Happy New Year, Zcash community!
While the core team continues development on Zcash, one of our goals this year is to open up the development process to be more community-centric and encourage others working on Zcash-related projects to do so as well. This will be the first of weekly engineering updates from Zcash Co – every Friday, we’ll post a recap of the engineering work we’ve done in the past week and an outlook for next week’s tasks.
So without further ado, here’s this week’s Zcash development update:
Lots of us are getting back into the swing of things post-holiday travel and family time. So while most of the team has been working at a slower pace for a few weeks, we hit the ground running with the start of 2017 with fresh excitement for what this year has in store for Zcash.
As mentioned in the intro, we’re starting to think about opening up Zcash development to improve the post-launch development processes which were mostly internal and focused on immediate engineering needs (read: bugs). We will be extending development to a more long-term outlook as part of this transition as well.
With the upcoming milestone for a 1.0.5 release, there has been a lot of focus on pull-request (PR) reviews - a good amount of attention on the
z_sendmany RPC call (PR #1976, PR #1977, PR #1980) and generally improving the RPC interface functionality and outputs (PR #1991, PR #1999, PR #2001, PR #2015). Enhancing performance during creation of JoinSplits (PR #1932, PR #1942), improving security for exporting wallets (PR #2006) and removing dependency on OpenSSL (PR #1706) are some other issues that have been worked on for this release. Next week will be focused on final review and merging of PRs and releasing 1.0.5.
In addition, we had a focused engineering meeting this week on how the protocol handles blocks with a timestamp before that of the previous block (issue #1889), and next week we’ll be having one focused on selective disclosure – a feature which will give users greater usability with their shielded addresses to selectively share an address or transaction’s viewing keys (issue #406).
Beyond the Zcash core software, we’ve been working on tying up loose ends in the protocol specification, brainstorming and implementing a revamp of the https://z.cash website, and enhancing our user support processes (PR #1935, PR #2016).
Over the holidays, many Zcashers attended 33C3 and had the opportunity to mingle with hackers from all around the world. There was even a non-Zcash Co employee presentation about Zcash at the event and Zooko hopped on a short podcast to tell the sweet story of a secret, embedded love note in the Zcash block chain. Further, @str4d has been working on a presentation about zk-SNARKs that he will be giving at the Milan Bitcoin meetup this week. We hear there will be a video recording of the presentation so look out for that!
That should do it for this week’s update. We highly encourage engineering updates from other projects (such as the super helpful and useful client porting work from @radix42) in the comments so we can all stay updated with each other’s work and help each other grow the Zcash ecosystem. And of course any feedback or questions you have are also welcome!