All Main net 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 (Leaderless block merge test net) stability is much improved, but the team will be making further changes to it. It is currently unavailable for community testing, to allow the team to fix a bug in the finalization frontier/barrier/fringe calculation. Community members interested in testing can request test REV 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.
Sprint 104 in progress
Main Focus is to prepare the leaderless block merge Hard fork (hf2), specifically (a) merging REV balances directly - currently on hold until other llbm issues are resolved (b) Leaderless block merge (LLBM) (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)
LLBM: The design for finalization frontier/barrier/fringe calculation and merging is refined and described at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pZDO6Jh5nfgr4tZDGdMJhWKm1rFSGcDghDNo4XVDrBc/ Nutzipper has implemented the simple protocol based on the above description. Greg is reviewing the implementation to ensure fidelity to the spec. Tomislav created a simulation like testing environment to easily analyze behavior for any kind of network/DAG condition. This can be used as a basis for additional code implementation and to immediately identify and resolve any issues that arise.
Denis is continuing to resolve tests and integration of his PR https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3568 for the import/export using his improved History data algorithm (better performance reduced storage) into the HF2 branch. Stas and Tomislav are assisting him with the necessary environment setups and steps needed to complete this.
Will is continuing his work on improvements to the PoS contract. His PR is at https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3563. He's also reviewing other PRs. After these, he will look into completing the double spend issue in the improved REV transfer process.
Many developers will be working part time this week and next due to holidays.
The team will have conversations over the next several weeks about development priorities for 2022 and the roadmap will be updated accordingly. Current thinking is to focus on Developer experience, Market engagement and Developer engagement in 2022, so that multiple sizable dApps are built on the platform.
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