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Solana Changelog Jul 3 - RPC Deprecations, Actions, and Blinks

By Changelog

Published on 2024-07-03

Explore Solana's latest developments including RPC method deprecations, new Actions and Blinks features, and upcoming changes to compute unit charging.

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

Solana's Latest Developments: RPC Changes, Actions, and Blinks

In the fast-paced world of blockchain technology, Solana continues to evolve and improve its ecosystem. The latest Solana Changelog, hosted by Nick Frostbutter from the Solana Foundation and featuring Jonas, offers insights into recent developments, upcoming changes, and exciting new features. This article delves into the key topics discussed, providing a comprehensive overview of Solana's latest advancements.

SIMD-148: Enhancing Stake Management

One of the significant improvements highlighted in the changelog is SIMD-148, which focuses on enhancing stake management within the Solana ecosystem. This improvement document, recently approved, introduces new instructions for moving stake and lamports between different staking accounts.

Benefits for Stake Pool Providers

The changes introduced by SIMD-148 are particularly beneficial for stake pool providers. Jonas explains, "This is especially interesting for stake pool providers. So you can easily get a bunch of stake delegated and they can take parts of it to different validators." This enhancement allows for more fluid movement of stake without the need to unstake and restake, streamlining the process for managing large pools of delegated stake.

Addressing Previous Concerns

While these changes offer significant improvements in stake management, there were previous concerns about potential issues if slashing were to be implemented in the future. However, the benefits of easier stake movement appear to outweigh these theoretical concerns for now. Jonas notes, "In the meantime, this will make it way easier to move stake around and you don't need to un-stake it and stake it again."

Removal of Deprecated RPC Methods in Version 2.0

A critical update discussed in the changelog is the removal of deprecated RPC (Remote Procedure Call) methods in the upcoming Solana version 2.0. This change is part of Solana's ongoing efforts to streamline its codebase and improve overall efficiency.

Impact on Developers

Nick emphasizes the importance of this update for developers: "Now that version 2.0 of the Agabe runtime, the Agabe validator, the version has been cut, there's this PR that is actually going to start removing some of those deprecated RPC endpoints." This change will affect both the Solana validator and the Web3.js library, two core components of the Solana development ecosystem.

Transition to New RPC Endpoints

Developers are strongly encouraged to review their code and ensure they are using the most up-to-date RPC endpoints. Jonas warns, "Since many people, of course, ignore deprecation warnings, I know that, like, it's just the code is like cutting them through, but have a deep look at these, like, probably you still might use confirm transaction or get recent block hash or so on."

List of Affected Endpoints

While the specific list of deprecated endpoints wasn't provided in the transcript, it's crucial for developers to consult the official Solana documentation and review any deprecation warnings in their code. Common endpoints that might be affected include methods for transaction confirmation and retrieving recent block hashes.

Upgrading Crates to Version 2.0

The changelog also touched on recent issues related to the upgrade of Solana crates to version 2.0. This upgrade initially caused some dependency problems, but quick action was taken to resolve these issues.

Fixing Dependency Issues

Jonas explains, "So this is related to this PR here, which broke some dependencies because many of the packages actually have, like, the smaller or equal 2.0. And yeah, this broke in the last days a bunch of dependencies, but this is now already fixed." The swift response from the Solana team, particularly John Cinco, ensured that these issues were resolved promptly.

Version Management

To address the dependency problems, some versions were yanked, and fixes were implemented. This quick resolution highlights the Solana team's commitment to maintaining a stable and reliable development environment for its community.

Changes to Compute Unit Charging

An interesting development discussed in the changelog relates to changes in how compute units are charged, particularly concerning the loading of account data.

New Feature Gate

Nick explains the upcoming change: "There's a feature gate that is open and it's going to basically make it so the amount of data that you're requesting, account data size that you're requesting, will actually affect your total compute usage within your transaction."

