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I just saw that the Minds social network (a ethereum dapp I believe) is written in PHP. Their codebase is huge and I'm having trouble finding where their Smart contracts are written/how they are actually storing information in the Blockchain.

I also always see stuff on the web saying you build dapps in Solidity.

What layers of a dapp can be written in a regular high level language vs a niche Smart contract language like Solidity?

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Smart contracts have to be written in a language which can be compiled into the right type of bytecode. So in theory any language will do but in reality Solidity is almost the only option - there are a few other small niche languages (Serpent, LLL) but with not much usage.

On top of the smart contract is some client which interacts with the blockchain - typically Geth or Parity. This is usually not written by hand but a ready client is used. Or you can use a ready service provider's node, such as Infura.

On top of the client (or client connection) you can build whatever you want with whatever you want. If it's a web interface you want some HTML code in some fashion. Or it can be some other type of interface such as a desktop app. The main point is that the user interface side can be written with anything and after the node connection (Client) part starts the niche blockchain code.

  • So the client has some sort of API that the user interface can hit? I'm assuming this is the case, but I'd like confirmation :) . Also, does the client have to be installed on every users machine? – srlrs20020 Aug 22 at 13:40
  • Something like that, yes. See for example here: github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/JSON-RPC#json-rpc-api The node client should be centralized and user interfaces call it remotely. – Lauri Peltonen Aug 22 at 15:54
  • so the client is the subscriber and the smart contract is the publisher, passing JSON-RPC messages? @Lauri – srlrs20020 Aug 22 at 23:56
  • The connection works both ways. Client sends data and receives data. – Lauri Peltonen Aug 23 at 5:22

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