula for making data updateable, shardable and publisher-agnostic.
      • Updateable (CIDs never change)
      • Shardable (users can get subsets that are relevant to them)
      • Publishser-agnostic (publishing is a protocol that anyone can follow)
    • It is a meta-spec because it is a spec that other specs can comply with.
    • https://github.com/perama-v/TODD
  • A rust library using generics to implement the “Volumes and Chapters” publishing model.
  • A specification for transformation of the UnchainedIndex into a “Volumes and Chapters” publishing model.
  • A smart contract standard for publishing.
    • The “Volumes and Chapters” meta-spec outlines a manifest-based publishing model.
    • A smart contract allows cencorship-resistant posting of IPNS names and publishing topics.
    • https://github.com/perama-v/GAMB
  • A simple address exploration rust application that puts everything together.
    • Tries to get wallet history with <1GB data and no APIs
    • Essentially consists of
      • An experimental “Volumes and Chapters” variant of the UnchainedIndex.
      • A Portal node.
      • The Heimdall decompiler.
      • (TODO) Experimental “Volumes and Chapters” variants of 4byte registry, Sourcify and a names/tags database.
    • https://github.com/perama-v/PSR_B0943_10

The direction of this user interface demo is something like:

[User: Clicks on their wallet]

Address 0x846b...4cb9 (imagine this is "your-wallet")

Has had 2 transactions

Transaction 1
    - WETH Deposit
        - to UniswapV2-router
        - wad 140000000000000000 (0.14 tokens)
    - WETH Transfer
        - from UniswapV2-router
        - to UniswapV2-pair
        - wad 140000000000000000 (0.14 tokens)
    - LABRA Transfer
        - from UniswapV2-pair
        - to your-wallet
        - amount 55479990315601131228 (55479990315 tokens)
    - UniswapV2 Sync
        - reserve0 27434359272513446845001
        - reserve1 67780564455540887653
    - UniswapV2 Swap
        - sender UniswapV2-router
        - amount0In 31062407892934044
        - amount1In 140000000000000000
        - amount0Out 56612235015919521660
        - amount1Out 0
        - to your-wallet

Transaction 2
    - ...
        - some loan
        - a multisig approval
        - a NFT acquisition
        - ...

It’s a little plain, but it is also evident what “transaction 1” is roughly about. This interface is possible in a resource constrained device in a post-EIP-4444 world. Where the full decentralised local mini-account explorer for a user could be <1GB.

Using theoretical combination of:

  • Portal network client
  • Pieces of special distributable databases:
    • An index of address appearances
    • An event signature database
    • A contract ABI database
  • A broadcasting system to get the manifests of:
    • The index
    • The event signature database
    • The contract ABI database

The how-s and the why-s are covered in post-s.

Here is a diagram of the idea. Scan for the 4 appearances of the word “BONUS” so find the interesting parts. The game is to get to the bottom without using an API.

For higher resolution, try the SVG version.