Tomislav is adding a few more tests, which will be the final Rnode 0.9.26 Last Finalized State (LFS) release.
Main net all nodes are running release 0.9.25.7, which is a bug fix release with fixes for the occasional data corruption errors in the lmdb database.
With 0.9.26-lfs-Pre-release, node catch up is now much improved. This release also includes many bug fixes including for the slashing /tuple space mismatch bug reported earlier. gRPC behaviour is improved with per validator grpc channel.
Main net has 20 nodes running plus observer nodes and exchange nodes.
Main difference between testing on Observer nodes vs. Validator nodes: When we test on the observer node, a large part of the code base is executed. The Block creation code runs only on the validator nodes. As a part of that, the portion of the Runtime Manager that plays the deploy is run on the validator node but not on the observer node.
Sprint 72 in progress
Main Focus is enabling 0.9.26 on the main net, continue Block merge work, Rholang v1.1, resolve any identified bugs, hardening the main net, improve performance. Most major library dependencies are updated to the latest feasible versions. Current PR list is at https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pulls . We are preparing for the epoch change. We plan to add 5 to 10 more nodes.
Current Work In Progress
Good progress on block merge - Will and nutzipper working on their respective parts of block merge and have begun to merge their streams of work. Will is working on conflict resolution and tests, runtime manager refactoring. nutzipper is working on additional refactoring needed for block merge. Tomislav is joining Will on the conflict resolution. We are making good progress on block merge.
Greg has formulated a simpler way of handling the conflicts. Tomislav and Will will implement the case without joins first, followed by implementation for joins (Greg is writing up the implementation for this).
At a later date, we may parameterize the libraries in the registry on channels, to further reduce conflicts. This is currently under investigation.
nutzipper's PR https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3259 is a temporary fix that lets the network continue in spite of tuple space mismatch, while we capture the state around the tuple space error. This is OK as long as all nodes are run by the coop but will be reverted when we start testing external validator scenarios. For now, this helps us reduce unnecessary work of restarting the network etc. when nodes are slashed due to this bug.
nutzipper is investigating what seems to be a peek bug. We have to analyze the behavior in the various locations in code and create an appropriate fix.
Plan is to release block merge in doses into the feature branch. We will demo once the block merge branch is ready.
Dependencies - more have been updated: Significant updates to the dependencies are completed, a few more underway. The next round of dependencies will be handled when we improve the monitoring framework - kamon, zipkin, influxdb etc.
Rholang v1.1 : Joe has completed the implementation of Let syntax including tests. His first PR is at https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3262 . He is now working on synchronous output. We will put out some release candidates on this branch soon. I encourage the community to test these releases early and often so that Joe gets the necessary testing feedback and we can move it towards deployment sooner than later.
His initial focus is on completing the send, receive, and let syntax portions of the spec at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FvPuiPm7ytGyklex_PEmVyJ8XgbTdIEg/view and then the for comprehension. First implementation will be a source to source translation of the new syntax into existing syntax. He is also creating tests as part of the effort. Most of these changes will need extensive testing when the system contracts etc. are re-written using the Rholang1.1 syntax. These changes will be in a separate feature branch and we will likely run a separate network eventually, to thoroughly test this implementation. We also need to create documentation to help end users verify their existing code and/or how to modify it to use the new syntax. The expectation is that the new syntax will make the learning curve a lot easier for people familiar with other languages. Separately, we need to update the IDE level tools to work with the new syntax. We will run much of this through the RCHIP and Tech Governance process.
Ongoing - Fix additional identified bugs
No change - API and usability improvements - in conjunction with the community
In Process - Will has mostly completed the OpenAPI/Swagger documentation of the RNode API https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3128 He's will try to resolve the reviewer comments after he's done with block merge work or as time permits. Familiarity with Swagger and the available swagger tools should make it easy for developers to use our API.
Future - Also in the thinking stage is an improvement to revdefine.io or elsewhere, a graph representation of payments / transfers on the network, with perhaps date+time and amount on the arcs.
Explanation for last finalized state (released in 0.9.26): The scope of this work enables (a) faster catchup by new nodes - you can start from the last finalized state - this is a differentiator for RChain (b) offloading older data, differentiated storage and retrieval strategies for the same (c) allows for a leaner / less bloated node. This change touches most parts of the code base. Having to pick between refactoring and work-arounds in various parts. Tomislav implemented a mostly modular and future-beneficial approach.
Hackathon Next hackathon tentatively scheduled for Jan 9-10, 2021. We need to make building the developer ecosystem an ongoing task, just like development. Ian, Steve Henley and team are actively reaching out to as many universities and groups as possible. Please promote the much improved hackathon page at https://rchain.coop/hackathon.html to all the groups you are part of.
In process - We need to further increase and properly size the Problem Statements, brief sessions on tips and tricks during the hackathon, and office hours during the hackathon. We will keep adding to the problem statements.
Ongoing - Learning examples, links to and improvement of documentation. Dan (dckc) has substantially improved the Rholang learning resources. Current plan is to make https://rholang.github.io/ the hub of all learning materials. dckc has been making substantial improvements to the learning materials as well as the API tools. The community is requested to contribute to any or all of these.
Ongoing - We are slowly moving from Jira to Github for the development team, started publishing release notes in Github with release 0.9.25. New issues are entered only in github. For a while, we will maintain in both Jira and Github.
Thursday 10 AM Eastern. Meets alternate weeks. Last meeting focused on how to implement and manage shard configuration. Meeting notes are at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fvxMC6Bt5XwbVaLzYPy6ZPB8KzJvASO2sKRC6ZCPwpI Discussions and work on a model of economics to ensure network security is proceeding. Most recent discussion was about ensuring some amount of stake beyond a 4 month window, spreading out stake over a longer time and how to incentivize that, while ensuring that everyone pays for network security.
ToDo - There were questions from the community regarding enabling privacy and zero knowledge proofs on the chain - this is in active discussion. Greg will create a position statement on this and likely discuss the current state of the art, use cases and potential approaches in an RCast session. Same with sharding and cross-chain operation.
In progress - Excel Model for 'economics of sustainable network security and decentralization' to enable community understanding of the inter-relationships and community conversation around these issues. Will be releasing the initial version soon. May have multiple releases.
Looking for developers to help make progress on the RChat effort using zulip. SRT and possibly Will to add 'Rchain to zulip' functionality. Invite any community members with the expertise to help in this.
Current Backlog (partial)
Improve merging in system deploys
Improve Casper by enabling more tests and resolving identified code issues
Improve multi-parent Casper enablement
Resolve slashing bugs, including additional refactoring of RunTimeManager
Implement sharding capabilities
Improve logging to be able to learn what API calls are being used, so they can be related to resource use and performance etc
Rholang 1.1 to improve syntax and user experience / learning curve