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Solana Changelog: August 8th, 2022 - Offline Signing, QUIC & APR.dev

By Solana-Changelog

Published on 2022-08-08

Discover the latest Solana updates including offline message signing, QUIC implementation progress, and new developer tools like APR.dev and Svelte Scaffold.

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

Solana Changelog: August 8th, 2022 - Offline Signing, QUIC & APR.dev

In the rapidly evolving world of blockchain technology, Solana continues to make significant strides in enhancing its ecosystem and developer experience. The Solana Changelog, a weekly video series, brings us the latest updates and developments in the Solana ecosystem. In this inaugural episode, Jacob Creech, Joe Caulfield, and Colin Ogoo from the Developer Relations team at Solana Foundation dive into some exciting new features and improvements that are set to revolutionize the Solana landscape.

Offline Message Signing: A Game-Changer for Wallet Verification

One of the most anticipated features discussed in this changelog is the proposal for offline message signing. This new capability allows users to sign messages that are not transactions, providing a powerful method for wallet verification without the need to send actual transactions on the blockchain.

Jacob Creech explains the significance of this feature: "This has been a greatly requested feature for Ledger, and I'm very happy that it's starting to come out." The ability to sign non-transaction messages opens up a world of possibilities for developers and users alike.

Use Cases for Offline Message Signing

Joe Caulfield elaborates on the practical applications of this feature: "You can sign like a text string or something that proves that you own the wallet. This helps with a lot of logins, like Audius uses that for login, same with some other NFT marketplaces. It just proves that you own the wallet without having to send a transaction."

This functionality is particularly valuable for platforms that require user authentication without the need for on-chain transactions. It streamlines the login process for decentralized applications (dApps) and enhances user experience by providing a faster, more efficient way to verify wallet ownership.

QUIC: Accelerating Solana's Network Performance

The team also provided an update on the progress of QUIC, a networking protocol that promises to significantly enhance Solana's transaction throughput and overall network performance. QUIC is currently active on the testnet and is expected to make its way to the mainnet soon, marking a major milestone in Solana's scalability efforts.

Understanding QUIC

QUIC, which stands for Quick UDP Internet Connections, is built on top of the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). Joe offers a concise explanation: "UDP is really, really light and fast, and QUIC kind of adds like an extra layer of security there. It also has a bunch of features that are going to help with things like transaction throughput."

The implementation of QUIC is expected to bring about significant performance upgrades to the Solana cluster. This improvement is highly anticipated within the Solana community, as it addresses one of the key challenges in blockchain technology: scalability.

QUIC's Impact on Solana

By leveraging QUIC, Solana aims to further improve its already impressive transaction speed and network efficiency. This upgrade aligns with Solana's commitment to providing a high-performance blockchain platform capable of supporting a wide range of decentralized applications and use cases.

The anticipation surrounding QUIC's implementation underscores the Solana community's enthusiasm for continuous improvement and innovation. As the protocol moves closer to mainnet activation, developers and users alike can look forward to an even more robust and efficient Solana network.

APR.dev: Enhancing the Solana Explorer Experience

In a move to improve the developer experience, the Solana Explorer has been updated to use APR.dev for Anchor verified builds. This update replaces the previously used Serum link, ensuring that Anchor verified builds are now visible and easily accessible through the explorer.

The Importance of APR.dev Integration

The integration of APR.dev into the Solana Explorer represents a significant improvement in how developers interact with and verify Anchor builds. This update streamlines the process of accessing and reviewing verified smart contracts, enhancing transparency and trust within the Solana ecosystem.

By making Anchor verified builds more readily available, Solana is fostering a more open and collaborative development environment. This change not only benefits developers working on Solana projects but also contributes to the overall security and reliability of the ecosystem by making it easier to audit and verify smart contract code.

Documentation Updates: Empowering Developers

The Solana team has also made important updates to its documentation, further empowering developers with the knowledge and resources they need to build on the platform effectively.

