April 07, 2017 - Dev update

This week we focused a lot on development process. We did brainstorming around our continued push for open development including deciding to start opening up some of our meetings to interested developers who don’t work for ZECC. The next step we decided on will be opening up our [topical meetings] (Home · zcash/zcash Wiki · GitHub). You can find this discussion and relay any interest in participating in the #zcash-dev channel of the [community chat] (https://chat.zcashcommunity.com). We’re also brainstorming some specialized teams which would include both ZECC employees and members of the community. If you’d like to opt into any of those teams, let us know in the community chat or leave a post here.

Relatedly, we also discussed alert monitoring (internal and external) and a “post-mortem” for the most recent release (1.0.8) which turned out to be quite stressful on the engineers and a lot of last minute to-dos. We decided that going forward, we’ll be extending our release cycle from 3 weeks to monthly. This extension will be easier on core developers allowing time for more issues to be addressed per release and allow for more time for reviewing and testing . It will also benefit third-party developers who will have a more relaxed schedule to keep up-to-date with the most recent version. This new release cycle will come into effect for 1.0.10 while 1.0.9 is still on track to be released on Monday April 17th.

We also announced the Bellman library for constructing zk-SNARKs in Rust which is a big step towards our crypto improvement plans for Sapling (Zcash v2.x.x).

And now that the crypto enhancements are moving along strong for Sapling, we’ve made that a higher priority to discuss on a regular basis which will allow us to develop a roadmap towards Sapling and the necessary hard-fork. We are committed to doing a hard fork upgrade prior to this as well but will obviously make any hard-fork plans very public well in advance (but don’t say we didn’t warn you! :wink:).

We’re progressing on our goals for improved network monitoring including a chain fork detector and a block observatory. The final implementations of these network monitoring tools will include public-facing interfaces.

Next week will focus more on 1.0.9 tickets and will likely see the release of some of the previously discussed new and improved resources on the https://z.cash website.

Last week, we had our second Show & Tell which featured zmsg. You can watch the recording on YouTube. If you’re interested in participating in a future Show & Tell, please get in touch with me (either here, on the community chat or via email).

Until next week!