Metropolis Recap

Meetings 15 and 16 for core developers were announced.

Accepted Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are now listed, many of which have been implemented in C++ and Python. Tests for other clients are being run as well.

Hive readiness for GeneralStateTests is underway by way of conversion to BlockchainTests and is enhanced from old statetests. Clients that have yet to implement GeneralStateTests are encouraged to provide a docker image and contact Martin Swende for Hive testing.

A finalized release date based on when the testing phase has reached the milestone of passing on major clients is still pending. An increase in block difficulty underpins the continued delay of the ice age. Buterin’s prognosis is that block times won’t exceed 20s until July 12, and won’t exceed 30s until September 12.

Ethereum Blockchain All-Time Highs

A new peak in block difficulty was achieved at 463.103 TH, while the hash rate spiked around 28.8 TH.

The standing all-time record for gas usage per day was hit in June 2016 during heavy spam from the DAO attack, but the 11-month high fast approaches it with 10.7 billion per day. According to Buterin, at 1991878 gas per block, “gas limits are dynamically adjusting, so congestion with rapidly increasing fees is not likely.”

Side Projects

Now deployed, Ethereum Name Service auctions continue.

An application program interface (API) is being developed for Whisper, which conforms to the remote procedure call (RPC). This will be ready soon alongside a workable Whisper release.

Swarm has made four big improvements: supporting new directory upload and download via web interface, full FUSE support, a new personal services setting protocol for node-to-node messaging, and replacing the chunk hash with a Merkle tree hash for more efficient data inclusion proofs. PoC3 progress is “going at full steam.”

Pyethereum Development

A team lead by Jan Xie has synced a pyethapp node to the most recent mainnet block. The client is now passing all state and pre-Metropolis blockchain tests after bug fixes. Remaining issues are being worked on.

The four new precompiles have been applied alongside many other EIPs.

Now, the new tester module is fully based on the Chain module and has a more convenient interface that provides functionalities like generating state tests.

Casper Research

Casper has implemented the validator daemon, the hybrid Casper fork choice rule, Casper contracts and tests, and a signature validation code that is inclusive of Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm and quantum-resistant-hash-ladder signatures.

Other Research

Work on sharding, namely the “data availability problem,” has yielded a report. In addition, a sharding FAQ has been updated.

Both of Greg Colvin’s “EVM 1.5” proposals are composed as EIPs in drafts 615 and 616.

Geth Development

Geth nodes are now able to accept and relay arbitrarily priced transactions, thanks to the removal of the artificial 20 Shannon minimum gas limit for the transaction pool.

A sync regression for Hard Disk Drive users was identified. The code has been rewritten to be more robust and enhance stability and a few EVM bottlenecks have been fixed, resulting in 60% faster contract execution and 95% less memory loss.

Status, Walleth, and others have had mobile bindings tweaked alongside the light client, and initial Proof-of-Concept has been done for event retrievals. Small changes to Puppeth, CLique, and Rinkeby include a tiered faucet, configurable gas dynamics for private networks, and automatic Ethereum Name Service integration.

A new filtering mechanism promises to reduce the time of filtering the blockchain for contracts from minutes to seconds. It may be possible for miners to lower transaction fees without an impact on finding blocks and having them included by way of a mining strategy that would move the transaction process to be parallel to the mining process.

TrueSec AB found no critical issues after it performed an external security-audit.

C++ Development

Full sync to the mainnet was achieved with the monitoring node.

EIPs for Metropolis are nearly complete.

Snapshot and fast sync development is underway.

Statediff is the new option available for debugging specific cases with the Testeth tool.

Remix

Nearly complete is a static analysis module which can detect reentrancy bugs. This was externally contributed by @soad003.

A folder view has been added that shows open files within folders. Now, for example, files imported via GitHub are visible in the folder view. Mappings can be displayed by the debugger and tabs have been rearranged to give a better overview.

Solidity

The unified standard JSON interface has been released to interact with the compiler and an “interface contract” feature has been added.

Various safety checks were added, including statements without effect, unary plus, and unused variables.

Work continues on the intermediate language that encompasses web assembly and EVM1.5 backends, and is nearly complete on exporting and importing the abstract syntax tree that allows for mutation testing and many more extensions.

Mist

Of Mist, Buterin said, “Decouple Geth specific hard-coded node and network handling, allow for arbitrary nodes and networks defined by local or remote clientBinaries.json.”

MacOS and Windows Code-Signing have been integrated in preparation for GitHub/Swarm based auto-updaters and backend settings have been refactored for a setting user interface

Several audit findings stand to be incorporated in coming versions.

A change in the provider is likely to make Mist and other projects, such as MetaMask and status.im robust against future developments. A discussion about this is ongoing on GitHub and announcements concerning the new provider should be coming soon.

Web3.js

Generation and signing with private keys right into web3.js are on the horizon. Documents provide information as to how developers can create wallets and give signatures in their Dapps. The new Whisper API and new web3.js should be ready for community test drives once @maiavictor’s Swarm library is added.

Many groundbreaking innovations lie just around the corner, and ETHNews will continue to cover them as they develop.

via www.ethnews.com