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Re: Compact blocks
Definitely a fan of compact blocks to mitigate some impact of a faster block time. A few random thoughts below:
On range proof validation: Doing all we can to reduce duplicate range proof transmission seems like a big win. I prefer the amended version in the last email to the original proposal. Using a partial output rather than an output identifier introduces a fair bit of complexity.
As far as I can tell, the specific construction of the output hash's preimage has not been determined. If we move forward with this mechanism, it becomes critically important that the hash covers the range proof itself. A situation where the hash resolves ambiguously should be avoided at all costs.
On inputs being part of the scheme: Since an input is by itself little more than a hash, it seems like the gain there is likely fairly small. We have thus far avoided the need to uniquely identify inputs by anything other than what output it is spending. I think I'd prefer inputs to be in the block in their entirety.
This is a cool design! I think nailing down some of the specific aspects of the design will require a bit of protocol testing but this makes sense as a foundation to start with.