Main net observer nodes are running RNode version 0.12.4 (primarily containing the PRs to update the Open API JSON and the find by blockhash function). 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 are two planned hard forks: 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 with external validators.
Both *.bm.testnet.rchain.coop and *.llbm.testnet.rchain.coop are part of hard fork 2. the llbm version has the latest code. Having the two test nets will allow the community testers to trace any unexpected behavior in their tests to the latest code changes vs. the code that has been running on bm.testnet for a while. The *.llbm.testnet.rchain stability is much improved, but the team will be making further changes to it. It is available for community testing, to get early feedback. Community members interested in testing can request testrev for llbm in the #testnet channel. Once we determine llbm.testnet to be fully stable, it will become the sole test net for hard fork 2.*.llbm.testnet.rchain.coop (Leaderless block merge test net)
Sprint 103 in progress
Main Focus is to prepare the block merge Hard fork (hf2), specifically (a) merging REV balances directly - currently on hold until other llbm issues are resolved (b) leaderless block merge - work ongoing (c) a lot of testing + bug fixing and (d) performance improvements. Other work includes resolving any identified bugs, hardening the network. Current PR list is at https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pulls .
Block merge Hard Fork (hf2)
On the LLBM branch of the code, the team is done working through a few cases by hand to make sure that the finalization fringe based conflict resolution and merge will work in a trouble free manner. Tomislav may attempt an informal proof extending the logic of these cases. The team is now moving forward with making the necessary code changes.
Denis implemented some improvements to his performance boost and storage reduction of History data. His work will be released as part of HF2.
Improving developer experience: Stas has completed Web API improvement to extract channel from a bundle - convert unforgeable names in a bundle to JSON PR https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3531https://github.com/rchain/rchain/issues/3317 and is working on Changes to status method (WebAPI, gRPC) https://github.com/rchain/rchain/issues/3532 to add network id and shard name to the API response. There will be additional enhancements in future like getting the node version etc. For now, the changes to the API are only adding functionality. So existing code should work fine. Through this process, Stas is learning how the internals of each of these work, thus becoming more familiar with the code base.
The team will be working on adding more event markers to the code so that we can auto generate the metrics and push them out to a dashboard (e.g. InfluxDB+Telegraf). This is being currently used on the development side, but will be eventually a version will be made available on the public net. We will also be looking at how to improve error reporting. These will be addressed as time permits, with a focus on completing LLBM. Both these activities should make debugging and identification of performance bottlenecks easier for the core team, as well as for developers.
Documentation: We will be documenting how an enterprise customer can set up their own test network with a faucet etc.
The TechGovernance group met last week. We will make the minimum phlo a shard level parameter for now and work with the wallet developers to make sure they're able to implement the necessary changes on their end.
The roadmap for the rest of 2021 and 2022 has been updated on https://rchain.coop. There will be a few minor revisions to the near term roadmap to highlight features like faster REV transfer as milestones in the roadmap. As we engage with enterprise customers, there's a strong possibility of needing a parallel but coordinated roadmap for an enterprise version of RNode. This may also cause changes to the current roadmap.
Release Plan for the rest of the year and beyond - for reference
Currently planned near term releases are
Block merge release hard fork 2 plus any configuration changes that do not need extensive work - Leaderful and Leaderless block merge
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 (aka Friends & Family) on the test net
Friends & Family validation on the main net
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