Impact on Transactions

This change is significant because it introduces a new factor in transaction cost calculation. Previously, loading large amounts of account data didn't significantly impact compute usage. However, with this new feature, transactions that request large amounts of account data may see increased compute costs.

Implications for Developers

Developers working on applications that frequently load large accounts or multiple accounts should be aware of this change. Nick advises, "Be sure to be watching out for that. And if you are requesting lots and lots of account sizes or a very large account size, then you might start to notice things in the future once this feature gate gets activated."

Introduction to Solana Actions and Blinks

One of the most exciting topics covered in the changelog is the introduction of Solana Actions and Blinks, a new feature set that promises to enhance user interaction with Solana transactions.

What are Solana Actions?

Solana Actions is a new framework that allows developers to create interactive transaction links that can be shared across various platforms. Nick explains, "The idea of links and actions is bringing transactions to the users where they're already at."

Current Implementation on X (Twitter)

At present, Solana Actions are primarily implemented on X (formerly Twitter). Nick notes, "Right now it is just limited to X.com, your Twitter feeds, your DMs on Twitter. It's fun fact, it does work in DMs, which is really cool."

Potential Use Cases

The potential applications for Solana Actions are vast. Nick outlines some possibilities: "You could think of sharing a link for a token swap, digital collectibles, donations for charity, voting on the downloads, all sorts of different powerful things directly to where people are."

Developer Resources

To support developers in leveraging this new feature, several resources have been made available:

  1. Official documentation on solana.com
  2. A video walkthrough for learning about Actions in 17 minutes
  3. Example implementations
  4. An "Awesome Blinks" repository on GitHub for community-contributed resources

Community Engagement

The Solana team is actively encouraging community participation in the development of Actions and Blinks. Nick mentions, "If anyone is building anything that is blinks are action related, open a PR to this awesome blinks repo."

Solana Game Jam and Hackathon

The changelog also touched on upcoming events in the Solana ecosystem, particularly focusing on gaming-related initiatives.

Upcoming Game Jam

Jonas mentions an ongoing game jam, which includes a track for blinks: "When you hear this, the game jam will actually be in full force already. And they will be a track for blinks as well, probably. So you can try to make a game with blinks."

In-Person Events

Several in-person game jam events are happening across the globe, including:

  • Eastern Berlin
  • Turkey
  • Munich, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • New York
  • UK (noted as the biggest event)

Hackathon in London

Following the game jam, a hackathon focused on gaming is scheduled in London. Jonas encourages participation: "So if you haven't yet, book your flights. It's going to start in three days."

Stack Exchange Community Engagement

The changelog concludes with a shoutout to the Solana Stack Exchange community, highlighting the importance of community-driven support and knowledge sharing.

Top Contributors

Several top contributors to the Solana Stack Exchange were mentioned, including Jimmy, Ari, Joey, Chalda, and Jonas himself. This recognition underscores the value of community participation in supporting Solana developers.

Importance of Community Support

Nick emphasizes the significance of the Stack Exchange community: "Yeah, thank you so much, everybody, for helping the developers here. It's really great." This sentiment reflects Solana's commitment to fostering a supportive and collaborative development ecosystem.

Conclusion

The latest Solana Changelog provides valuable insights into the ongoing development and evolution of the Solana ecosystem. From technical improvements in stake management and RPC endpoint updates to exciting new features like Solana Actions and Blinks, the platform continues to innovate and expand its capabilities.

Developers are encouraged to stay informed about these changes, particularly regarding deprecated RPC methods and upcoming modifications to compute unit charging. The introduction of Solana Actions opens up new possibilities for user engagement and transaction accessibility, potentially revolutionizing how users interact with blockchain applications.

With ongoing community events like game jams and hackathons, coupled with strong support through platforms like Stack Exchange, Solana is fostering a vibrant and collaborative ecosystem. As these developments unfold, Solana remains at the forefront of blockchain innovation, continually striving to improve its technology and user experience.

