Urbit / Posts

~2018.8.23 Update

At Tlon, oars have been bent for some time towards getting the Urbit PKI bootstrapped on Ethereum. Well: The end is in sight! We're not ones to curse an estimate with “dates,” so let's say it's “forthcoming.”

This effort has spurred all kinds of updates to the system, most of which were long in the coming and all of which will have benefits far beyond the Ethereum roll out. We're excited to share them with y'all.

We've finalized our suggested wallet derivation scheme. This was a monumental effort that included the expertise of a lot of different parts of Tlon, thanks to Morgan ~hidrel-fabtel, Curtis ~sorreg-namtyv, Will ~hadrud-lodsef and Mark ~palfun-foslup! Look forward to a full public announcement of this derivation scheme once the audit has taken place.

Now that that's all wrapped up, we are finalizing work on client-side tools for generating and decrypting these wallets in a usable way. Gavin ~ridlur-figbud and Will ~hadrud-lodsef have been leading this effort, with a non-trivial wasm assist from Chris ~sigtus-hossyn and Mark ~palfun-foslup (codenamed the Dutch Destroyer). We now have parity between the front end crypto tools and their Hoon-side cousins.

A key part of this is also the Wallet application, which will allow you to manage your assets easily. Morgan ~hidrel-fabtel has changed the Wallet application architecture a bit to accommodate our wallet deriviation scheme and we're working on getting those changes implemented. Robert ~lodleb-ritrul is on loan from the Docs team to help us make sure that all of our documentation and copy around these tools is crystal clear.

A thread connecting these projects is our concept of the Sigil, some of the cryptic shapes you may have seen gracing these very updates. An urbit ship is unique cryptographic property and a Sigil is the visual equivalent of your pronounceable shipname. Sigils will grace our applications for interacting with the Urbit Constitution, our new Landscape UI and many other places we've dreamt up. Work on these Sigils has reached a good point and we're working on integrating them into these applications.

Webtalk is not long for this world, into the breach will step: Landscape. After a lot of prototyping and design iteration, we've settled on a feature set that will help the Urbit community (that's you!) communicate and collaborate to reach our next incarnation. Landscape will be on your computer and in your pocket. Chris ~sigtus-hossyn and Jimmy ~haptyl-wanwes have been hard at work hitting the details of the design implementation, including nuances like disconnected and reconnected states and other interaction concepts that we think you'll like. Logan ~tacryt-socryp has been doing double duty on Mobile and improving %hall support for DMs. Needless to say, Sigils are present throughout.

What about Arvo, you say? Well, the latest news is a veritable supercollision of a merge between our various long running lines of work. Ford Turbo, whose development you've all been following closely, is now in the process of being integrated with the rest of the our code, complete with not one but two caches (thanks Ted ~rovnys-ricfer). Elliot ~littel-ponnys is taking on the task of integrating Ford Turbo with various affordance we've added in support of Landscape. Joe ~master-morzod, meanwhile, is integrating updates to ames and the boot process occasioned by the Ethereum bootstrap. And finally, Curtis' ~sorreg-namtyv long-anticipated improvements to Hoon are being incorporated into all of the above.

The last of these changes will be of particular interest to new learners of hoon, since one of their benefits is the ability to pretty print type information; a useful tool when working in the %dojo.

Josh ~taglux-nidsep is closing out a revision of the docs to be released very soon. We hope that the new docs and friendlier Goon will make the task of learning Hoon less of a task and more of an adventure.

Next year on Mars!

Anthony ~poldec-tonteg