Here are some of the main things to highlight this week:
- We released SAFE Browser v0.16.0 which is compatible with the local/shared vault release. But not with the Baby Fleming release.
- We also released SAFE Browser v0.17.0-alpha.0 which is compatible with the Baby Fleming release. But not with the local/shared vault release.
- We created an installation script for the SAFE CLI. It’s already possible to install SAFE CLI v0.9.0 with it.
- Thank you for the feedback on iteration 1 of Baby Fleming. We are fast approaching iteration 2.
Vaults Phase 2
After last week’s Baby Fleming release, we’ve received a lot of feedback and test results from the community. First of all, thanks for all your contributions. We greatly value these, especially during testnet releases. Keep 'em coming!
As you may have seen, most of these issues were due to some delays and high memory usage at the Elders (Client Handlers). This is because all client requests that involved spending of safecoin were sent through PARSEC to reach consensus before processing the request further. This could take some time depending on the size of the request, the number of requests being processed, etc. We are aware of this and will be working to improve this in the upcoming weeks. That being said, in the interest of helping test other features (API, CLI commands, etc.) we will be removing the PARSEC step from the client request-processing flow and releasing a new version of the vault. We are testing this internally and once ready, we will release the next iteration of the Phase 2a testnet. With faster response times, we should be able to connect to vaults hosted on cloud machines and this means shared section Stay tuned!
During the last couple of weeks, we were able to implement a few more features for our CLI. One of them is the addition of a
files rm command which can be used to remove a file or an entire path from an existing
FilesContainer. This was finalised just in time to be part of last week’s Baby Fleming release, so you should be able to use it already with SAFE CLI v0.9.0.
Right after the Baby Fleming release, we continued with another feature which gives us the possibility to list files in a tree form with the addition of a
files tree command, which can be really helpful for users trying to understand the hierarchy of the files in a
$ safe files tree safe://hnyynysurwzoiudugs47d7fjx7hwg3i7ch1ryowdm7gpgj4538n1mwqukgbnc Files of FilesContainer (version 0) at "safe://hnyynysurwzoiudugs47d7fjx7hwg3i7ch1ryowdm7gpgj4538n1mwqukgbnc" SIZE CREATED MODIFIED NAME / 6 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z ├── another.md 0 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z ├── noextension ├── subfolder 4 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z │ ├── sub2.md 23 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z │ └── subexists.md 12 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z 2020-03-03T22:31:21Z └── test.md
Another new feature added since Baby Fleming is to support fetching a range of bytes from a file, which will enable streaming for SAFE apps. We’ve changed the
fetch API to accept a second (optional) argument which is expected to be the start and end position of the bytes to be retrieved from the file targeted by the URL provided.
As a parallel task, and as anticipated in previous updates, we continued with our migration to use Rust
await in the
safe-api repo, a task we started back in Nov 2019, and finally we have that merged into the master branch, which migrates the whole
safe-api codebase to use
await. Since we are trying to do this migration without affecting other components, in this first step we are exposing the Rust SAFE APIs as
async already, but internally they are still locking when calling the underlying
safe_client_libs API. Our next step is to try to migrate not only
safe_client_libs to expose
async APIs, but also the
safe-nodejs APIs so they can return
After all the hard work from folk on the forum (over in the test thread), we’re looking to set up some proper benchmarking in the CLI using the Baby Fleming network. We will hopefully be able to do this in a way that gives those who are already making excellent test scripts a place to contribute directly to benchmarking tests for the network. These tests will run on CI, but should also aim to be easy enough to use/modify so that we can use them to test locally/reproducibly on any system.
Lastly, we were also able to create an installation script for the SAFE CLI. This script not only downloads the latest SAFE CLI available, but it also unpacks the CLI binary onto the
~/.safe/cli/ folder (
C:\Users\<user>\.safe\cli\ in Windows), as well as set it in the PATH, so you can run the
safe binary from any location when opening a console. We have updated our User Guide with instructions for how to use this CLI installation method. It’s already possible to install SAFE CLI v0.9.0 using this script.
Note that there have been reports of the install script not adding to the PATH for zsh and fish shells, you may need to add to your
.bashrc equivalent manually if the script does not add to your shell’s PATH.
SAFE Network App
Design work continues on the user interfaces and flows for file permissions, and sharing.
We made the call this week to separate out what was initially a combined feed, into separate manifest lists for App Access and Sharing. This makes the slightly different flows for each a touch clearer, and also avoids overly anthropomorphising apps unnecessarily; App Access is predominantly about managing your access to your own data, rather than conferring permissions to other users.
It helps keep the divide between when a file or folder is accessible to you only, or when it has been shared with others—or published—a little more crisp too.
We’ve also now got complete layouts for file, folder, and label detail screens, and controls for their navigation and manipulation.
On top of that, we are now working through the flows for publishing and sharing files via the SAFE Network App.
On the development side, with all our dependencies updated to remove the painful openssl dependency (and use the native rust rustls), we’ve made a start on updating the SAFE Network App, to once again, pass CI, but also, get some compatibility with everyone’s favourite
SAFE Browser (desktop)
This week we finally released SAFE Browser version 0.16.0, which has a few tweaks: Permissive access control headers to simplify web development, enables the
fetch API and updates safe-nodejs to 0.8.0. But beware! This is not compatible.
For those intrepid folk who want the ability to communicate with their own wee one, we offer v0.17.0-alpha.0. This brings in Baby Fleming compatibility, as well as clipping the wings of the safe-nodejs lib to prevent file system access without going through the browser APIs (thanks for the spot there @shane). This isn’t feature-complete yet. We’re planning to enable the APIs in browser to work directly with
File objects, to make everyone’s lives easier. But for now this at least improves security, and gets us towards more finalised APIs.
SAFE Browser / SAFE Authenticator (mobile)
Since last week’s Baby Fleming release, we have been in the process of updating all required repos (quic-p2p, safe_client_libs, safe-api) to be ready to support the same set of features on mobile devices, as well as updating our NuGet package. We are using a separate
baby-fleming-mobile branch in all these repos to track the required fixes and changes. Once we get the builds working on the CI and get the working set of native libraries, we will test the C# APIs and mobile apps with the Fleming and will release the new versions for the mobile Authenticator and Browser.
Routing and quic-p2p
With the Routing team having been on leave there is only a little progress to report on this week. One ongoing task which is nearing completion is the improvement of message delivery in the presence of lagging nodes (PR 2068). We are also looking into improving our test setup to make it more closely reflect reality, which should make it more reliable and possibly even faster (in planning phase, so no PR yet). We will give more information about these changes when they are closer to being done.
We also started working on a group signature scheme using distributed key generation (BLS-DKG, without central dealer/manager) to be used for achieving consensus when clients query data from the network (though this is potentially aimed to be used for much more in the future), without having to always go through PARSEC. This work is at the initial phase at the moment. As always, we will keep the community informed as we progress.
Feel free to send us translations of this Dev Update and we’ll list them here:
As an open source project, we’re always looking for feedback, comments and community contributions - so don’t be shy, join in and let’s create the SAFE Network together