Facts + Figures

  • SIMD-148 introduces new instructions for moving stake and lamports between different staking accounts, benefiting stake pool providers.
  • Solana version 2.0 will remove several deprecated RPC endpoints, affecting both the validator and Web3.js library.
  • Recent upgrades to Solana crates version 2.0 initially caused dependency issues, which were quickly resolved.
  • A new feature gate will introduce compute unit charges based on the amount of account data requested in transactions.
  • Solana Actions and Blinks are new features allowing interactive transaction links, currently implemented on X (Twitter).
  • The "Awesome Blinks" repository on GitHub collects community-contributed resources for Solana Actions and Blinks.
  • In-person game jam events are being held in Eastern Berlin, Turkey, Munich, Berlin, New York, and the UK.
  • A gaming-focused hackathon is scheduled to take place in London.
  • The Solana Stack Exchange community continues to grow, with several top contributors mentioned by name.

Questions Answered

What is SIMD-148 and how does it benefit Solana?

SIMD-148 is an improvement document that introduces new instructions for moving stake and lamports between different staking accounts in Solana. It primarily benefits stake pool providers by allowing them to more easily manage and delegate stake to different validators without the need to unstake and restake. This change streamlines the process of stake management, making it more efficient and flexible for large-scale staking operations.

Why are deprecated RPC methods being removed in Solana 2.0?

Deprecated RPC methods are being removed in Solana 2.0 as part of an effort to streamline the codebase and improve overall efficiency. This change affects both the Solana validator and the Web3.js library. By removing outdated methods, Solana can maintain a cleaner, more manageable codebase and encourage developers to use the most up-to-date and efficient RPC endpoints. This change is crucial for the long-term health and performance of the Solana ecosystem.

How will the new compute unit charging feature affect Solana transactions?

The new compute unit charging feature will introduce additional costs based on the amount of account data requested in a transaction. Previously, loading large amounts of account data didn't significantly impact compute usage. With this change, transactions that request large amounts of account data may see increased compute costs. This feature aims to more accurately reflect the resources used by different types of transactions, potentially leading to more efficient use of network resources.

What are Solana Actions and Blinks?

Solana Actions and Blinks are new features that allow developers to create interactive transaction links that can be shared across various platforms. Currently implemented primarily on X (Twitter), these features bring Solana transactions directly to users in their familiar social media environments. Actions and Blinks can be used for various purposes such as token swaps, digital collectible interactions, charity donations, and voting, making blockchain interactions more accessible and user-friendly.

How is Solana supporting game development on its platform?

Solana is actively supporting game development through various initiatives. These include organizing game jams with specific tracks for blink-based games, hosting in-person game development events across multiple locations globally, and planning a gaming-focused hackathon in London. These events encourage developers to explore and create innovative gaming experiences on the Solana blockchain, fostering growth in the blockchain gaming sector.

What resources are available for developers interested in Solana Actions and Blinks?

Developers interested in Solana Actions and Blinks have access to several resources. These include official documentation on solana.com, a 17-minute video walkthrough explaining the features, example implementations to learn from, and the "Awesome Blinks" repository on GitHub. This repository serves as a community-driven collection of resources, tools, and projects related to Solana Actions and Blinks, providing a valuable knowledge base for developers.

How does the Solana Stack Exchange community contribute to the ecosystem?

The Solana Stack Exchange community plays a crucial role in supporting developers and fostering knowledge sharing within the ecosystem. Top contributors regularly answer questions, provide guidance, and share expertise on various Solana-related topics. This community-driven support system helps newcomers and experienced developers alike to overcome challenges, learn best practices, and stay updated on the latest developments in the Solana ecosystem.

What recent issues occurred with Solana crate upgrades and how were they resolved?

Recent upgrades to Solana crates to version 2.0 initially caused dependency issues for many packages. These issues were quickly identified and resolved by the Solana team, particularly by developer John Cinco. The resolution involved yanking some problematic versions and implementing fixes to ensure compatibility. This rapid response demonstrates the Solana team's commitment to maintaining a stable development environment and their ability to quickly address and resolve technical challenges.

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