All Main net nodes are running Hard fork 1 version of RNode version 0.12.1 https://github.com/rchain/rchain/releases/tag/v0.12.1 This version includes the block merge code that does not require a hard fork, but block merge is currently disabled until we have the block merge version coming up in hard fork 2, aka block merge hard fork.
There will be two more hard forks after this, one for block merge (release versioning will be 0.13.x) and one for PoS changes (release versioning will be either 0.14.x or 1.x.x) to eventually enable a fully decentralized node.
As we complete the remaining block merge work outlined below, we will continue to update this test net. In particular, we expect to have the next version of the testnet sometime next week.
We expect the performance of the block merge testnet to improve as we complete the performance improvement tasks, which are additional to the above.
Sprint 94 in progress
Main Focus is to prepare the block merge Hard fork (hf2), specifically (a) merging REV balances aka per deploy vault (b) Attestation messages (c) a lot of testing + bug fixing and (d) performance improvements. Other work items include resolving any identified bugs, improving performance, hardening the network. Hard fork 3 changes - PoS contract and related items (No change in this hf3 section this week). Current PR list is at https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pulls .
Block merge Hard Fork (hf2)
Work on this is proceeding directly merging the REV balances. Initial code is in. It's being refined and tested. This impacts several parts of the existing and old code base. So we need to work through the dependencies and any necessary refactoring.
Attestation messages code is complete and tests are passing https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3509 . The PR now needs to be reviewed and merged. It needs to be tested along with merging of the REV balances PR above. Reminder: Attestation messages were invented to make finalization proceed in the absence of new regular (paid) transactions on the network.
Once the above two tasks are complete, leaderful block merge will be complete.
Nutzipper started work towards leaderless block merge. We will know next week how much work this entails.
GSJ is improving the debugging, monitoring and troubleshooting toolkit using influxdb and related tools. This should allow us to capture all data and logs in influxdb and report any metrics etc from there. We will have versions of dashboards both for the development team and the public, perhaps displayed as part of rchain.coop. There's a network dashboards milestone slated for 2022, this work is a beginning towards that.
Denis and Tomislav are continuing their work on performance improvements in the history/Merkle tree. The initial goal is to run some proof of concept improvements and measure performance in Scala. A specification is being developed for this, which should also enable any experienced Rust programmer to implement this in Rust, so we can get comparative performance numbers. we believe Rust implementation may be faster, but we don't have the comparison numbers and would like to get there. Storage optimization will be tackled separately after we complete optimizations for performance.
Release Plan for the rest of the year and beyond - for reference, no change
Currently planned near term releases are
Block merge release hard fork 2 plus any configuration changes that do not need extensive work,
Configuration changes release,
Performance improvements releases (one or more),
Hard Fork 3 with PoS changes and other items,
External validators process validation with trusted community validators
External validators among extended ecosystem (e.g. exchanges, if they're willing)
External validators in the wild.
Explanation of the different Hard Forks (for reference)
Proceeding further with block merge requires changes to the per validator vault to make it a per deploy vault/purse etc. We are currently finalizing the design for this. Actual code and test will take some time. We are potentially looking at this scenario: 1. First hard fork for balances and removing the slashed validator 2. Second hard fork for block merge - This is the fastest way to get block merge on the main net without holding it until the third hard fork. This includes REV balance merging (aka per deploy vault), attestation messages and the Tree depth being increased to 4. 3. Third hard fork with all other changes. Third hard fork includes implementation of a lot of changes including the PoS contract changes, Soft fork process etc. Design for soft fork process is complete and is being reviewed by the team.
(Hard Fork) TEST NET 2 ADVISORY: (for reference)
To test the version of block merge with data changes that need a hard fork, we are creating a separate feature branch and a TEST NET 2 as the testbed for this feature branch. This content will be left here until we are close to Hard Fork 2 implementation on the main net. TestNet 2 is now available for the community to test their contracts on.
There will be no guarantees of data storage format compatibility on Test Net 2, as the data storage format changes are incrementally implemented. The anticipated changes are mostly storage level format changes visible only to node operators. We encourage the community to start using Test Net 2 in addition to the current test net, so that we can quickly identify and resolve any issues with the upcoming hard forks. All new development should be targeted to TEST NET 2 and all current code MUST BE tested against TEST NET 2 to ensure future compatibility.
On all the hard forks on the main net, we will be starting from an empty state, with REV balances only. On Test Net 2, this 'loosing the state' will be repeated multiple times.
Tech-Governance meetings on Fridays 9:30 AM Eastern, 6:30 Am Pacific