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.
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.
The team is making good progress towards the 0.13.Beta1 release code for finalization and Block merge (LLBM) with simple protocol (i.e. potential network partitioning ignored). Nutzipper has the code in for attestation blocks. He is fixing the logic bugs and refactoring needed for this to work correctly along with Tomislav. Additional tests need to be written once the code is working bug free. Once Nutzipper completes this task, we should be able to release the 0.13.Beta1 version to the test net.
Tomislav has started to look into the design of handling invalid blocks. This will not be released in the 0.13.Beta1 version but is a significant part of the effort for the next version, which we expect will be the release candidate for LLBM on the testnet. If everything goes well with the release candidate version, we should be able to promote that to the main net.
Isaac is reviewing and fixing as needed, Will's PRs related to Proof of Stake contract.
The dev team and a few community volunteers (Thank you, Raphael) have started a documentation project to document the steps/process, code fragments, business contracts and other items needed for easy onboarding of external validators. Eventually, this will cover much of the documentation for the project for various stakeholders that want to engage with the project, besides validators. We invite all knowledgeable folks from the community to participate in this effort to make it as high quality and broadly usable as possible. The team is coordinating via github, gdocs and also a zoom meeting starting around 12 Noon Eastern on Mondays ( immediately after the dev standup on Mondays).
Once the 0.13.Beta1 is on the test net, we will perform some performance testing and also enhance error reporting and error handling. The team had a robust discussion on Thread Mapping and the roadblocks to full realization of concurrence post LLBM. We discussed writing our own thread management package consistent with how Rholang operates to supplement the libraries we are currently using. No final decisions are made in this area yet. We will be guided by what the performance tests tell us to decide on the most productive course of action.
Stas is on vacation this week.
Denis and Nutzipper are making good progress on the external customer project.
Everything you can do on Ethereum and more, you could do on RChain for more than a year. Please build your awesome apps on the main net so that the full functionality and capacity of the network can be used.
External validator engagement as well as customer/market engagement continues.
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. All PoS contract changes initially intended for hard fork 3 are also included in this release, including enabling future updates to be least disruptive. (in progress)
External validators (only with trusted community validators and third parties, aka Friends & Family) on the test net (in progress)
Friends & Family + trusted third parties validation on the main net
Potentially one or more releases for Configuration changes and/or performance improvements,
External validators among extended ecosystem (e.g. exchanges, if they're willing)
External validators in the wild
Hard Fork 3 is only if absolutely required (see note 1). We currently do not anticipate a need for this.
Feature releases driven by external market engagement
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.
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