Retrying Transactions: Now in Core Documentation

One notable addition is the inclusion of information on retrying transactions in the core documentation. Previously, this information was only available in the Solana Cookbook. Colin Ogoo highlights the importance of this update: "Retrying transactions has been added to the core documentation. Previously it only lived on Solana Cookbook, which you should definitely check out, but it's now also been copied over to the official core documentation as well."

This move ensures that critical information about transaction handling is more accessible to developers, reducing the likelihood of errors and improving the overall development experience on Solana.

Bug Fix: Rent-Exempt Accounts

Colin also mentions a small but significant bug fix related to rent-exempt accounts: "Shout out to John for catching a small bug on accounts. So there was like some code just lingering around that used to look and try to collect fees on newly created accounts. So John caught that and that's been removed."

This fix ensures that all accounts are properly rent-exempt by default, aligning with Solana's previous update to make all accounts rent-exempt. By removing lingering code that attempted to collect fees on new accounts, the Solana team has eliminated a potential source of confusion and ensured consistent behavior across the platform.

New Developer Resources: Expanding the Solana Toolkit

The changelog also highlighted two valuable resources for Solana developers, showcasing the ecosystem's commitment to providing diverse tools and frameworks for building on the platform.

Svelte Scaffold: Alternatives to React

Colin expresses enthusiasm for non-React front-end options in the Solana ecosystem: "This is not financial advice, but I personally like to see non-React front-end code on Solana. So shout out to Svelte, I know React is great, but just not for me. Shout out to Svelte for Carinda who released the dApp scaffold for Svelte. That's really cool."

The introduction of a Svelte scaffold for Solana dApps provides developers with more options when it comes to front-end development. This diversity in tooling is crucial for attracting a wider range of developers to the Solana ecosystem and fostering innovation in dApp design and user experience.

Cardinal Labs: Enhancing NFT Functionality

Colin also highlights Cardinal Labs as a valuable resource for developers working with NFTs on Solana: "If you're doing anything to do with NFTs, it's a really cool library that has like some nice features around NFTs. I don't want to spoil that too much. Go check that out."

Cardinal Labs offers a suite of tools and features specifically designed to enhance NFT functionality on Solana. This resource is particularly valuable given the growing importance of NFTs in the blockchain space and Solana's position as a leading platform for NFT projects.

The Importance of Community Engagement

Throughout the changelog, the Solana Developer Relations team emphasizes the importance of community engagement and encourages developers to reach out with questions, feedback, or contributions.

Connecting with the Solana Dev Team

Jacob Creech provides multiple avenues for developers to connect with the team: "If you ever want to reach out to any of us, you can find us on Twitter. I'm @JacobVcreech. You can find Joe and Colin as well. If you want to just try to message any of us, there's also @solana_devs. It's the Solana developer Twitter that will reach us."

This open invitation for communication underscores Solana's commitment to fostering a collaborative and supportive developer community. By maintaining active channels of communication, the Solana team ensures that developers have the support they need to build innovative projects on the platform.

The Future of Solana Development

As Solana continues to evolve and improve, the weekly changelog series serves as a valuable resource for developers, investors, and enthusiasts to stay informed about the latest developments in the ecosystem.

Continuous Improvement and Innovation

The updates discussed in this changelog demonstrate Solana's commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. From enhancing core functionality like offline signing and network performance to providing better documentation and developer tools, Solana is actively working to create a more robust and developer-friendly blockchain platform.

Growing Ecosystem and Opportunities

With each new feature and improvement, Solana opens up new possibilities for developers and projects. The introduction of offline signing, progress on QUIC implementation, and the expansion of developer resources all contribute to making Solana an increasingly attractive platform for building decentralized applications.

Conclusion: Solana's Momentum Continues

The inaugural Solana Changelog video showcases the platform's dynamic nature and its dedication to addressing the needs of its growing community. From significant protocol improvements like QUIC to developer-focused updates in documentation and tooling, Solana is positioning itself as a leading blockchain platform for innovation and scalability.

