February Development Update
A quick thanks to all community members who are patiently waiting for the 2.0 release, we know the wait is difficult but it will be worth it.
Testing on Gulden 2.0 continues, with both SegSig and PoW² looking pretty stable and solid.
January revealed some performance issues in the underlying codebase that are not directly related to PoW² but have been made more obvious by it; One specific example being that the wallets struggle with large number of transactions, in the past this affected only a small group of users, but with a larger userbase participating in witnessing it has become clear that this will need to be addressed.
It also became obvious in the last testing phase that we needed better tools for our testers to use in order to test various parts of the system, a lot of work has been put into improving the RPC and UI to make this possible.
It also became evident that we need to improve the RPC in preparation for fantastic community initiatives like GDash; When we initially started on PoW² we envisaged that at first we would put out a basic in wallet witnessing system and that later we would put out further releases expanding it to support witnessing from other devices like RPi and other user friendly options. Our community however has surpassed all our expectations and eagerly rushed ahead to develop several of these options, it is fantastic to see how vibrant and solid our community has become.
This however means we need to have full support from the get go, there has been some additional work to ensure that pretty much all aspects of the witnessing system will be ready for the first release.
February has seen us address all of the above, as well as other things, at this point the dev team is busy putting the finishing touches on the UI; watch out for some sneak previews to follow!
With this finalised we will be doing one more testing drive, the most extensive one yet after which we hope to be ready to release, though as usual we put quality above all else and will not release something until we are 100% sure it is ready.
A new era for the codebase
During the PoW² development we have also come to the exciting realisation that it is time to change the way we do things.
In the past we treated Gulden as “Bitcoin with some changes”, all Gulden code was written with this mind set in mind, with a lot of care and attention paid to keeping the code as similar to Bitcoin as possible. Including all sorts of clever tricks to avoid doing renames in the codebase etc.
This had the advantage of allowing us to keep up with Bitcoin changes as easily as possible, and is the sensible way to do things when the amount of changes is small. However it did also make all coding work more difficult.
As the amount of differences we have made has grown, the advantage of this has become less and less, and the work to do it more and more. We have come to the realisation that at this point, toward the end of PoW² and SegSig development – we can proudly say that Gulden is no longer “Bitcoin with some changes” but rather we are our own project.
And so the time has come to cast aside this old way of doing things and instead fully embrace the new. From now on we will no longer attempt to track the Bitcoin codebase but instead we will be freed up to improve on it wherever we want, this will help us develop faster and better quality in the future, there are many changes we want to make and some of them are already underway.
We will still keep track of what the Bitcoin project is doing and keep an eye on improvements and bug fixes they make, and adopt them where appropriate, so there will be no loss of benefit in that regard.
Some of you will have seen our advert for a network developer; an appropriate person for the role has been identified, and with the above codebase restraints out the way is hard at work on several projects we have had planned for quite some time now.
These projects are necessary in order for the Gulden project to grow further, in the December/January growth spurt it became evident that the Gulden network is outgrowing what the Bitcoin codebase is capable of and that further change would be necessary.
We are very excited to have another developer to assist with the core code, and are hopeful that after the success of these initial projects we will be able to keep him around to help with various other ongoing projects.
Our mobile developers are still hard at work behind the scenes improving the code in the mobile wallets, once the code is up to standard new mobile releases will be more frequent with lots of usability improvements to follow; watch this space.