Main net is running RNode version 0.12.8 ( https://github.com/rchain/rchain/releases/tag/v0.12.8). This version resolves a bug around hashing of the blocks. The code will choose between the previous hashing scheme or the new hashing scheme based on the version of the node.
Testnet 0.13.0 had been running Since about March the 10th. All block merge code is now on the testnet, but finalization needs to be worked on and that is the current focus of the team. Current version on this LLBM test net is 0.13.0-alpha3. This version enables testing the sharding related behavior. Dappy (fabcoTech) and other community members are currently testing this version.
There were two planned hard forks: Hard Fork 2 for block merge (release versioning will be 0.13.x) and Hard Fork 3 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. Most of the Hard fork 3 changes are now likely to be included in Hard Fork 2. We will do a Hard Fork 3 only if needed.
Main Focus is to prepare the leaderless block merge Hard fork (hf2), specifically (a) complete the finalization feature for multi-parent block merge for release to Test net (b) a lot of testing + bug fixing and (c) performance improvements (d) Completed - Adding shardId inside the signatures, to enable multi-shard operation and prevent reusing of deploys from one shard in another shard (e) sdk project to make the code more modular and serve as a base for RNode domain logic with corresponding data types (f) Prepare for trusted external validators in order to decentralize the network.
Other work includes resolving any identified bugs, hardening the network and working with external customers.
As part of his finalization work, Tomislav has added a second PR (part 2) to refactor Block metadata https://github.com/rchain/rchain/pull/3688. He is finishing up block processing and continuing with the main work on finalization using the simple protocol. He is having to refactor code and tests in many places as he proceeds, which is time consuming. When all these changes, including Nutzipper's work on merging of state are completed, finalization code will be ready for deployment to test net. Stas is helping with tests to support this effort.
Will has issued a draft PR for bonding of external validators. https://github.com/rchain/rchain/issues/3714 . There is still some work to be done in this area. This will be used as a test case to test the registry update process.
We will try to implement dckc's request for a separate REV address for rewards. There were other changes requested by others to provide more support for staking pools, but that is not part of the current scope. We will study the requirements for staking pools later and incrementally add functionality that makes sense in the RNode but much of the staking pools work should be separate contracts outside RNode because those contracts may vary based on the business models of various validators. If we do too much in this area too early, it will cause a lot of rework and make RNode brittle.
Max is helping with tests and also getting up to speed on Rholang, so he can participate more tasks in that area.
Gurinder has all the pieces necessary for moving the main net to AWS. He has done some preliminary round trip performance/timing numbers on the current main net running on AWS. We will publish them after observing the network and the performance for a period of time and the network has a sufficient amount of data accumulated, to reach steady state.
The team has resolved that the memory leak I referred to last week is simply a configuration issue. So no code changes are needed.
After the curent tasks are complete, the team will start working to improve the error reporting and error handling approach both for end users and the core dev team. We will create a classification system and codes for errors and provide more information about the nature of the error, so that users can troubleshoot situations more on their own. This will also help us be more responsive in case of failures on nodes with external validators, to determine if it is a local configuration issue, user error or RNode error.
External customer/market engagement continues.
Reminder: It's important for all Wallet makers to update their code to match the new implementation where minimum phlo price is a parameter. Please communicate this to any wallets you are using. Wallets will have to call /api/status to get min phlo price accepted by the validator and put that value in deploy data instead of the currently used constant 1.Tomislav has updated the wiki at https://github.com/rchain/rchain/wiki/Cost-accounting-in-RChain#phlopriceWe will start communications with exchanges also for HF2.
Development Plans for the rest of the year and beyond - for reference
Near term plans and releases are as below:
Block merge release hard fork 2 plus any configuration changes that do not need extensive work - Leaderful and Leaderless block merge
Potentially one or more releases for Configuration changes and/or performance improvements,
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 + trusted third parties validation on the main net
External validators among extended ecosystem (e.g. exchanges, if they're willing)
External validators in the wild
Feature releases driven by external market engagement
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 four. 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