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Ethereum Core Devs Meeting 48 Notes

Meeting Date/Time: Fri, October 12, 2018 14:00 UTC

Meeting Duration: 1.5 hours

GitHub Agenda Page

Audio/Video of the meeting

Agenda

  1. Testing
  2. Client Updates
  3. Research Updates
  4. Constantinople
  5. ProgPoW

Call starts at [5:33]

Testing update

  • Martin update
    • Tests not yet stabilized, still activity in generating the tests
    • Earlier today we found a consensus issue in the cpp-ethereum engine, this has been fixed, waiting for tests to be regenerated
    • Can't speak to coverage of tests
  • Dimitry update
    • Getting reports of failing tests from different developers, we are fixing these issues, tests already regenerated and merged
    • Hope we find all consensus issues during this test period
    • But extcodehash tests and some around storage, blockchain transition tests still in dev
    • Difficulty formula tests merged in past week, see basictests/difficulty-constantinople-json
  • Martin: Fuzz testing framework running for a couple of weeks, has run millions of tests, some false positives, found one consensus issue but it cannot be triggered on mainnet since it's due to behavior of non-existing precompiles
  • Hudson: Have you been getting help with testing or do you still need help?
    • D: No help developing tests in JSON format, Jared helped a bit

Client updates

  • Parity (Afri)
    • Did Constantinople releases today: 2.0.7, 2.1.2
    • Prepared for Ropsten, Kovan HF
  • Geth (Peter)
    • We did a release Monday or Tuesday which enabled all EIPs for Ropsten HF
  • Trinity (Piper)
    • Working on sync performance, getting sync time down to a reasonable level
    • Have made a lot of progress but still a lot left to do
  • EthereumJ (Dmitrii)
    • Published release just now, Constantinople on Ropsten
    • Not passing all tests, I hope no consensus issues
  • Aleth (Pawel)
    • Released v1.4, stable for some time
    • Mostly an effort to have stable releases from time to time
    • Not fully Constantinople-compatible
    • But master branch is and we have one node running cpp on Ropsten
    • Switched to parity's network monitor, so it should be on the list
    • This is the only node that will participate in the Ropsten HF
  • Nimbus (Jacek)
    • Continuing to work on sync and getting general state tests to pass, making steady progress
    • ETH2 beacon chain, work being done on test format, if you're interested, check beaconchain project on ethereum, there are open issues
    • Looking into platforms, making sure we can compile on ARM and others
  • Pantheon (Meredith)
    • Implemented all Constantinople EIPs
  • TurboGeth (not present)
  • EthereumJS (not present, left comment)
    • Making good progress, have substantial parts of all EIPs implemented
    • Merging SSTORE implementation
    • Confident we can do Constantinople ready release of VM within 1-2 weeks
  • Mana (Andrew)
    • Updated all EIPs, working on syncing Ropsten, began last week, at around block 300k
    • Mainnet, we are at 1.7M
  • Nethermind (not present)
  • Exthereum (not present)
  • Ewasm
    • Lane
      • Lots of work on benchmarking, will report results at some point
      • Testnet running and mostly stable, will launch publicly at DevCon
      • Working on documentation
    • Pawel
      • Close to release EVMC v6, need to update go bindings
      • Don't want to modify more for next month
  • Hudson: Every client is totally Constantinople-compatible
    • Except: Trinity, ethereumJS, exthereum
    • All major clients have updated CREATE2 specs

Research updates

  • Danny update
    • Justin working on VDF feasibility study, effort to create strong, unbiasable randomness
    • Filecoin has agreed to split the cost of the next chunk of the feasibility study which involves circuit design, they are interested in it for the same reason
    • Within next couple months we'll hopefully have an idea if this is going to work for the random beacon
    • Randao serves our purposes for most uses, will likely move fwd with this and can add VDF as hardening in future
    • Been cleaning up, expanding ETH 2.0 spec, lots of development going on
    • You guys all have lots of valuable insights to add to this process
    • There is an ETH2.0 specs repo, eth2.0-pm, please take a look, don't hesitate to reach out to me to talk about what's going on and where you can get involved

