Weekly Dev Meeting - Enhancing Connection Stability and Finalizing Transport Fixes, 24th May 2024
24th May, 2024

Recent Progress

Focus on Connection Stability and Transport Improvements

Our primary focus has been on enhancing the stability and functionality of the connection and transport layers within Freenet. Ignacio has dedicated significant effort to address issues related to the connect operation and transport mechanisms. We’ve identified and resolved several bugs, ensuring that connections are maintained properly and cleaned up when lost. Although we haven’t fully tested all scenarios, the connect operation is now functioning as expected.

Handshake and Transport Challenges

One of the main challenges we’re facing is with the handshake process. While it works most of the time, there are occasional failures. Ignacio is concentrating on debugging this aspect, particularly the handshake failures, using various unit tests. These tests sometimes provide errors without clear explanations, making the debugging process more time-consuming.

Refactoring and Streamlining Configuration

We have also polished the startup process of the Freenet binary. Previously, there were some duplications and misuse of statics, which have now been addressed. We’ve moved towards a cleaner dependency injection model, reading configurations at startup and ensuring consistency across different parts of the system. This has streamlined the startup process and made it more robust.

Upcoming Tasks

Testing and Integration

The next steps involve extensive testing to ensure that the fixes we’ve implemented are stable across various scenarios. We need to integrate the recent changes and ensure that everything works cohesively. This includes creating physical connections between nodes and testing the handshake process more thoroughly.

Improving Developer Experience

We’re also focusing on improving the developer experience. The example of the Ping contract has been simplified significantly, making it a great “hello world” application to demonstrate the ease of developing on Freenet. We plan to write guides and provide building blocks to help developers create their applications more efficiently.

Tooling and Debugging Enhancements

To aid in debugging, especially with multiple nodes, we are considering improving our logging and tracing tools. While we already have some tools in place, they need refinement to better handle complex scenarios. Additionally, we might invest time in fixing our transaction history UI, which is currently broken, to provide a clearer overview of operations across nodes.

Goals and Future Plans

Demo Preparation

We aim to prepare a demo for an upcoming talk on May 31st. The goal is to showcase the working aspects of Freenet, particularly the Ping contract, to demonstrate its capabilities. This will be a significant milestone, allowing us to show tangible progress and attract interest from potential users and contributors.

Long-term Vision

Our long-term vision includes making Freenet a plug-and-play solution where users can easily start nodes and interact with decentralized applications. Achieving this will require continued effort to refine the network's stability, improve the developer experience, and ensure seamless integration of all components.