As @Shawn mentioned, our goal with the NUP is to “ensure the consensus upgrades shipped to Zcash meet our historic standards for safety and quality”. We’ve largely achieved that goal and learned a lot about the NUP that could be improved upon in the process.
We feel what’s needed now is a more agile process that still retains the safeguards inherent in the NUP while making it easier for protocol teams outside of ECC and ZF to participate. This current NUP is a bit too rigid and some of the time periods could be compressed and more flexible.
Some specific thoughts we had:
- Remove ZIP Review Begins as a specific item (ZIPs should be continually reviewed)
- Reduce period between Draft ZIP Submission Deadline and Feature Selection from 2 months to 1 month
- A feature prototype should be done on at least one consensus node to be considered for Feature Selection
- All features selected for the upgrade should be included in the Specification and Implementation Audits
Prototype and Test Vectors Complete should include features running in testnet. We developed Testnet-in-a-Box to make this easier, essentially allowing independent teams to spin up their own multi-node testnet.
- Allow minor changes to ZIPs or specifications after Specification Audit and Remediations Complete
- Reduce Partner Adoption from 5 months to 3 months. We spend a good bit of time on ecosystem outreach well ahead of network upgrades to ensure partners have adequate time to upgrade and prepare. With Heartwood, we had confirmed over 80% of mining hashpower had upgraded prior to the activation.
Thanks @Shawn, @antonie, and @dconnolly for organizing today’s call. Excited to see what other ideas the community has for improving the NUP!