Constantinople, Ropsten HF

  • Progress tracker
  • Hudson
    • Ropsten HF will happen around Sunday or Monday
    • We'll have folks online
    • If anything bad happens we'll get together
    • Mainnet HF will happen after DevCon
    • In about two weeks, first folks will be arriving in Prague for DevCon, should we skip the next meeting?
    • (No complaints, consensus achieved, we'll do the next meeting in four weeks)
  • Martin
    • Everything is implemented in all clients
    • If we find no consensus errors in testing or on the testnet, when should we aim to do the HF?
  • Afri: mid-November might be a bit rushed
    • Maybe end of November?
  • Piper: second end of November
  • Hudson: How much time do we need after setting the block number, before the fork?
    • About a month
    • When should we decide the block number?
  • Piper: Can announce it outside of this call, confirm on 11/9 call
  • Afri: Should we have a quick call in ~one week, just evaluate the fork on Ropsten, see if it's going well, announce a preliminary block number
    • If something goes wrong, we can put it on hold until January
  • Martin: How do we avoid the fiasco of the last HF?
  • Peter: We discussed at the last DevCon, whether we need a bailout mechanism for the HF
  • Piper: Let's take this offline and see if we can settle on something before the meeting next Friday
  • Hudson: Having a smart contract that the clients can ping to see if the fork is still on - is this the idea?
  • Dimitry: Clone existing mainnet, where every client repeats existing mainnet tx as if already running on Constantinople
  • Martin: We could do it but no one would be using many of the changes, bomb delay not noticable, etc., would be useful to see gas changes
  • Afri: Check out https://ropsten-stats.parity.io/, WS secret same as ethstats

ProgPoW

  • Martin: Andrei, Pawel and I have been in touch w ProgPoW folks

    • Have ironed out some kinks
    • Some problems with the EIP
  • Pawel: Some big gaps in EIP spec

    • Practically impossible to implement it based on the EIP itself
    • Had to reach out for source code mostly done by ProgPoW team
    • Final version found somewhere in one of the implementations, we discussed the differences
    • C++/Go implementation on the same page
    • EIP is in bad shape
    • There are some very small improvements we can make
    • Most important part is we have two reference implementations but no proper spec
    • I don't like this situation as I don't want people to have to read the C or Go code to figure out how to implement it
    • The team did some work on improving EIP and answering questions but not so much in public
    • We are in touch with them, we can ask them questions directly and usually get some answers
    • This helped me finish implementation that produced same results - just yesterday
  • Martin

    • Some changes need to be made, the original idea is that it has internal epoch of 50 blocks
    • When translated into ethereum it uses the same epoch as ethash which is 30k blocks, which leads to some problems
    • Needs an update of protocols between the miners, the getwork function
    • Other than that, the general idea is to launch a testnet for it ASAP
  • Hudson: So we want the EIP updated to include more detail

    • Have we communicated this to them?
    • Pawel: Yes. As of today they still plan to update the EIP with what we discussed privately, to fill the gaps.
  • Hudson

    • Skipping next call
    • Constantinople special call in a week
    • Won't shift overall meeting schedule

Attendees

  • Meredith Baxter (ConsenSys/PegaSys/Pantheon)
  • Paweł Bylica (EF/aleth)
  • Jason Carver (EF/python/trinity)
  • Dmitry (Harmony)
  • Daniel Ellison (ConsenSys/LLL)
  • Matthew English (ConsenSys/PegaSys)
  • Andrew Gross (Mana)
  • Fredrik Harrysson (Parity)
  • Hudson Jameson (EF)
  • Mikhail Kalinin (EF/EthereumJ)
  • Eric Kellstrand (ConsenSys/PegaSys)
  • Dimitry Khokhlov (EF/testing)
  • Piper Merriam (EF/python/trinity)
  • Lane Rettig (Ewasm)
  • Danny Ryan (EF/research)
  • Afri Schoeden (Parity)
  • Jacek Sieka (Status/Nimbus)
  • Martin Holst Swende (EF/geth/security)
  • Péter Szilágyi (EF/geth)
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