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Solana Changelog Jul 10 - Removing deprecated code, new web3.js, and blinks.xyz

By Changelog

Published on 2024-07-10

Explore Solana's latest changes including deprecated code removal, Web3.js tech preview 4, and the new Blinks.xyz inspector tool for developers.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!

Solana Changelog: Deprecated Code Removal, Web3.js Updates, and Blinks.xyz Launch

In the latest Solana Changelog, Nick and Jacob from the Solana Foundation DevRel team discuss significant updates to the Solana ecosystem. This episode covers important changes related to Solana 2.0, including the removal of deprecated code, updates to Web3.js, and the introduction of a new tool for Solana developers called Blinks.xyz.

Solana 2.0 and Deprecated Code Removal

With the release of Solana 2.0, the development team is focusing on removing deprecated code that has been marked for removal since version 1.18. This cleanup process is crucial for maintaining a lean and efficient codebase, but it also means developers need to be vigilant about updating their projects.

Jacob explains, "Basically, anything that's been deprecated for longer than 1.18, now that we're on 2.0 and higher, all of that deprecated code is currently in the works of being removed." This includes deprecated functions, RPC calls, and system calls. Developers are strongly encouraged to review their code and ensure they are using the most up-to-date, non-deprecated functions and calls.

To assist with this transition, a new Mergify bot helper has been added to the Solana repository. This bot provides friendly reminders to PR creators to update respective clients, such as the JavaScript and Rust clients, when deprecating features. This proactive approach helps ensure that proper deprecation warnings are propagated throughout the ecosystem.

Impact on Developers

The removal of deprecated code primarily affects developers who are upgrading to Solana 2.0. Once these changes are implemented and the majority of clusters are running the new version, deprecated RPC calls and system calls will no longer be accessible. This emphasizes the importance of staying current with Solana's development and promptly updating codebases.

Nick highlights an ongoing issue related to these changes: "There's basically a problem with 2.0 that caused it to be coupled in with all the 1.x dependencies." This has led to compatibility issues for developers working with SPL programs or on-chain Solana programs. The development team is actively working on resolving these issues, with fixes expected to be implemented shortly after the release of this changelog.

New Stake Program Features

An exciting addition to the Solana ecosystem is the implementation of SNIP-148, which introduces new features to the stake program. Jacob elaborates, "This is specifically the implementation of SNIP 148. Basically, too long to read, moving stake between stake accounts that have the same authority."

This enhancement will simplify operations for stake pool operators and users, allowing for more flexible management of staked tokens. The ability to move stake between accounts with the same authority streamlines processes and improves the overall user experience for staking on Solana.

Web3.js Tech Preview 4

A significant announcement in this changelog is the release of Web3.js Tech Preview 4. This latest iteration of Solana's JavaScript library brings important updates and improvements for developers. Nick encourages the community to engage with this preview: "This is your opportunity as a developer in the ecosystem to give some really good feedback on the things you do and do not like about how this works."

One of the most anticipated features in this preview is compatibility with the Wallet Standard. Jacob notes, "It looks like it has compatibility with the Wallet Standard, finally, which was a lot of people's-- they were waiting for that to try it out, which makes sense. You need to connect to wallets."

The Solana team is actively seeking feedback from developers who use this preview. They encourage building projects with the new version and sharing thoughts or opening issues on the GitHub repository. This collaborative approach aims to refine Web3.js and make it an even more powerful tool for Solana development.

Solana Request for Comments (SRFCs)

The changelog also highlights the Solana Request for Comments (SRFCs) platform, available at forum.solana.com. This public forum serves as an open dialogue space for the Solana community to discuss and propose changes to the ecosystem.

Nick mentions that several current SRFCs focus on blinks and actions, which are emerging as hot topics in the Solana ecosystem. He encourages developers and community members to explore these SRFCs and contribute their own ideas for improving Solana.

Introduction of Blinks.xyz

One of the most exciting announcements in this changelog is the introduction of Blinks.xyz, a new tool developed by Jacob to assist with testing and debugging blinks and actions. Jacob explains the motivation behind creating this tool: "One of the problems that people keep running into is how to make sure that when they're building blinks and actions is how to make sure that it works correctly."

Blinks.xyz, particularly its inspector feature, allows developers to input their blink URL and run a series of checks to ensure compliance with the blink specification. The tool provides detailed information about the action's JSON response, data returned from the GET endpoint, and allows testing of POST requests.

Jacob demonstrates the tool's capabilities: "You can see full responses of your action. Jason, you can look at the data that actually gets returned from the get endpoint. You see the URL here. And then you can also test the actual actions that are submitted." The inspector even generates a random wallet for testing purposes and displays the base64 transaction data.

This tool addresses a significant pain point in blink development and testing, offering a streamlined way to verify the correctness of blink implementations. It's a valuable addition to the Solana developer toolkit, enhancing the overall development experience for blink-related projects.

Solana Stack Exchange Update

The changelog concludes with an update on the Solana Stack Exchange, highlighting its growing importance in the developer community. With over 20,000 users, the platform has become a vital resource for Solana developers seeking help and sharing knowledge.