As the ecosystem continues to evolve, developers, users, and investors can look forward to more exciting updates and opportunities within the Solana landscape. The regular changelog updates serve as a testament to Solana's transparency and commitment to keeping its community informed and engaged.

For those looking to stay at the forefront of blockchain technology, following Solana's progress through these weekly updates is essential. As Jacob, Joe, and Colin continue to bring us the latest news and developments, the Solana community can anticipate a future filled with groundbreaking advancements and endless possibilities in the world of decentralized finance and beyond.

Facts + Figures

  • Solana has introduced a proposal for offline message signing, allowing users to sign non-transaction messages to verify wallet ownership.
  • QUIC, a networking protocol built on UDP, is currently active on Solana's testnet and is expected to improve transaction throughput and network performance.
  • The Solana Explorer has been updated to use APR.dev for Anchor verified builds, replacing the old Serum link.
  • Information on retrying transactions has been added to Solana's core documentation, previously only available in the Solana Cookbook.
  • A bug related to rent-exempt accounts has been fixed, ensuring consistent behavior across the platform.
  • A new Svelte scaffold for Solana dApps has been released, providing an alternative to React for front-end development.
  • Cardinal Labs offers a library with enhanced features for NFT functionality on Solana.
  • The Solana Developer Relations team can be reached via Twitter at @JacobVcreech, @realbuffalojoe, @C_Ogoo, or through the @solana_devs account.
  • The Solana Changelog is a weekly video series providing updates on Solana development.
  • Developers can subscribe to the Solana newsletter for regular updates on the ecosystem.

Questions Answered

What is offline message signing in Solana?

Offline message signing is a new feature that allows users to sign non-transaction messages to prove ownership of a wallet. This functionality is particularly useful for login processes in dApps and NFT marketplaces, as it provides a way to verify wallet ownership without requiring an on-chain transaction.

How does QUIC benefit the Solana network?

QUIC is a networking protocol built on UDP that adds an extra layer of security and features to improve transaction throughput. It is expected to enhance Solana's network performance, potentially increasing transaction speed and efficiency. QUIC is currently active on Solana's testnet and is anticipated to be implemented on the mainnet soon.

What changes have been made to the Solana Explorer?

The Solana Explorer has been updated to use APR.dev for Anchor verified builds. This replaces the previously used Serum link, making Anchor verified builds more visible and accessible through the explorer. This update improves the developer experience by streamlining access to verified smart contracts.

Where can developers find information on retrying transactions in Solana?

Information on retrying transactions has been added to Solana's core documentation. Previously, this information was only available in the Solana Cookbook. By including it in the core documentation, Solana has made this critical information more accessible to developers working on the platform.

What new resources are available for Solana developers?

Two new resources highlighted in the changelog are the Svelte scaffold for Solana dApps and Cardinal Labs. The Svelte scaffold provides an alternative to React for front-end development, while Cardinal Labs offers a library with enhanced features for NFT functionality on Solana. These resources expand the toolkit available to developers building on the Solana platform.

How can developers stay updated on Solana's latest developments?

Developers can stay informed about Solana's latest developments through multiple channels. They can subscribe to the Solana newsletter, watch the weekly Solana Changelog video series on YouTube, and follow the Solana Developer Twitter account (@solana_devs). Additionally, developers can reach out directly to the Developer Relations team members via their personal Twitter accounts.

What bug fix was mentioned regarding rent-exempt accounts?

A small bug related to rent-exempt accounts was fixed. Previously, there was lingering code that attempted to collect fees on newly created accounts, despite all accounts being rent-exempt by default. This code has been removed, ensuring consistent behavior across the platform and eliminating potential confusion for developers.

How does Solana support non-React front-end development?

Solana supports non-React front-end development through resources like the newly released Svelte scaffold for dApps. This scaffold provides developers with an alternative to React, allowing for more diversity in front-end development approaches within the Solana ecosystem. This support for multiple frameworks helps attract a wider range of developers to the platform.

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