Skycoin Development Recap | March 2019

March started at full sprint for Skycoin with the launch of the much anticipated Skywire mainnet and followed by a range of other exciting development insights including CX, CXFX, and Skywallet/Ledger updates.

What many people don’t understand is that Skywire mainnet was practically a complete re-write from testnet; partially due to how it was written by the previous team and also the discovery of better solutions. After all, that’s what testing is for, finding bugs and better ways of doing things! For those of you saying “Why does mainnet need testing?” That’s your answer.

The key feature released with mainnet, in my eyes is the Auto-Updater!
It allows users to quickly update their nodes to the most recent, stable and feature full version of Skywire at the click of a button; no more reflashing and updating your Pis every time you want the latest software. HOORAH!

“This first iteration of Skywire’s mainnet features entirely rewritten software from the ground up and is primarily focused on a platform for developers to start building the next generation of distributed apps. All existing apps have been rewritten and optimized for the mainnet including a distributed and secure chat app, SSH, and a multi-hop tunneling proxy app. Many more will be coming soon!”

Speaking of coming soon, on the horizon we have:

  • A new and intuitive UI for developers and users to easily interact with the mainnet.
  • Bandwidth monetization will be coming soon that will allow users to earn Coin Hours through bandwidth sharing.
  • The launch of the Coin Hour bank.
  • Private Skycoin transactions utilizing CoinJoin.
  • Remote management of unlimited nodes.
  • Combining the CXO protocol with Skywire for distributed data storage.

While mainnet was still stealing the limelight, Skycoin snuck in the first official look at CXFX; Skycoin’s game engine built with CX (Skycoin’s custom language) and using OpenGL.

Recently, I wrote a comprehensive article following the first few months of CXFX development, check it out here. This project really excites me! It demos how powerful CX is, showing people that the possibilities of what can be done on blockchain really are limitless… Assuming you’re using Skycoin’s Fiber!

Next, we saw the first in what will be an ongoing series documenting the progress and development of Skywire’s mainnet. This update explained the addition of acknowledgement (ACK) packets which enable the sender to know if the packet arrived at it’s intended destination. There was also work done on the user interface (UI) level, teased below:

“On the frontend side, efforts have been ongoing to make improvements to the interface. We have the new interfaces designed, and will soon be ready to release the routing interface and the exit node toggle.
We will soon be publishing a more comprehensive documentation of the Skywire system on the Github repo wiki. We have also opened a new Telegram group @SkywireMainnet where interested devs can find support and discuss features and issues, etc.”

Complementing the CXFX release article, the team gave an update on CX explaining the improvements made with version 0.6 and 0.6.1 which were released in February. 0.6.2 also got released in March shortly after this article was published.

Serialization (Added in v0.6)

A CX program has a “Binary” representation that is intended to go on the blockchain. This binary representation is often called a bytecode, and is a common feature in many languages. The difference between CX and most other languages is that in CX you have a bytecode representation of both the program itself and a running state. CX 0.6 has serialization of any program and running state, as well as deserialization of both.

In the next step of CX development, you will be able to store a CX program on a blockchain (a chain on Fiber) and store its state on the chain as well. The next time the program is started, the state will be read from the chain and continued from where it left off. It’ll provide a service of some kind, then the new state will be put back into a new block. This is similar to what is called a smart contract on other blockchains.

Offering cold storage via hardware wallets is a necessary step to ensure the security of your Skycoin. The development updated for our Ledger integration explained that, soon, as a member of the Skyfleet you’ll have two options! Not only are we creating our own hardware wallet, aptly named ‘Skywallet’, Ledger Nano integration is also nearing completion!

“We currently have a signing mechanism and have already implemented a request for getting signed public keys which will enable companion apps. The user interface for Skycoin is complete, and we’ve tested the storage and transfer of Skycoin on several devices with no technical hurdles or delays.” — In Referecne to Ledger Integration

Finally, we were treated to a comprehensive update to Ledger, Skywallet and Skywire development to round out the month.

Ledger Update:

A major milestone was reached: the first Skycoin transaction has been signed with a ledger device. Due to memory limitations of the device, we stream transaction inputs and outputs to the device, interlaced with user confirmation of the outputs, rather than sending all inputs and outputs before requesting user confirmation of the outputs. This way, the number of inputs and outputs that can be used for a transaction is almost unrestricted by the device’s memory.

Skywallet Update:

This week the Skywallet daemon has become feature-complete. It is a background process that exposes an HTTP API to other services to communicate with the Skywallet over USB. It will replace the node.js integration that we had built into the Electron version of the desktop wall. The daemon will enable Skywallet integration with any future wallet distribution, such as the upcoming web wallet, as well any 3rd party wallets that choose to do so.

Skywire Update:

The Skywire Manager has been picked up again and we have finished the login/logout of the Manager. Users can sign in and use cookies to authenticate themselves when managing their nodes. This is required for security reasons.

Total Commits:

During March the Skycoin team pushed through a whopping 790 commits completed by 27 developers! This places us at number 9 on coincodecap.comour of ALL cryptocurrency/blockchain projects when ranked based on development activity.

Currently, it shows us as 13, I suspect our newer repos aren’t tracked yet.

Commit Leader Board:

Although commits don’t accurately measure the amount of work each developer puts in, I thought it’d be fun and informative to put together a running monthly ‘leader board’ based on commits. This is also an opportunity for you, the Skyfleet, to get your name in lights!

It should be noted that lot’s of work is still done in private repos, this work is not detailed below.

StdevAIDen | 177 commits
Olemis: | 126 commits
gz-c | 81 commits
IvanPayan | 69 commits
asahi3g | 38 commits
Jaggedsoft | 36 commits
ayuryshev | 30 commits
evanlinjin |29 commits
therealssj | 29 commits
stdevlvr | 26 commits
RomanMilischchuk | 20 commits
ivcosla | 18 commits
corpusc | 8 commits
amherag | 14 commits
Retsediv | 11 commits
stdevStark | 10 commits
nkryuchkov | 9 commits
pautena | 9 commits
mahansky | 9 commits
jdkinves | 7 commits
BigOokie | 6 commits
ingwal | 6 commits
stdevMac | 5 commits
stedevHan | 3 commits
iketheadore | 2 commits
Asgaror: | commits
Senyoret1 | 1 commits

Image from freepik.com

Commits Breakdown:

Hardware-wallet

107 commits to all branches.

Hardware-wallet-js

69 Commits to all branches.

Hardware-wallet-go

95 commits to all branches.

Hardware-wallet-protob

83 commits to all branches.

Hardware-wallet-daemon

12 commits to all branches.

Ledger-nano

31 commits to all branches.

Skywire

77 commits to all branches.

Skywire-updater

9 commits to all branches.

Skyflash

2 commits to all branches.

Skycoin

20 commits to all branches.

Skycoin-lite

1 commit to all branches.

Skycoin-explorer

2 commits to all branches.

CX

36 commits to all branches.

CX-games

18 commits to all branches.

CXFX

22 commits to all branches.

Pyskycoin

5 commits to all branches.

CX-website

9 commits to all branches.

Skycoin.net

74 commits to all branches.

Blog

105 commits to all branches.

Docs

16 commits to all branches.


That’s brings this article to an end, I hope you enjoyed the insight into Skycoins development over the last month. There’s certainly plenty of it going on! I’m looking forward to tracking this from month to month and watching as our developer base grows and grows.

See you in the next update!

Cheers Skyfleet!
MacSkyver

Check out our additional articles via our BlockDelta profile.

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