Rok Černec
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Date: 1st Sep 2021

ARK Blockchain Framework Development Update - Core, Nodem, Deployer & Explorer

This past week we provided updates and some much needed incite into both Payvo and MarketSquare . Now, it’s time to take a look at our flagship product; the ARK Blockchain Framework. With ARK Core v3.0 nearing release, let’s take a look at the latest updates to Core, Nodem, Deployer, and our new Block Explorer.

Core v3

Core v3 has been tagged as a Release Candidate and deployed on our public Development Network for 2 months now. During these last two months, members from the ARK community and developers from the ARK team have been extensively testing Core v3 and searching for any bugs, security vulnerabilities or ways in which to optimize the code.

During this time we have received several security reports from delegate ‘Alessio’ which have since been addressed and fixed. There have also been reported bugs from both the community and the internal QA team that have been mitigated along with some small improvements based on feedback and suggestions. Currently, there are only a few smaller bugs still pending that will be mitigated in the next couple of days.

Here are some of the items that have been fixed or implemented since the announcement of the release candidate on the Development Network:

  • Set max payload for whole forger connection.
  • Fixed rollback condition as previously it simply looked for the majority had a forked condition which resulted in a stalemate when enough peers were not synced up to fork height. Only those who passed fork height are compared now.
  • Fixed parsing of peers from URL response if the response is a type of string.
  • Added –skipValidation flag to config:forger command, that allows setting bip39 incompatible passphrases.
  • Fixed log rotate check.
  • Fixed resetting of the max payload after ping.
  • Fixed handling of errors on removeBlocks.
  • Fixed comparison of transaction.serialized.length with maxTransactionBytes.
  • Fixed forging of custom transactions when forger is running as a separate process.
  • Re-throw errors as PoolError so they can be caught in Processor.
  • Improved MemoryQueue functionality by extending EventEmitter - OnDrain, OnError, OnData are replaced with appropriate emits.
  • Removed unused dependencies, added missing dependencies and fixed imports.
  • Removed unnecessary transactions.length check.
  • Implemented await block processing plugin that delays non-internal p2p server calls and prioritizes block processing over request processing until the block is applied. The implementation makes DoS attacks over P2P harder. Delay is not applied when downloading blocks, but only when a node is synced (security vulnerability).
  • Disabled perMessageDefalate option on client and listener. Setting perMessageDefalate to false disables WebSocket compression (security vulnerability).

We have also made major updates to the Core Manager plugin which is a requirement of our upcoming new product, Nodem.

Based on the current status of testing and the remaining bugs, we should be announcing an official public release date of Core v3.0 sometime in the next week or so.

Nodem

Our new node manager, Nodem, is going to be a self-hosted open-source GUI management tool for ARK Core processes. We have developed a custom Core plugin that will be responsible for relaying all of the relevant data to the Nodem interface and be the main point that interacts with the Core process. Nodem’s UI is in the final stages of development and a beta version of Nodem for community testing will be released in the upcoming weeks after Core v3 is migrated to the Public Network.

In case you missed what Nodem is you can read this blog post to learn more.

Deployer

The development of Deployer is in the final stages and is awaiting the release of Core v3 so that we can update the deployment scripts. There are still some UI updates that will be required as we unify the user experience and interface design across all of our products. Once all of that is complete we will do our final internal testing to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

You can expect Deployer community beta release shortly after Nodem has been released for public use.

If you want to learn more about Deployer don’t forget to read this blog post to learn more.

Explorer

The new ARK Explorer has been live on our Development Network for some time now. Since introduction, we have resolved many of the reported issues and bugs, improved UI and UX based on the feedback from our community, and extended features that will be available when we push it live for our Public Network.

The new Explorer is ready and will go live at the same time as the migration to Core v3 for the ARK Public Network.

If you want to see our Explorer covered you can read this and if you want to learn more on the technical changes compared to the current version you can read this blog post.

What’s Next?

The current slate of releases is a big one and will turn ARK into a powerful blockchain platform. The combination of Deployer and Nodem along with the Core updates and new explorer not only brings our designs together into one consistent experience, but also provides a lot of new utility.

After this cycle of releases, we will put a major focus on Core v4.0 and the update to our consensus mechanism that will allow us to enable HTLC, improve finality and remove quorum, as well as an update to 53 delegates from 51.

The upgrades in ARK Core v4.0 will be the final step of our journey to a feature complete version of ARK.

We cannot thank you all enough for following us on this adventure and for supporting us the entire way. We are nearing the finish line and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on the new and improved ARK Blockchain Platform, especially Nodem and Deployer.