CoinDesk’s Hard Fork 'Text Size' Debacle Temporarily Averted

A temporary solution to the ongoing text size debate has been reached, CoinDesk has learned.

AccessTimeIconApr 1, 2016 at 4:14 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:12 p.m. UTC
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A temporary solution to the ongoing text size debate has been reached, CoinDesk has learned, ending the contentious hard fork that risked leaving readers viewing news articles with incompatible text sizes.

The debate, fueled by text size problems experienced by news blockchain users earlier today, sparked the launch of competing implementations of the news blockchain, most notably CoinDesk Turbo, led by journalist Stan Higgins, and CoinDesk Smooth, a proposal put forth by CoinDesk editor Pete Rizzo.

The team behind Turbo had sought to increase the text size whereas Smooth was positioned as a means to increase the size of CoinDesk’s pages, thereby making the text larger.

Now, CoinDesk has moved to organize an event six months from now at which various stakeholders in the news blockchain will discuss proposals for increasing scalability. Early ideas include allowing for dynamic text sizes or the creation of an off-chain network to facilitate information flows in what has been unofficially dubbed the Stringing Network.

Leaders on both sides of the debate quickly weighed in telling CoinDesk that the plan to discuss future options at a meeting, set to take place in Ordos, China this summer.

“I believe this solution will create opportunities to address concerns of both the small texters and the large texters,” CoinDesk Smooth chief scientist Pete Rizzo said in an emailed statement. “Despite a contentious debate involving members of the CoinDesk Turbo team, this solution represents the kind of consensus needed to expand mass adoption of our news blockchain.”

In interview, CoinDesk Turbo chief scientist Stan Higgins argued that the solution was not a permanent one, and merely amounted to kicking the can down the road on the text size issue.

He told CoinDesk:

“Our readers won’t wait for a text size solution, especially one from certain nameless VC-captured interests who seek to artificially limit the text size in order to push their agenda. More debate is good, but right now the news blockchain is at risk of losing out to more competitive networks. We’re not done. CoinDesk Turbo will succeed.”

CoinDesk reporter Michael del Castillo could not be reached at press time.

At press time, text size issues had reportedly been resolved as users began, at least temporarily, migrating back to the majority CoinDesk Smooth software.

CoinDesk will continue monitoring this developing story.

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