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Code Valley starts the industrial revolution of coding today, with the help of bitcoin

Noel Lovisa has been thinking about the industrial revolution, and how programming might go through a similar transformation. The Founder of Code Valley has been working on the idea since 1994. Mass production is the key to industrialisation, Lovisa posits in the Code Valley whitepaper, and mass production is built upon the principles of standardisation, interchangeability and reductionism.

Noel Lovisa has been thinking about the industrial revolution, and how programming might go through a similar transformation. The Founder of Code Valley has been working on the idea since 1994.

Mass production is the key to industrialization, Lovisa posits in the Code Valley whitepaper, and mass production is built upon the principles of standardization, interchangeability and reductionism.

Code Valley Logo“Whilst it is true that ‘standardisation’, through the advent of software libraries, modularity, object-oriented programming and the like, has permitted some degree of interchangeability, a mass produced software components industry has yet to emerge.”
— – Noel Lovisa & Julie Lovisa, Code Valley

Lovisa has devised “a truly industrialized software system,” where software can be developed using a supply-chain. Supply and demand, coupled with competition and innovation, can then drive production.

A typical software development cycle starts with a client contracting a specialist supplier and provide software requirements. The supplier then designs and delivers software satisfying those requirements in return for suitable remuneration. However, unbeknownst to the client, the product delivered by the supplier could well be an assemblage of other products provided by subcontracted suppliers.

Supply chains of this nature have been instrumental in the success of many industries, where the application of reductionism, interchangeability, and standardization has led to specialization, automation, and intense competition. As a result, costs are driven down while quality, performance, and speed are driven up in a continuous cycle that rewards innovation.

“Whilst it is easy to specialise in software, it is virtually impossible to build a viable business as a specialist, thus robbing industrialisation of its most vital basis – specialisation.”
— – Lovisa

The Code Valley Cloud Marketplace opened this morning. The name gives a false impression that the product is an ecommerce site facilitating the exchange of goods and services between third parties. However, the innovation behind Code Valley is far more novel.

how emergent coding worksLovisa describes the new process as “emergent coding,” a completely new way of designing and building software, of which one part requires a marketplace.

The Code Valley marketplace is a cloud of software programs created by developers. These programs are called Vendors. It’s easiest to think of a Vendor program as a “developer bot,” Lovisa told BNC. Each one is a very complicated piece of software, and designed to be as singular in function as possible, calling on other Vendors to perform subtasks it needs to complete its own task. Code Valley connects these Vendor bots so that they can be used to automatically, autonomously and collectively design, build, and deliver software.

When a new project is initiated, it sets off a chain-reaction of contracts within the cloud of Vendor bots, creating a unique and very elaborate supply chain for software creation and delivery. The starting point is a special program called a Principal, which is designed to be an expert at capturing application requirements.

Behind the scenes, this Principal program carries out the design by taking requirements, making some decisions, and delegating the design of specific features to lower level Vendors selected from a global pool of competing Vendor programs. The selected Vendor programs design their own features by making internal decisions, which cause them to select other slightly lower level Vendor programs to design slightly smaller features. The process repeats until the features can no longer be broken down any further.

The contracts eventually form a unique supply-chain for each project. Vendors at the end of the chain return bytes, which are combined and passed up the chain. A short time later, the supply-chain disappears and a complete program is returned, built to your requirements.

“Eventually, the process reaches a point where the features are so ‘small’ that there is no more delegation necessary. At this point, the features are tantamount to binary CPU instructions, and this is where the design actually gives way to code.”
— – Code Valley

In a broad sense, this system allows developers to hard-wire their knowledge about a specific area of coding into a program that will do the work. Each Vendor is expected to be designed to make the same decisions the owner would make.

Creating the Vendor bots is done by developers through the marketplace portal. Layer upon layer of categorization and descriptive syntax await each developer. Details include what the Vendor does, how it can be run, and how much it costs.

The Valley

Principals may be instructed to find the Vendors with the cheapest prices, or they may be instructed to find the most efficient code. The Vendor that best fits the needs of the Principal will win the contract and get paid, all without any human intervention.

what is code valleyA technology such as this has the potential to ease many of the burdens that today’s software developers face, but it requires a collaborative system of interconnected agents who follow consistent rules. Out of these simple agents emerges complex software.

Such a collaborative system transcends borders. “Our product is not physical, it is virtual,” Lovisa states. “A technology with global reach such as this requires a complementary monetisation scheme that has a similar global reach. Bitcoin is that scheme.”

After adding Bitcoin as the payments solution and restructuring the project in 2013, Lovisa feels he has finally solved the problem of how to industrialize software creation. Doing so will allow a whole new system of software development to arise, where software products of all kinds get created in hours or even minutes. It will also allow developers to specialize more on the functions and niches that they are interested in.

“Emergent coding is a new way of developing software. It is not reliant on Bitcoin; it is amplified by Bitcoin.”
— – Lovisa

The current cost of building a Vendor bot is 5 mBTC. There is a token fortnightly fee of 1 mBTC to advertise your Vendor in the Valley, to keep the Valley from becoming unmanageable or hard to navigate.

Since a Vendor is a fairly complex piece of machinery, according to Lovisa, it is not unreasonable for the build cost to be substantially higher than 5 mBTC. As the system is designed to build software, the marketplace itself can build the Vendor for the developer. This fee is distributed amongst all Vendors who contribute to building that developer’s Vendor.

And this brings us to why Code Valley is stepping in and building Vendors for developers; to substantially reduce the costs of getting up and running. The Marketplace launches with less than two hundred Vendor bots, many of which were created by in-house Code Valley developers. They’ve created just under 700 programs during development and testing, including the Code Valley website itself.

Code Valley screen shot

Both the front and back end of the site was a single program built by the marketplace. The project used a generic Principal to contract directly into the marketplace, and eight Vendors to design the high-level features of the program.

The Code Valley site was delivered in 67 minutes. Over 600,000 contracts went out to Vendors in the marketplace, half of them to ‘byte’ Vendors at the ends of the supply-chain.

“As more and more developers build and deploy Vendors to this virtual marketplace, the capability of the marketplace will grow. Soon, end-users or ‘citizen developers’ will be able to directly harness this marketplace of Vendors to build their own custom applications.”
— – Lovisa

Lovisa clearly cautions that the system is brand new, and needs more Vendors. Once the Valley matures, he is convinced that the level of quality and complexity that programs made in Code Valley will outshine traditional systems.“We are not just inviting developers to use a marketplace,” he said, “we are inviting developers to adopt a new technology.”

If a group of developers currently working on Bitcoin wallet software were to cast their knowledge into Vendors instead, the marketplace would instantly be capable of seamlessly adding a Bitcoin wallet ‘feature’ to any other software application. “You would simply select the one you want and pay that Vendor to design and integrate a wallet into your application,” Lovisa explained.

“We can expect adoption to follow traditional patterns,” said Lovisa, “an initially conservative uptake, a building of momentum, accelerated adoption and then saturation.”

While the Valley is still in beta, the build fee is being waived for developers who make worthwhile educational contributions to the system, such as referring other developers, blog posts or articles explaining certain concepts, support materials or even video screencasts demonstrating example Vendor expressions. There are also ongoing benefits for helping spread the word.

“Developers who are particularly active in making such contributions will also be awarded the status of ‘Contributor’ in the Valley,” Lovisa said. “Any prospective clients who sees such a status next to a Vendor will know that that Vendor was expressed by a developer who is becoming an authority on emergent coding.”


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