The Salmon Series

Mr Salmon

The Salmon Series (TSS for short) is a set of infographics born from the hand-notes I have been taking while studying Monero’s inner workings.

They are one page PDF files, landscape oriented to best fit common monitors, or printable (suggested size: A4/Letter, and A3/Tabloid for the most packed ones - the body font size usually being 8). The page space is often organized in subsections, so to be able to zoom-in with small displays or to permit partial, separate, still consistent printings in case of A3/Tabloid lack.

The contents are to be thought as cheatsheets recapping the topics in a concise, schematic, still hopefully effective way: they try to offer a comprehensive all-in-one view stressing concepts and omitting details if more distracting than useful to understand the important ideas; when possible, visual elements and colours are employed to help reaching the goal. Of course this kind of resource cannot be a rigorous or self-sufficient reference, but authoritative sources that I have consulted are listed, to let the interested reader have everything needed:

Monero Addresses Cheatsheet - Dec 6th, 2020
Between the ‘big picture’ and the mathematical details, a single-page recap of various keys, addresses, scopes (private/public, spend/view, on-chain/off-chain, payer’s/payee’s) and their relations
Rings Cheatsheet - Mar 1st, 2021
From generic legacy signature to CLSAG, a visual-holic journey through Rings flavours, presenting their core properties step-by-step in a poster-size infographic
RingCT Cheatsheet - Jun 4th, 2021
The recipe of a delicious RingCT Type 5 transaction: one CLSAG every eleven UTXOs, Moneroj amounts to taste; thicken everything with Pedersen Commitments whose overall equilibrium will be evident to waiters as well, and protect last ones with a BulletProof glaze; serve on chosen Stealth Addresses and consume not before ten blocks later. Cheers!
ZK Basics Cheatsheet - Jun 21st, 2022
A lightly theoretical interlude (hopefully still gentle, trying to stress concepts more than formalism and selecting the approached topics) to lay the foundations for Bulletproof and other future Zero-Knowledge-related features, if any


Where all of this comes from

I began to read Mastering Monero in early 2020 driven by that “Mastering” in the title: coming from Mastering Bitcoin I was searching for an introductory, still catching-all resource about the coin (at that time my only knowledge about Monero was coming from crypto news aggregators, depicting it as a maybe controversial project but for sure very dynamic and brave to raise the bar of anonimity, continuously improving tech in a best-is-enemy-of-good fashion). It has been the fall in the rabbit’s hole, and soon I was digging into Zero to Monero: Second Edition as well and other resources, available online in large numbers thanks to the community-based nature of the project.

Soon I perceived an understandable lack of uniformity in offered documentation (as often happens with many, loosely harmonized contribs) and I missed any diagrams helping me about formulas; given my learning habits -not well suited to a lot of formalism and styles to be reconciled- I had to take my own recapping notes:

handnotes

The next step has been to think that my notes could be useful to someone else dealing with my same difficulties, so The Salmon Series started with a first cheatsheet about Monero Addresses made publicly available by the end of 2020. Of course the idea of the series has come much later, as the “salmon”: it derives from employed colours, having semantic meanings (even if weak, e.g.: private vs. public, properties degrees, …) but also a unifying function as a recurring theme, and remembering salmon browning (from raw to well-done) to the my eyes :-) (BTW: yes, I know salmon scales are grey, but I wanted Mr Salmon opening this page to be cute lol!)

real salmon slice

I usually release on my GitHub, update this page, and I also open a PR on getmonero.org to made my work available on its Library section: usually in one or two months my contributions are reviewed and merged. Some of them have been translated into Russian, as well.