Urbit / Posts

~2019.2.5 Update

Here's a short update from the team at Tlon for the week of ~2019.2.5:

Welcome to the other side. The Urbit PKI, Azimuth, now fully migrated to the Ethereum blockchain. This migration means that all address-space-holders have cryptographic ownership of their assets. The guide to getting on the network can be found here.

Azimuth is one of three layers of the Urbit project, alongside Arvo and Aegean. Arvo is the Urbit operating system. Aegean is something more abstract; a pattern for building “cities”: Urbit communities whose members run the same custom suite of software on their Arvo servers. Our Primer explains these concepts in depth.

An integration of this size is not without its difficulties, though. ~zod labored mightily for a few days then bail: memed (Arvo for “ran out of memory”). Joe ~master-morzod, Ted ~rovnys-ricfer, and Isaac ~novlud-padtyv discovered the problem: ~zod had so many neighbors that Vere ran out of memory upon restart. One fix changed how Vere put header metadata on the event log, allowing it to be traversed both forwards and backwards, and another fix conserves memory by clearing the cache more often. A third improvement brings an important memory diagnostic tool, |mass, back to Arvo. Our champions breached the network to implement these changes, and problems seemed to be solved. However, they ran into new issues with event-playback, and they’ve been debugging that ever since.

(There’s also a new Twitter account, @zodisok, that tweets out updates about ~zod’s network status and any relevant pull-requests. It also provides a bit more insight into the challenges of building your own tools to maintain a network. Follow it to stay in the loop.)

Will ~hadrud-lodsef, Gavin ~ridlur-figbud, and Jared ~nidsut-tomdun are making incremental changes to our Azimuth front-end, Bridge: UI fixes, new wallet support, adding conditional star-release capabilities for galaxies, and integrating a wallet-generator feature. The Bridge crew will try to implement these changes on a weekly schedule, and you can keep track of them in the Bridge repo’s new CHANGELOG file.

BONUS: Mark ~palfun-foslup aka The Dutch Destroyer decided that full bitcoinification was not happening fast enough for his liking and submitted a PR that added bitcoin rpc support to Arvo. Watch the demo here.

See you next week.

Rob ~lodleb-ritrul