Advancing decentralization of the internet computer through NNS Replica Version Management proposal reviews and independent voting.
Voting on Replica Version Management proposals is arguably the most important opportunity at this time that can advance the decentralization of the internet computer protocol (ICP). After all, the reason the network nervous system (NNS) exists is to enable decentralized decisions on what code changes are allowed to be implemented. ICP is still a very young blockchain and it makes sense that the founding organization, DFINITY Foundation, would have the majority of the development skill and voting power to implement changes. They accel at ensuring complete, reliable, well tested, and secure changes are proposed. However, if the goal is decentralization, then people and organizations that have a stake in ICP need to start getting more involved at the protocol level. A good place to start is performing the IC-OS Verification as well as sanity checks on the Release Notes of proposals submitted by DFINITY every week and then voting on the proposals independently.
The CodeGov project will advocate for and incentivize a community of developers to actively engage in reviewing Replica Version Management proposals. At a minimum, we perform IC-OS Verification as well as a sanity check on the Release Notes for every proposal that is submitted to the NNS as a Replica Version Management proposal topic. We hope to set a positive and credible example for how other people and organizations in the IC ecosystem can get involved in the decentralization of the internet computer at the protocol level.
The reviewers who participate in the CodeGov project are developers in the ICP ecosystem. They dedicate a few hours of their time each weekend to reviewing Replica Version Management proposals and voting independently as Followees for the CodeGov.org named neuron. The most active reviewers include @massimoalbarello @ilbert @cyberowl @Gekctek @Icdev2dev @NathanosDev @tiago89 @jwiegley @ZackDS @Zane.
Reviews by the CodeGov team have been ongoing since April 2023. To date, we have reviewed 62 total Replica Version Management proposals, performed 308 cumulative IC-OS Verifications, and spent over 170 cumulative hours reviewing release notes and code. While the CodeGov neuron owns only 1.2 votes in the NNS, we have followers that amount to 5.8% total voting power in the NNS when we vote before DFINITY and 7.6% total voting power in the NNS when we vote after DFINITY.
Our goal is to continue reviewing code changes and contributing to the decentralization of ICP with our independent vote. At a minimum, we want to remain focused on Replica Version Management proposal topics. There is a lot of interest in expanding our scope of work to also include reviews of System Canister Management proposals. These are the proposal types that update the governance canister, the NNS dApp, and other important system canisters, so reviewing and voting independently on these proposals seem important to decentralization of ICP. It will require additional developers on the CodeGov team. Ideally, the team would grow enough to also enable each developer to specialize on specific commit subjects so they can dive deeper into each subject instead of spending so much time on the surface of all subjects. There are a few developers on the team who are interested in integrating AI into our reviews as a support mechanism for our reviews. This would not replace human reviewers, but the idea is to enable our reviewers to do more in less time. There are a few other ideas that may be of interest to our developers for the development of tooling that will improve the efficiency of our work.