Development Update

Cardano Development Update – April, 30th 2020

Hi guys,

Today was a good day in the Cardano Ecosystem and we got Aparna and Tim giving us a few updates on where we are with the overall project and where we are going. I’ll try to give a brief summary of this April Cardano Development Update about what was discussed during this 1h online video, which hopefully you will find interesting.


Beginning of the video was an introduction on the points that are currently being worked on, and not necessarily all linked directly to Shelley, but more to the overall project. Aparna and Tim gave us a brief summary:

  • PWC Workshop: Roadmap updates, how to present Cardano’s vision, and to work in a continuous delivery setting (which has been setup during the Byron Reboot, and through the Daedalus Flight program).
  • Getting Agile: for all the Cardano processes, not only Shelley.
  • Collaboration with McCain for the Cardano brand refresh: the current websites and resources are beginning to get old and fragmented, so the goal would be to have one source of truth for anyone wanting to get into the Cardano ecosystem. This would be for end users as well as for developers, with content specific for each user group.
  • Setting up the organization for having a successful project with good processes.
  • Roadmap Communication: is being looked at but not the main priority for now (Shelley is more important 🙂 )

As a side note, big effort was done for fixing issues occurring with the Windows version of Daedalus. Haskell is heavily focussed on working on Linux Machine, and as a result libraries might need extra work to work properly on Windows.

Then Romain Pellerin (cocorico), CTO at IOHK, joined 2 months ago. Participated in the Cardano reboot launch, and working on the Shelley launch. Very skilled team and heavily invested in what they are doing at IOHK – 3,000 commits for this week only on all repositories combined. Focus on finishing the Shelley release, and work on Goguen and Voltaire being done in parallel, to be able to deliver them as soon as possible.

Pushing agile development in order to have bi-weekly delivery on the different components, and working on defining milestones ahead of time for every quarter. Focus as well on getting more talents in the company, lot will be more to do in the future. (for those interested… 🙂 )

Then the Security Code Audit, with Charles Morgan (Cyber Security Code Audit team). He was able to give an overview at the process audit inside IOHK.

  1. First layer au audit with the team of Vassilis Zikas, University of Edinburgh. They are focussing on the way the code is written, and are reviewing that formal specification are matching the actual implementation.
  2. QA team for functionality testing.
  3. Charles’ team: doing in depth review every pull request, and be sure everything is good before the final push is done. They are in charge of assuring everything is as good as it can possibly be.

He went as well explaining different with Static vs Dynamic analysis for security. Static being relevant to how things are written, how cryptographic asset are dealt with… Dynamic being closer to trying to hack the system, and check the runtime is correct (penetration testing, vulnerabilities, DDOS attacks).

A new audit will be conducted once some functionalities are getting delivered regarding the peering selection process, and is expected to go for 2 to 3 months (result would be shared).

All of this is to provide us with a better assurance that everything is as good as possible, and have the best system we could have.

After that, a wallet update with Darko Mijić. Lot of releases done (5 releases candidates for 1.0.0, with additional content and final deliverable). Very proud of the last Daedalus 1.0 release. On the first day, there has been 2,500 single downloads, with only 268 support tickets (mainly related to old versions of Windows and network configuration issues). In comparison, there were around 2,000 support tickets for previous versions of Daedalus releases.

Flight was very important to the success of the last release. Problem were able to be solved before the final version was delivered.

Daedalus has a 2 weeks development cycle, current sprint finishing this Friday, new version will be cut on Monday, sent to QA for 2 days, and Daedalus Flight 1.1.0 will be release on Wednesday.

Flight was one result from the ITN, where the community was proven helpful and help in the QA process. Daedalus is open to contribution!

Next major feature to Daedalus will be Hardware wallet support (Ledger and Trezor). Development cycle will begin on Monday, and if everything goes well, should be available very soon.

Then the big piece everyone was waiting for – Shelley, with Kevin Hammond! Overview of the Byron to Shelley in more detail here (that he published earlier today): https://iohk.io/en/blog/posts/2020/04/29/from-byron-to-shelley-part-one-the-testnets/

For the first phase, the Friend and Family Shelley Testnet, the date has been announced to be May, 11th 2020. Around 20 pioneers will be able to start working on the node, and for few weeks, different test will be conducted to see everything behaves as expected. Rollout approach will be used like it was for the ITN.

Road to Shelley:

Byron Reboot will be evolved, with additional functionalities. The main piece of code is the Hard Fork Combinator, which will be help to smooth the transition between Byron to Shelley.

Pioneers will have the task to check everything is running fine for stake pool operators while the public phase will be to test the delegation system from the user point of view. However, things will be done in the open, so it will be possible to test if not selected as a pioneer.

ITN will continue up to the balance check, just before the hard fork, where rewards will be transferred back to Mainnet.

ITN Lessons: Reward mechanism, Network mechanism, great community (good guide for example). Good that IOHK, Cardano Foundation and Emurgo worked together.

Stake pool registration: entirely on-chain. CF won’t be involved anymore. There will be groups of whitelist server which will be maintaining the meta about pools, and users will be able run their own, or choose which one to connect to.

K parameter (optimal number of pool): to be discussed. On ITN, expected the number to stabilize around K, but stabilized around 2K. On the Testnet, it will be possible to variate it.

Pledging: pool owners will be able to back their pool by a certain amount of stake, and the amount will be public. In order to get rewards, the pledge amount must be met, otherwise no reward will be awarded.

Finally, we heard about Adrestia from Nick Nayfack. He was able to give a demo of what Adrestia looks like, and how easy to setup. Objective for now: make it easy to run and configure the different piece of the API. It is available through Docker Compose for now. No need to mess with dependencies anymore, and it is now easy for develop to setup their environment. There is as well a user guide to explain how to use the different API of Adrestia, which includes some tutorials as well. For any help, you can ask as an issue on the Github repository, or on the Telegram channel linked on the FAQ.

April Cardano Development Update

Here is it for the main part of what happened during this Development Update. I do quite enjoy this new format of communication, as it help to make different teams known, as well as having a taste about the different processes which are making Cardano what it is.

This gives as well the opportunity to people which weren’t here when Bitcoin or Ethereum were in their nascent state, and I think that it is what gives some fresh air in the crypto currency community. Things will continue moving, more people will continue to join, and new ideas might flow as more people will bring new ways of thinking.

Thank you to all the IOHK team for their efforts, and good luck for what is to come!

Matt

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