Nick emphasizes the value of contributing to Stack Exchange: "This helping out the Stack Exchange and answering people's questions helps out all developers and ecosystem." The hosts encourage experienced developers to participate actively, answering questions and supporting newcomers to the Solana ecosystem.

Conclusion

This Solana Changelog episode brings to light several important developments in the Solana ecosystem. From the cleanup of deprecated code in Solana 2.0 to the introduction of new tools like Blinks.xyz, these changes reflect Solana's commitment to continuous improvement and developer support.

The release of Web3.js Tech Preview 4, with its new Wallet Standard compatibility, marks a significant step forward for Solana's JavaScript library. Meanwhile, the growing activity on the Solana Stack Exchange underscores the vibrant and supportive nature of the Solana developer community.

As Solana continues to evolve, these updates and new tools will play a crucial role in enhancing the platform's capabilities and improving the developer experience. The Solana team's focus on community feedback and collaborative development ensures that the ecosystem will continue to grow and innovate in response to the needs of its users and developers.

Facts + Figures

  • Solana 2.0 is removing deprecated code that has been marked for removal since version 1.18
  • A new Mergify bot helper has been added to remind PR creators to update clients when deprecating features
  • Web3.js Tech Preview 4 has been released, featuring compatibility with the Wallet Standard
  • SNIP-148 has been implemented, allowing movement of stake between accounts with the same authority
  • Blinks.xyz, a new tool for testing and debugging blinks and actions, has been launched
  • The Solana Stack Exchange now has over 20,000 users
  • Several current SRFCs are focusing on blinks and actions
  • Deprecated RPC calls and system calls will no longer be accessible once Solana 2.0 is widely adopted
  • The Solana development team is actively working on resolving compatibility issues with SPL programs and on-chain Solana programs
  • Blinks.xyz includes an inspector feature that performs checks to ensure compliance with the blink specification
  • The Blinks.xyz inspector can generate random wallets for testing purposes
  • The Solana team is actively seeking feedback on Web3.js Tech Preview 4
  • The Solana Request for Comments (SRFCs) platform is available at forum.solana.com
  • Developers are encouraged to review their code and update to non-deprecated functions and calls

Questions Answered

What changes are coming with Solana 2.0 regarding deprecated code?

Solana 2.0 is removing deprecated code that has been marked for removal since version 1.18. This includes deprecated functions, RPC calls, and system calls. Developers need to review their code and ensure they are using the most up-to-date, non-deprecated functions and calls to maintain compatibility with the new version.

What is Web3.js Tech Preview 4 and why is it significant?

Web3.js Tech Preview 4 is the latest iteration of Solana's JavaScript library. It's significant because it introduces compatibility with the Wallet Standard, a feature many developers have been waiting for. This preview allows developers to test the new version, provide feedback, and help shape the future of Solana's JavaScript development tools.

What is Blinks.xyz and how does it help Solana developers?

Blinks.xyz is a new tool developed to assist with testing and debugging blinks and actions in the Solana ecosystem. It features an inspector that allows developers to input their blink URL and run a series of checks to ensure compliance with the blink specification. The tool provides detailed information about action responses, endpoint data, and allows for testing of POST requests, making it easier for developers to verify the correctness of their blink implementations.

How has the Solana Stack Exchange grown and why is it important?

The Solana Stack Exchange has grown to over 20,000 users, becoming a vital resource for Solana developers seeking help and sharing knowledge. It's important because it fosters a supportive community where developers can find solutions to their problems, learn from others' experiences, and contribute their own expertise to help grow the Solana ecosystem.

What is SNIP-148 and how does it affect stake management in Solana?

SNIP-148 is a new implementation in Solana that allows for moving stake between stake accounts that have the same authority. This enhancement simplifies operations for stake pool operators and users, allowing for more flexible management of staked tokens and streamlining processes in the Solana staking ecosystem.

What are Solana Request for Comments (SRFCs) and where can they be found?

Solana Request for Comments (SRFCs) are proposals and discussions about potential changes or improvements to the Solana ecosystem. They can be found on the public forum at forum.solana.com. SRFCs provide an open platform for the Solana community to discuss ideas, suggest improvements, and contribute to the ongoing development of the Solana blockchain.

How is the Solana team addressing compatibility issues with SPL programs in version 2.0?

The Solana development team is actively working on resolving compatibility issues with SPL programs and on-chain Solana programs in version 2.0. These issues stem from dependencies being coupled with 1.x versions. The team is focused on fixing these problems to ensure a smooth transition for developers upgrading to Solana 2.0.

What new features does the Blinks.xyz inspector offer for testing blinks and actions?

The Blinks.xyz inspector offers several features for testing blinks and actions. It allows developers to input their blink URL and run compliance checks, view full responses of actions, examine data returned from GET endpoints, test POST requests, and even generates random wallets for testing purposes. The tool also displays base64 transaction data, providing a comprehensive testing environment for blink development.

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